The birthday season has officially kicked off at our house. My husband opened it with his birthday yesterday and I will wrap it up in January with mine.
I love to celebrate birthdays. In addition to honoring the occasion of our births, birthdays also give us an excellent reason to bring friends and family together to share good food, drinks, and laughs in a festive atmosphere. But this year my husband was feeling mellow so we decided to celebrate with just the four of us. No loud toasts or loads of empty wine bottles…just a simple meal with splashes of color and a whole lot of unforgettable flavor.
Like most of our friends, my husband loves Japanese food and that is why I decided to surprise him with a home-made raw sashimi bar. I’ve never served sashimi before and was a bit nervous about pulling it off in a short amount of time that I had.
To my surprise, everything went smoothly and tasted quite authentic. On the menu were a few of the excellent sashimi creations from The Complete Book of Sushi, along with various vegetable rolls and condiments for the kids.
The birthday boy absolutely loved the Blue Cheese sashimi. ”The best I ever tasted”, were his exact words. I was proud…
Later that night, while doing the dishes and replaying the evening in my head, I came across three profound discoveries:
- It’s possible to pull off a dinner in ½ hour – after a long day at work and an evening at the gym
- Blue cheese and raw salmon go together impeccably
- Homemade wasabi is very easy to make and tastes superior to a play-dough-looking substance served at most Japanese restaurants
Happy Birthday, honey! May this year bring you a lot more sashimi and pickled ginger.
Salmon Sashimi with Blue Cheese and White Miso Puree
Adapted from The Complete Book of Sushi
- 8 oz salmon, skin removed
- 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
- Pinch fresh ground pepper
- 1 oz blue cheese (I used the very mildest blue cheese I could find at Whole Foods)
- 1 ¾ oz white miso paste
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 1 tablespoon light Japanese soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of sour cream
- Place fillet on board. Starting from the left of the fillet, gently chop into bite-size pieces.
- In a small bow, whisk together blue cheese, sour cream and white miso. I used my ever mighty Magic Bullet blender for that. Add mirin and light soy sauce. If you don’t have mirin on hand, mix sake and sugar (2 to 1 ratio).
- Softly mix the fish with the sauce.
- Arrange on a plate and sprinkle with pepper and sesame seeds.
Subtly fruity and beautifully balanced, Takasago Ginga Shizuku Divine Droplets sake is an ideal accompaniment to the bold blue cheese sashimi.