Friday, December 27, 2013

Holiday Donabe and Sushi Nights

We've been enjoying sunny and warm holiday season in LA this year.

The other night, I hosted a donabe Bonenkai (Japanese "end of the year party") at home.

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Miso-marinated tofu and cream cheese with wasabi. Homemade konnyaku with ao-nori seaweed. I will write about my homemade konnyaku in the next blog post!

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Roasted vegetable salad with carrot sesame dressing (I will post this recipe soon, too). Spinach, lotus root, and chrysanthemum flower petals in seasoned dashi ("ohitashi"). Smoked jumbo shrimp, calamari, and sweet roasted chestnuts were made in my donabe smoker, "Ibushi Gin".

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Main course was chicken wings & daikon hot pot (you can find my similar recipe in toiro kitchen's website here). And, the rice course was salted kombu, ginger, and baby shrimp rice, cooked in double-lid donabe rice cooker, "Kamado-san".

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Dessert was made by my friend Yuko, who is an exceptionally talented pastry chef. She made a kabocha paris-brest. Amazing!

We had a wonderful happy donabe night.

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Christmas Eve was a dinner party at my friend's house.

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My friend, Chef Morihiro Onodera, came to make sashimi and sushi for us! Mori-san's sushi is simply magical, especially when he makes it with his own harvest Koshihikari rice from Uruguay.

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I got to take home some leftover "kobujime tai" (sea bream, cured in kelp), which Mori-san made, so I shared it with friends on Christmas Day by making it carpaccio style. It made a perfect appetizer for Christmas dinner.