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Finger Foods for a Wine and Cheese Party – Avocado Sushi Roll

Finger Foods for a Wine and Cheese Party – Avocado Sushi Roll Sushi at a wine and cheese party has to be the most innovative way to have people talk about your food for weeks after the event is over. Most people think of sushi as this rice thing wrapped in seaweed just like the stuff their feet were tangled in the last time they swam in open water. To make matters worse it is topped with raw fish. The truth is you can have that kind of sushi or you can make non seafood based sushi. Sushi is small pieces of food and that makes it perfect for a wine and cheese party. The easy kind of sushi requires the following ingredients, sushi rice, rice vinegar, seaweed wraps avocado, cucumber, wasabi paste and a sushi mat for rolling. Over all these are very inexpensive ingredients. The wasabi paste can be purchased already prepared in a tube. This is preferable as it is good quality and made just right with no effort on your part. The rice comes with instructions right on the package. It must be rinsed first before cooking. Sushi rice needs to be cold when you use it. Making the rice the day before is a great way to ensure you have enough time to let the rice cool down and flavor it with the sushi rice vinegar. Once you have completed all the rice steps for cooking simply place it in an airtight container and store in the fridge you are ready to make sushi. The day of the party skin the cucumber, cut lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Slice the cucumber into skin long strips and set aside. The avocado should have been bought a few days in advance to let them ripen. People tend to squeeze dark avocado which bruises them and turns it black inside. Open the avocado with a sharp knife, pop the pit out and slice length wise. Now you are ready to make sushi. You will need all your ingredients a sharp knife and a tall glass with cold water. First place your mat flat on the counter. Put one piece of sushi paper on mat. Wet your hands and grab a large handful of rice and spread it out on 2/3 of the sushi paper only using your finger tips. Place a line of avocado and cucumber on top of the rice in a straight line. Grab the mat and begin to roll the paper. Tuck the end into the wrap and continue rolling until complete. Some times the roll will try to unwrap simply the roll with the seam facing down. When cutting the sushi wrap always use a wet sharp knife. The water will allow the knife slide through the rice instead of sticking to it. Give this a try at home a couple times to get used to making sushi.…

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Asian Foods You Must Try

Asian Foods You Must Try Are Asian foods healthier and less caloric than Western foods? It depends. Certainly, a bowl of dashi garnished with cubes of tofu and chopped scallions isn’t very caloric, but a similar bowl of chicken soup isn’t either. But here are some Asian foods you must try before the bucket is kicked. Sushi and Sashimi Yes, some people are a bit revolted by the idea of eating raw fish, but these two Japanese dishes are oh so good, especially when the vinegared rice is prepared just right and the fish is so fresh that it’s still in rigor mortis. Fish and seafood used for sushi include salmon, tuna, though not the overfished bluefin, eel, flounder, octopus, shrimp, abalone and salmon roe. If the dieter really can’t bear raw fish, they can have sushi made with avocado, sweetened egg, or cucumber. Dashi Dashi is a broth made with a sheet of kombu seaweed and dried bonito flakes, bonito being a fish. It has a delicate taste and aroma and is the basis for many Japanese soups. It is wonderful to drink with nothing in it on cold winter nights. Tempura The calorie count with this dish might be fairly high because it involves dipping food in batter and deep frying it. The great thing about tempura is that it can be made out of anything, including chunks of seafood, sliced Japanese eggplant, carrots, tofu, green squash, slices of lotus root and green onions. It should be drained and eaten while it’s hot, for cold or left over tempura has lost much of its appeal. Hot and Sour Soup This delicious soup is made from tree fungus, dried tiger lilies, dried shiitake mushrooms and tofu in beef stock. All of the ingredients can be found easily in an Asian market and they’re inexpensive. The dieter shouldn’t worry about the tree fungus. It’s also called cloud ears and is a black mushroom that’s grown on logs. It’s dried and when it’s rehydrated it seems to grow ten times its size, then it’s sliced and added to the soup. The soup only needs one or two to suffice. Peking Dust This dessert is a bit fussy to make, but it’s heavenly. It uses raw chestnuts, sugar, a pinch of salt, heavy cream, one orange and glace?�d walnuts. The chestnuts are pureed, then garnished with the orange and walnuts and slathered with whipped cream in a mold. Lamb Korma This is an Indian dish where chunks of lamb are cooked in a creamy curry sauce and served with rice, chutney, raita or onion sambal. Made with coriander, cumin, cardamom seeds, ginger, cloves, red pepper and garlic, it smells as good as it tastes. Wontons Stuffed with Pork, Cabbage, Scallions and Ginger Though a lot of people may have bought wontons at their take-out place, there’s nothing like making some at home. They’re not that hard to make, and practice makes perfect. Onigiri These are rice balls and are very popular in Japanese picnic boxes. The ingredients include fresh salmon fillet, one sheet of dried nori, which is also used for wrapping sushi, bonito flakes and umeboshi, pickled and salted plums. Onigiri are a bit labor intensive to make, but, again, worth it. Miso Soup with Oysters and Bean Curd Miso is soy bean paste and this dashi-based soup uses red and white miso, fried bean curd, regular bean curd, about 16 oysters, Japanese parsley, fresh ginger root and sansho powder. It’s very, very delicious indeed.…

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How To Eat Sushi Succesfully

How To Eat Sushi Succesfully So you waltz into your local sushi joint and are assaulted by a multitude of aromas. Behind the bar sushi chefs are dicing and slicing with the greatest of finesse, while everywhere people are slurping up their miso soup, chowing down on their ginger salad, spearing shrimp tempura on the end of their chopsticks or savoring their salmon teriyaki. They’re guzzling dumplings and swilling Sapporo beer, they’re chowing it up like it’s the end of the world and this is their last meal, but what matters, what everything centers around, the alpha and omega of any true Japanese meal is the sushi, the sashimi, the raw fish and slivers of vegetables and crab and shrimp and eel that embellish rolls of rice or stand alone. But how to win at this? How to win? The trick is to realize that not all Japanese food is made equal, and that when it comes to your heart, that plush beating center which all of us must consider when dining out, when it comes to your heart, some Japanese food is positively deleterious, while others are excellent. How to tell? You scan the menu frantically, sweating bullets, under the gun, seven waitresses tapping their order pads in unison, swaying and staring at you with the intensity of lazer beams. What to order? How to win at this most deadly of games? The first thing you should blurt out is that you want sesame seeds on your sushi rollls. A murmur will immediately shiver through the assembled ranks fo attendant diners as they all confirm the wisdom of your choice. Sesame seeds are an excellent source of brain enhancing magnesium. Now, should be visiting a restaurant of poor quality, and all seven waitresses cast themselves down in apology, stating that they have none, don’t panic: order masago caviar for the win! It’s a great source of omega-3’s, yo. Then, move onto the next part, don’t hesitate, don’t squander your hard earned edge. If possible, order sushi that has either Atlantic salmon, farmed rainbow trout or Pacific halibut. Those should be your fish of choice, due to their excellent protein content and high omega-3’s. Leave the tuna alone, don’t be a hoodlum. They’re being fished into extinction, so try some trout. Remember! Don’t eat anything fried! Leave the tempura for the unhealthy who care not for their hearts! Ignore Philadelphia rolls, ignore California rolls, and stick to the raw, the pure, the extreme! Finally, avoid fake crab meat. I mean really, what’s the point?…

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Sushi in Vancouver

Sushi in Vancouver Vancouver is a west coast town. Like many other cities on the west coast of North America, Vancouver has a large Japanese population. Japanese immigration has played a large role in the history of the city, and with this immigration has come a fusion of Canadian and Japanese culture. Without a doubt, Sushi is quite a popular food in North America. While it is now pretty much ubiquitous, even staple, in most cities on the continent the Sushi we have come to adore has its roots on the west coast, particularly in Los Angeles and Vancouver. The well known California roll and the B.C roll play homage to this history. As one would expect, Vancouver has a wide variety of excellent sushi restaurants. These restaurants all have an authentic feel, as they use fresh ingredients from the Pacific and traditional Japanese recipes. Bistro Sakana Japanese Restaurant – 1123 Mainland St Bistro Sakana is a Sushi Bar located in the trendy Yaletown district of Vancouver. While the Sushi Chefs use only the freshest ingredients, and every sushi roll ordered is delicately hand made it still is not an expensive restaurant! Entrees start at $8 and go up from there. One particular dish to order is the $11 Super 7. This allows you to sample everything they have to offer on one plate. In addition, they have a full selection of beers, wines, and sake from their bar. Miko Sushi Japanese Restaurant – 1335 Robson St Miko Sushi is one of those places that you might pass by and think nothing of it. However, if you were to step inside you would find a place that has been called one of the best Japanese restaurants in Canada, and is nearly universally lauded by every restaurant critic. The dishes at Miko Sushi are small, and a bit more expensive than other places but once you take your first bite you’ll remember why you paid the extra money. ShuRaku Sake Bar – 833 Granville St ShuRaku Sake Bar is a restaurant and lounge on the Granville Strip near many of the nightclubs and theaters. They offer elegantly prepared Sushi, Sashimi, and other Japanese culinary delights. While you will notice above average prices, the thoughtfulness of the food’s presentation more than makes up for it. They also have an excellent selection of Sake, which is a Japanese liquor that tastes somewhat similar to warm vodka and green tea. While Vancouver has many excellent Sushi restaurants, as the three examples have highlighted, there are many establishments which are less than exemplary. Remember that Sushi is raw fish and utmost care must be taken to ensure that it is prepared in a safe and hygienic fashion.…

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Three Japanese Dishes to Try – Cold Ramen, Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki

Three Japanese Dishes to Try – Cold Ramen, Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki Sukiyaki, teriyaki, tempura, and sushi are only some of the many foods eaten in Japan. In this article, I would like to suggest three Japanese dishes for you to try. I love these dishes, but I had never heard of them before visiting Japan. 1. Cold ramen Cold ramen is served in restaurants from May through September. Ramen is boiled and then chilled in cold water. The ramen is then poured into a bowl without any broth. Sometimes the ramen is served over ice cubes or with a few ice cubes in it. A soy-sauce based or sesame seed sauce is generally used for the cold ramen and a dash of hot Japanese mustard is on the side of the bowl to mix in with the ramen. The ramen is then covered with cold toppings. Cucumbers, eggs, and ham or pork are the most common. They are served cut in long strips, but you can also find other toppings on your cold ramen. 2. Okonomiyaki Okonomiyaki is a giant Japanese pancake, but this unique pancake is not to be confused with the pancakes we eat for breakfast in the states. In Japanese, okonomi means what you like and yaki means grilled. Okonomiyaki has two parts: the batter and the ingredients added to it. The batter includes eggs, flour, and shredded cabbage. The ingredients added to the batter vary widely and can be one or more of the following: pork, octopus, squid, shrimp, clams, scallops, oysters, vegetables, natto, kimchi, mochi, and cheese. While okonomiyaki is made and eaten at home, eating it in restaurants is far more common. Some restaurants serve a standard okonomiyaki. That is, the table server brings you a plate with an okonomiyaki on it, but most Japanese prefer to eat their okonomiyaki in restaurants specializing in it, restaurants where you cook it yourself. The server will bring you the batter and the ingredients. You can mix the batter and add the ingredients, cooking at your table on a hot grill in the middle of your table. You can cook, play with, and eat your okonomiyaki. 3. Takoyaki The word takoyaki uses the same yaki as you can find in okonomiyaki and many other Japanese foods. If you look yaki up in a Japanese to English dictionary, you will find it defined as roast (for pork), broil (for fish), grill (for chicken), bake (for bread), and do (for meat, fish, and chicken) as well as a host of other definitions. Like okonomiyaki, takoyaki also uses a batter. Octopus and a few minor ingredients are mixed into the batter. The batter is then poured into a mold that cooks the batter into small balls while evenly heating them. You could think of takoyaki as miniature octopus muffins, although they are a little heavy to be muffins. Takoyaki, unlike the okonomiyaki and cold ramen, is not a meal, but a snack. You will often find it sold at festivals. Poorly cooked takoyaki is heavy, doughy, and sits in your stomach like lead. Properly cooked, the hot dumpling tastes of octopus and a bread-like dough covered with a thick soy sauce like sauce. As Japanese food continues to disseminate around the globe, you are more likely to find these three tasty foods. I recommend that you try each of them. If you cannot find any of the three where you live, you might want to think of coming to Japan for a food trip.…

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Do Your Sushi Set a Favor – Prepare Your Sushi Correctly!

Do Your Sushi Set a Favor – Prepare Your Sushi Correctly! The steps involved in rolling up a delicious sushi roll are surprisingly straightforward even for the uninitiated. Although you might balk a bit at the idea of getting your hands dirty with a seaweed wrap and fresh seafood, I assure you that anyone can do this with just a little practice. With that said, let’s dig in to some simple steps that you can take to create a great sushi to pair with any number of available sushi sets: Perhaps the most important element in a quality sushi is the rice, itself. Rice is highly-regarded in Japanese culture as a result of historical food shortages and other factors. As a result, an authentic sushi experience requires that you treat the rice with respect, preparing it well. You’ll want to run the rice through a cold water wash about 5 or 6 times in order to reduce the starch content, making it much easier to work with later on. The next step is to cook the rice, and once you’re done with this it’s time to transfer it to a wooden container, ideally using a wooden spoon. Wood is a great material to use because of its interaction with moisture content in the rice. Speaking of moisture content, be sure to wrap a damp cloth over the top of the bowl in order to retain some of that all-important water! The next important element is the “Nori,” or seaweed wrap that eventually will contain all the delicious fillings in your sushi rolls. Toasting the Nori for a few minutes over a small flame will really bring out the aroma in the seaweed as well as making it easier to serve on a typical sushi set without leaving a sticky mess. Roll out the toasted Nori, pop in your fillings, and seal it around in a completed roll. Leaving an extra half inch will really help create a tight seal on the roll. Last, create a light layer outside of the seaweed with the cooked rice. It will be a little sticky at this point, which is perfect for getting it to remain attached to the Nori. The last step is to simply cut the sushi into rolls. Although you can cut the sushi into any size roll you like, please be sure to use a very sharp knife at this stage. This will cut down on any “sawing” motion that you need to use on the roll. The less sawing you have to do, the less chance there is of totally ruining the roll as it comes apart on your cutting board! There you have it, a few simple steps to creating a wonderful sushi to pair with that new sushi making set!…

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Keep the Flame Burning – Dating After You’re Married

Keep the Flame Burning – Dating After You’re Married Why? Because dating is a fun way to keep the flame burning in your relationship, long after you thought your dating days were over. Dating your partner after helps to strengthen your relationship and build a lasting marriage. Sadly these days, too many marriages end in divorce. We lose the connection and everything else seems more important. The trouble is that over time, we can easily begin to take each other for granted. And like a garden that grows wild without attention, your relationship begins to lose its blossom. However, if you’re willing to make the effort, if you will invest the time and care into it, you can make your relationship bloom once again. So how can you do this? The answer is simple, by spending time together in mutually enjoyable activities or at social events in which you both share an interest. In other words, by dating again. To get started, you should you both choose a night that you know you’ll be able to make. Put it on your calendar and stick to it. Select something that you can both do together and that will be great fun. Perhaps you could take a sushi-making class together or go to a special event such as a concert or a film premiere. Anything that gets you out of the house and doing something together is a great place to start. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, although when it’s your turn to think up a date, your partner would certainly appreciate something exclusive and special. Perhaps they have a favourite chef and you could book a table at their restaurant. Maybe they’ve always wanted to experience the ballet or have a picnic and see an opera performed at Glyndebourne. Whatever it is, it’s not just about the money that you spend; it’s really the thought that counts. So think up some ideas, jot them down and share them with your loved one. Make the most of the time you have together and don’t end up sitting in front of the telly night after night. Make a commitment to spend one evening a month or even one evening a week going out on a date together. You’ll have forgotten how much fun it is to relax and unwind with your best half. Don’t forget, you don’t have to just do things you’ve done before. Why not try things that are completely new to you both. Keep the fire burning! Whether you’re young or old, single, engaged or married, if you want to enjoy a long and successful relationship, why not get our free e-guide ‘Now You’ve Got Her, Keep Her!’ by visiting Your London Wedding Planner.…