Rite of Spring Sushi--a DIY sushi party

Spring Sushi Recipes for an Easy, Romantic Meal

Celebrating Setsuban with sushi recipes from Chef Diane Brown

There is a tradition in Japan to celebrate the change from winter to spring, or Setsuban. I’ve translated this beautiful tradition into a menu of spring-inspired sushi recipes. Use them to set the scene for a romantic dinner for two. Or take one or two of the sushi recipes to impress your guests as a passed appetizer at cocktail hour.

Pineapple Mint Sake

750 ml sake
1 ripe pineapple
5 sprigs mint

Skin, core and cut half a fresh pineapple into chunks.
Add pineapple and 5 sprigs of mint to 750 ml of sake.
Cover and refrigerate for 5 days, then remove pineapple and mint.
Serve within one week.

Sushi Rice

2 C Japanese-style rice
4 C water
1/3 C rice wine vinegar
2 T sugar
1 t salt
Rinse rice well. Cook rice with rice cooker according to directions. If using a pan to cook rice, bring rice and water to a boil, turn heat down to low and cover for about 20 minutes, until rice is tender.

Prepare sushi vinegar by mixing rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small pan. Put the pan on low heat and cook until sugar dissolve, Cool the vinegar mixture. Spread the cooked hot rice into a large plate with a spatula. Sprinkle the vinegar mixture over the rice and fold the rice with a spatula very quickly. Be careful not to smash the rice. Use right away.

Makes 4 cups of sushi rice.

Miso Soup

Serves 2
2 C water
1 T sweet white miso (shiro-miso)
1/4 t soy sauce
1/2 C cubed silken (soft) tofu
1 small green onion, thinly sliced
Combine miso with 1/2 cup water and whisk together until miso dissolves. Add remaining water, soy sauce, and tofu. Heat broth over medium low flame (do not boil), for about seven minutes.

Divide into two serving bowls, sprinkle with onion and serve.

Spicy Ahi Tuna Roll

Makes 2 rolls
You can cut this with a sharp chef’s knife wiped after each cut, unless you like to eat it whole for good fortune.
1/4 pound sushi-quality ahi tuna
1 t mayonnaise
1/2 t Srircha chili sauce such as Huy Foods brand
2 sheets nori (dried seaweed)
2 C sushi rice
2 t toasted sesame seeds

Chop tuna and mix with mayonnaise and chili sauce. Put a nori sheet on top of a bamboo mat. With moist hands, spread rice on top of the nori sheet. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of sushi rice. Place tuna mixture lengthwise on the roll. Roll up the bamboo mat, pressing forward to shape the sushi into a cylinder. Press the bamboo mat firmly then remove it from the sushi. Rub a small amount of water on seam of nori to seal. Cut the rolled sushi into bite-sized pieces using a chef’s knife wiped with a wet cloth between each cut.

Serve immediately

California Sunrise Roll

Makes 2 rolls
2 sheets nori (dried seaweed)
2 C sushi rice
1 T sesame seeds, divided
1 avocado, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch thin slices
1/2 fresh mango, cut into 1/4-inch thin slices
1/4 pound fresh crab, cooked and shredded
1 t mayonnaise

Cover a bamboo mat with plastic wrap. Place a sheet of nori on top of the plastic and, with moist hands, spread sushi rice on top, pressing firmly. Sprinkle sesame seed over the rice and turn the nori over so it is on top. Place avocado and mango, alternating, on the seaweed down the length of the center. Mix crab with mayonnaise and place on top of the avocado and mango.

Roll the bamboo mat forward, pressing the ingredients inside to make a cylinder-shaped roll. Remove the sushi from the mat and cut into bite-sized pieces using a chef’s knife wiped with a wet cloth after every slice. Serve immediately.

Salty Spicy Edamame

During Setsuban in Japan, peanuts are thrown to invite good luck. You could also welcome happiness with these subtly seasoned soybeans.
1 T pink peppercorns
1 T black peppercorns
1 T kosher or sea salt, plus more for the cooking water to taste
1 1-pound bag frozen edamame (soybeans in pods)

In a spice grinder or peppermill, coarsely grind the pink and black peppercorns and mix with salt. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Drop the soybeans into the water and cook until tender, about 4 minutes.

Drain soybeans in a colander, transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle with pepper and salt mixture and serve immediately.

Learn more about Setsuban and the inspiration for these sushi recipes

Diane Brown is author of The Seduction Cookbook: Culinary Creations For Lovers

buy it nowSpring Sushi Recipes for an Easy, Romantic Meal 1


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