Spicy tuna with mayo? California rolls in tempura? No, thanks. I'll go back to basics.
I had my first ever introduction to Japanese food when I was about eleven-years-old. It was a decent quality restaurant and we were eating sushi, of course. Well, I wasn't exactly eating as one piece of a classic tuna roll was already more than I could handle at the time. Seaweed? How can someone possibly eat this... I even tried some wasabi, pickled ginger and felt really grown-up and proud my dad brought me here. At least they had matcha ice-cream for dessert, I approved of it instantly - that 'palate cleanser' worked perfectly for me.
Some years (hm...thirteen, actually, to be precise) and many Japanese restaurants later, here I am, eating raw fish and seafood like a pro. Who knew? (everyone, probably, just by seeing my post on salmon & prawn donburi. Julija, you're a genius). In fact, my taste for Japanese food developed so much, I even like a raw quail egg on my tuna tartar (that used to be a no no for a very long time for me). So here's my first savoury Japan inspired recipe. I love it.
Donburi (Japanese for "bowl")
Serves 2 | 1 cup - 250ml | 1 tablespoon - 15ml | 1 teaspoon - 5ml | Hands on time: 20 minutes | Total time: 40 mins
For the sushi rice:
- 2 parts sushi rice + 3 parts water (1/2 cup of dry sushi rice & 3/4 cup of water)
- 1/4 cup of water (to make the rice dressing)
- 1/2 tablespoon of rice vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
For the donburi toppings:
- raw high quality salmon
- cooked prawns
- seaweed crisps or seaweed salad topping
- sesame seeds, toasted
- teriyaki sauce
Firstly, prepare the rice. This doesn't come to simply boiling it, you are gonna have to prepare the rice dressing, which will be mixed into the rice once it's finished cooking.
PREPARE SUSHI RICE: Wash 1/2 cup of rice under cold running water, drain. Place in a saucepan, cover with 3/4 cup of water and bring to a boil. Once simmering, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 12-14 minutes, stirring with a fork occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom. Once all the water has been absorbed, remove from heat and let cool with a lid on. Mix 1/4 cup of water, rice vinegar, sugar & salt until sugar and salt has dissolved. Mix this dressing with the cooked rice and set aside.
PREPARE TOPPINGS: Slice raw salmon, cook the prawns, slice cucumbers, toast sesame seeds on a dry pan, slice the avocado and top it with some lemon juice (this will prevent it from oxidizing and turning brown), chop or tear the seaweed crisps. You can also add any other toppings you like, e.g. grated white radish, pickled ginger, wasabi, seaweed.
ADD TOPPINGS: Make yourself a donburi by adding prepared sushi rice in a bowl and topping it with raw or seared salmon, cooked prawns, cucumbers, avocado, seaweed crisps & toasted sesame. Drizzle some teriyaki sauce on top, take a pair of chopsticks and dig in.
NOTE: If you're using salmon or tuna, you can serve some slices cooked along with the raw ones. Best way to do it is to quick-sear some fish on a hot pan - this way it will be cooked on the outside, raw on the inside. Simply heat a small amount of oil in a pan, add raw fish and cook on higher heat for a minute on both sides. Drizzle some soy sauce over it at the end of cooking to get a caramelised crust.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
If you make this recipe, please leave a comment below or let me know by tagging @kitchen.julie #kitchenjulie on Instagram. I'd love to hear your thoughts!