Archive for July, 2012

Delicious Sushi in Petaluma


I wanted to visit Andy’s Kitchen & Sushi Kitchen ever since I discovered it in spring before our big move, and my mom’s recent visit was the perfect opportunity. Although the restaurant’s curb appeal left much to be desired, the interior was cool and modern. The seasonal and new item signs are handmade and may look a bit… off, but the skillfully-made, gorgeously-plated foods made up for them. The variety was quite impressive and the house specialties incredibly intriguing, but we could only realistically eat so much without over-stuffing ourselves. We took a bunch of leftovers back to the house with us. I definitely have to go back to Andy’s and order some new dishes to try. Soon! There were so many tasty items to choose from! Considering that Andy’s has such an extensive menu, I can take my time and concentrate on savoring each of the delightful mixture of colors, textures and flavors.


We started out with jasmine green tea, edamame, and miso soup, which provided a great start to the meal of appetizers. ;P Next time I want to try the edamame with garlic sauce and the seafood teapot soup, which I hope is a type of dobin mushi, a particular favorite of mine. The edamame were warm and lightly salted. Although I forgot to take pictures of the miso soup, Mom’s was indeed beautiful the the crab meat artistically displayed in the middle. My miso soup with tofu was hot and comforting with great umami (satisfyingly savory flavor). I have found a new love of poki or poke, which is basically a sea vegetable and raw fish salad. (Thank you Anise for introducing this type of dish to me! I can’t wait to try some dishes from your poki¬† recipe book.) I also really enjoy seaweed salads, so I ordered the poki salad made with ahi tuna. The fish and seaweed were perfect, and the white and black sesame seeds and orange and red tobiko mixed into the salad were more than just garnishes, adding delicious flavor and mesmerizing bright colors and wonderful flavors. It was so delicious, I almost forgot to take a picture. I thought about ordering a meat and vegetable combination plate of tempura, but I don’t think we would have had enough room in our quickly filling tummies to eat it.

There were so many great looking sushi rolls on the menu, it was difficult to narrow down our order to merely two. Somehow we managed before reading the menu descriptions made us much hungrier. We finally decided upon the caterpillar and Godzilla rolls. The caterpillar included unagi, cucumber and avocado with garnishes of black sesame seeds and green tobiko on top. I really like tobiko for its mild fishy flavor and crunchiness and are kind of like salmon roe, which I don’t like, since the salmon eggs have a stronger taste and remind me of fishy bath beads due to their size. The caterpillar roll was also dressed with nitsume, as cooked eel dishes usually are. I love this sauce and wish that it was featured in more dishes and not merely a cooked eel accompaniment. I think I’ll make some with the recipe that I found (click in the nitsume link above) but with less sugar. I also want to find out how different sweeteners, like agave, turbinado or sucanat affect the sauce flavor, so that I can make a sauce with a lower glycemic index value.

I had never seen a Godzilla roll before, but it looked amazingly delectable on the menu. Ours was filled with tempura shrimp, crab, romaine lettuce, cucumber and scallions and was topped with avocado and smoked salmon. This roll was also garnished with sesame seeds and drizzled with sauce of some sort. I suppose I will have to just order it again, in order to remember what kind it was…. Darn. ūüėČ Regardless of the sauce, the Godzilla roll was downright tasty, and I will order it again. In addition to my recently acquired taste for wasabi, I’ve also found that I can suddenly eat pickled ginger, too. It use to be way too spicy for my palate and stomach and cause me heartburn, but I tried the ginger with the sushi and found it exceedingly palatable. Surprise!

Look at these! Don’t they look drool-worthy?! Yum! In addition to the vast variety of items normally on the menu, there are also many seasonal dishes that frequently get swapped out, as well. I look forward to trying some of those, too. Which sushi restaurants do you prefer and why? Which of their specialty rolls do you like the most?

Chicken and Kelp Noodle Stir-Fry


I love stir-fry dishes and using my wok! I have a electric wok and wish I had a cast iron one. I also have at least two stir-fry cookbooks and actually got rid of several others during my spring pre-moving purge. These dishes are pretty much one-pot meals, which is marvelous, since this means there are fewer dishes to wash. Stir-fries are also usually less complicated, too. Woks aren’t just for cooking Chinese and Japanese dishes; you can cook all sorts of sautes in them from any style of cuisine.¬† Here’s a tasty looking stir-fry from Sea Tangle Noodle Company that uses kelp noodles.

Kelp Noodle Chicken Stir-Fry
Serves 6

Ingredients
2 – 4 T Chopped or Minced Garlic
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Cooking Spray
12 oz Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, diced
1/2 Yellow Onion, peeled, sliced
1/2 C Broccoli or Broccolini, trimmed, chopped
1 C Spinach Leaves, stemmed, chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper, cored, seeded, thinly sliced
1 pkg Plain or Green Tea Kelp Noodles, rinsed, cut into desired length
Nama Shoyu, Tamari or Liquid Aminos, to taste
Filtered Water, to taste
Vegetable or Chicken Stock, to taste
1/2 C Whole Raw Almonds or Cashews, soaked & dehydrated
Sea Salt, to taste
Mixed Peppercorns, fresh ground, to taste

Directions
Saute the garlic in a lightly oiled pan. Add in the chicken and vegetables. Saute them for about , occasionally stirring with a wooden or plastic spatula. Add the noodles and a few dashes of soy sauce, water and stock. Stir with a wooden or plastic spatula or spoon until the noodles and vegetables soften. Season the stir-fry with salt and pepper as you prefer. Remove the stir-fry from the heat. Fold in the nuts. Transfer it to a large serving bowl. Serve.

Tamari Wasabi Noodles


Usually I avoid green play-dough of death, my nickname for wasabi, like the plague. Wasabi is a rather spicy but flavorful Japanese radish, but I tried it out again yesterday and may have found a new liking for it in small doses. If you haven’t tried wasabi dressing, you should; I would use liquid amino and maybe a seasoned rice wine vinegar to make it.¬† Since kelp noodles really absorb any flavor you mix them with, they are a perfect ingredient to mix with wasabi dressing and vegetables. You can also add in some free-range chicken, fish or nuts if you’d like to add more protein or are looking for more variety.

Tamari Wasabi Noodles
I adapted this recipe from one that was printed on the back of the kelp noodle package so that we have actual quantities and not just a list of ingredients.
Serves 6

Ingredients
Marinade Sauce
1/4 C Tamari Soy Sauce or Liquid Aminos, to taste
1 – 2 T Chopped or Minced Garlic
1 – 2 T Turbinado Sugar, Sucanat or Blue Agave Nectar, to taste
1 tsp Wasabi Powder
Filtered Water
3 T Rice Vinegar, or to taste

Vegetables
1 pkg Kelp Noodles, rinsed, cut to desired length (about 4 C)
2 – 4 C Assorted Vegetables of Your Choice, prepared, thinly sliced
3 Scallions, trimmed, thinly sliced into ribbons

Garnish
Black Sesame Seeds, optional garnish
White Sesame Seeds, optional garnish
Hemp Seeds, optional garnish

Directions
Dilute the wasabi powder to your preference with water by mixing it into a paste. Set the wasabi paste aside for five minutes.

Mix the tamari, garlic, sugar, wasabi and vinegar into a dressing. Add this sauce to the noodles and vegetables. Toss together. Marinate the noodles and vegetables in the sauce for 20 to 30 minutes. Garnish the noodles on top, or mix the seeds into the noodles. Serve and enjoy.

Peanut Miso Noodles


Here is another kelp noodles recipe that I want to try out from Sea Tangle Noodle Company. I have a few more that I will post later. Sea Tangle makes two different kinds of organic kelp noodles, such as plain and green tea, and as a organic food company that specializes in seaweed, they also package mixed sea vegetables (kombu, wakame, hiziki, seaweed stems and montagne), which you can serve with kelp noodles or in other dishes. These sea vegetables are rich in fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and iodine.

Peanut Miso Noodles
Ingredients
1 pkg Kelp Noodles, rinsed, cut into desired length
2 – 4 C Assorted Vegetables of Your Choice, prepared, thinly sliced
Sauce
1 Part White, Red or Mixed Miso Paste
3 Parts Ground Peanuts or Peanut Butter
Filtered Water, to desired consistency
1 T Turbinado Sugar or Sucanat
Dash Toasted Sesame Oil
Dash Apple Cider or Other Vinegar
Garnishes
Black Sesame Seeds, optional garnish
White Sesame Seeds, optional garnish
Hemp Seeds, optional garnish
Fresh Cilantro Leaves, stemmed, optional garnish
Fresh Curly or Italian Parsley Leaves, stemmed, optional garnish

Directions
Combine the sauce ingredients into a dressing. In a large bowl, add the sauce to the noodles and vegetables, and mix them well with a wooden or plastic spoon. If you want soft noodles, let them sit in the sauce for 20 to 30 minutes, and then fold in the vegetables. Garnish the noodles if you like. Serve and enjoy.

Kelp Noodles with Marinated Carrots & Daikon Radish


First of all, I love Ani Phyo’s raw food recipes! She’s a super talented chef, and she makes creating raw food dishes really easy. All of her recipes in her books are super simple, and many of them don’t even require any dehydrating, which means you can enjoy your dishes right away. She has lots of actual experience in cooking and catering. All of her books have full-color mouth-watering pictures that always make me immediately hungry whenever I flip through the glossy pages, as well as lots of hard facts about nutrition.


Kelp Noodles with Marinated Carrots & Daikon Radish
Adapted from many of Ani Phyo’s kelp noodle dishes in Ani’s Raw Food Asia
This is recipe is mostly raw, but can be completely raw if you use raw unprocessed oil instead of toasted sesame oil and agave in lieu of maple syrup.
Serves 6


Ingredients
Broth Marinade
4 C Filtered Water
1/4 C Liquid Aminos
3 T Apple Cider Vinegar
1 T Blue Agave Nectar or Maple Syrup
1 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil
1/2 tsp Mixed Peppercorns, fresh ground
2 tsp Chopped or Minced Garlic, more to taste
1/3 C Dried Wakame Seaweed, torn into 1/2″ pieces
1/3 C Dried Dulse Seaweed, torn into 1/2″ pieces

Vegetables to Marinate
1 pkg Kelp Noodles, rinsed, cut to desired length (4 C)
3 Celery Stalks, thinly cut on diagonal
2 Medium-Large Carrots, cleaned with vegetable brush, trimmed, cut into matchsticks (1 – 1 1/2 C)
4″ Daikon Radish, cleaned with vegetable brush, trimmed, cut into matchsticks (1 – 1 1/2 C)
3 – 4 Scallions, trimmed, cut thinly into 3″ sections

Salad Greens
4 – 5 Large Red Leaf Lettuce Leaves, torn into bite-size pieces
1/3 – 1/2 C Fresh Cilantro Leaves, stemmed

Shichimi Togarashi or Garnish
Almonds or Other Favorite Nut or Seed, garnish
Yasai Fumi Furikake or Nori Komi Furikake, garnish


Directions
Mix all of the broth ingredients together with a wooden spoon in a large glass mixing bowl; I used a  lidded 2-quart measuring cup. Add the vegetables into the marinade, making sure to push the vegetables down into the broth. Set aside for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring once after 15 to 20 minutes so the harder root vegetables are on the bottom and have more time to fully marinate.

To serve, fill each bowl half way with salad greens. With a slotted spoon or serving chopsticks, place some of the marinated vegetables on top to fill the bowl the rest of the way up. Garnish with about 15 to 20 almonds or a serving of your favorite nuts or seeds. Pour some of the broth onto each serving, or fill up the bowls to make each serving into a cold soup. Shake on your favorite furikake, shichimi togarashi or other shake-on salad toppings. Enjoy!