15 June 2008

Trips to Kim's Are Always Interesting

Saturday saw me sneaking in a very quick trip into Kim's Oriental Grocery (my favorite of the area Asian groceries--of which there are 3 that I have found), which resulted in my picking up a can of lychees in syrup, some bonito flakes, and the best dried mango I've found. I'll probably crack open the lychees a few days from now, since I have fresh fruit post-shopping now, and the mango is tasty, but not new. The bonito flakes, however...that's time for culinary adventure.

First let me explain my relationship to tuna. In terms of the everyday canned variety, I think only the smell of sauerkraut makes me gag more. I really can't get on the bus with anything fishy-smelling, and so I was really wary of anything even vaguely tuna-associated for a very long time. Then I encountered raw tuna in sushi, and in a strange combination of fascination and peer pressure, I discovered how very much I adored it. And I continue to wonder how anything like maguro ends up like Starkist. But that did make me wonder if maybe bonito flakes would be something I could like, because I tend to like dried meats (I'm a jerky fanatic) and I had hope, generally speaking, because the Japanese cooking endeavors I have been embarking upon have all been quite enjoyable. And the package wasn't too expensive, so I pounced on it.

Tonight, I decided to make some onigiri for tomorrow's lunch and fill them with bonito flakes moistened with shoyu. I made the filling first--which is just what it sounds like--so I could try it (no sense in filling them if I didn't like what was going in, eh?). Opening the package, I was distressed. Because it smelled distinctly fishy. But I tried some, and it was decidedly not fishy. In fact, it tasted not unlike that finely shredded beef jerky that was sold in a plastic can to look like chewing tobacco. And again--I loves me some beef jerky. So I was really pleased.

...after failing spectacularly at brown rice (and I hate that it takes more than an hour before the ruin is fully evident--at least when I screw up white rice, I know within half an hour), I made some regular sushi rice, and started forming up my onigiri.

I've got two filled onigiri waiting in the freezer for tomorrow, and hopefully those will work out. These will be my first frozen & filled onigiri--usually, if I'm going to put something in them, I do the whole process the day of. Hopefully this will work out nicely, though, because that would be a nice possibility to add to the rotation.

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