Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sushi Ceviche: Fusion style!

My very own Sushi Ceviche: featuring Sashimi-Grade Ahi Tuna in a Citrus Ceviche with a Japanese twist

Spring hasn't even begun yet, and I'm already dreaming of summer night dinners alfresco on the terrace.
I miss my dinner parties with good friends; the delicious, pure, light hearted fare, and most of all...the simplicity of a Ceviche.

When it's too hot out to cook... or when my day at work turns into a full-night affair..
the one thing I look forward to most is staying in the comfort of my own home and "throwing together" the most simple ingredients to create a heavenly dish.  

I've obsessed over ceviches before.

My own summer ceviche love affair

But this time around, it's my new found obsession with making Sushi.
And somehow I've managed to combine Sushi with Peruvian ceviche, ha!
Now we're talkin'!
Even though I'm just learning the very basics about Japanese sashimi
I'm starting to discover one key's all in the fish.  

 I've searched the markets high and low for the best of the best.
A good chef friend led me to the holy grail.
In NYC, my #1 specialty market: Dean & DeLuca.  And option #2: Citarella.
**open to even better suggestions if one has! Please help!

Though quite pricey I won't lie! are truly getting "the very best".
Once selected from the butcher, make sure to ask for them to pack it in ice - 
to keep it the freshest!

Pictured above: heavenly SASHIMI-GRADE Yellow Fin (Ahi) Tuna  
I sliced approx. 4 ounce (1/4lb.) single portion for the recipe below.
An entire 1 lb. Sashimi-Grade Ahi Tuna steak will run you about $22/lb. 
For this recipe, you will need a metal ring, square or rectangular mold.
The presentation is fantastic!

For the full recipe: see full details at the bottom of this post!

Begin by layering thinly sliced English cucumbers on a plate, overlapping each slice in a shape slightly greater than the size of your mold. 

 In a small stainless steel bowl, combine the sushi-grade Tuna (sliced into cubes), thinly sliced red onions, lime juice, freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and a touch of olive oil, sea salt & black pepper.

Chill the Tuna mixture for 5 min. - 45 min. (max!) 
depending on how you prefer the consistency of your ceviche.  
The fish will actually "cook" in the acidic marinade during this time.
The longer it marinates, the tougher and more cooked the fish will get so timing is key.
Personally I prefer mine tender and almost raw...or just like I would enjoy sushi, so usually I just "toss" it in the marinade for literally a few minutes right before serving!

 While chilling & "marinating" the ceviche in the citrus juices,
prepare the Sushi Rice with the "Sushi Vinegar" and sesame seeds.
Center the metal mold over the top of the cucumber slices and spoon in a layer of sushi rice.

 Place thinly sliced avocado halves in a layer on top of the rice.

On top of the avocado, add a layer of chopped grapefruit segments (all skins fully removed from the segments of a Star Ruby or regular grapefruit) CLICK HERE FOR TUTORIAL.
This is a great video to watch...
 and learning this trick on how to prepare what used to be my most hated fruit,
 has now gotten me to eat a grapefruit a day!

And then add a finishing layer of the chilled & marinated Tuna ceviche on top. 

Trim around the mold by slicing away any excess cucumbers extending past the mold (or keep them as is if you's all up to you!) 

 To top it all off, sprinkle cilantro and thinly sliced Nori over the top of the "Sushi Ceviche" Tartar.  Drizzle with soy sauce or sweet balsamic reduction if you prefer.
**I always keep my pantry stocked with a good bottle of balsamic reduction --
 always adds an incredible finishing touch!

Carefully and slowly lift off the metal ring mold to reveal the most beautiful and delicious presentation. 
My 6 layer Sushi Sashimi Ceviche with Citrus Grapefruit and Balsamic Reduction

**Food for thought: this recipe can also be arranged with sashimi-grade salmon as well.
My own recipe was adapted from Cristina's blog, Buenos Aires to Paris and her incredibly inspiring take on Sushi Ceviche fusion.. 

full recipe below: 

Ahi Tuna Sushi Ceviche with Citrus & Balsamic sauce
Recipe below serves 1.  Duplicate the measuring for larger servings.
1/4 lb. (4 ounce) SASHIMI-GRADE Yellow Fin (Ahi) Tuna, cubed into bite size pieces
1 lime (for fish "cooking" marinade)
1/2 grapefruit, peeled and segmented (all skins removed) **click on the "segmented" link for a very clever video!
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt or *maldon salt (*my favorite, must try!)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 large or 1 small avocado, pitted and thinly sliced
1/2 cup Japanese sushi "sticky" rice
1 cup water
2 tablespoons Rice Wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/8 cup very thinly sliced red onion
Approx 15-20 thinly sliced English Cucumber
1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro (optional)
Nori seaweed, sliced into thin strands (optional, for garnish)
Balsamic Reduction (optional, for drizzling) 

1 metal mold for forming the tartar: round, square or rectangular

Preparation & Cooking instructions:
1. Dice the fish  (approx. 1/2" to 3/4" dice).  Place in a small stainless steel bowl.
2.  Marinate the fish in the lime juice, sliced red onions, 4 tablespoons grapefruit juice, olive oil, salt and pepper - chill in the fridge for 5 min - 45 min. depending on desired consistency (10 min. for most tender and just barely cooked). Stir occasionally.
3.  Prepare the sushi rice. Rince the rice under cold water until the water runs clear.  
Place in a medium saucepan with 1 cup water, bring to a boil, cover with lid and turn heat down to medium/low.  Simmer for 10-15 min.  Remove from heat.  Combine the Sushi Vinegar: 2 tbsp. Rice Vinegar + 1 tbsp sugar + a pinch of salt.    Place the cooked rice in a dish.  Combine with the Sushi Vinegar and sesame seeds.  Fold gently until combined and cover with plastic wrap - leaving out at room temperature.
4. Drain the fish marinade.  
5.  Form the tartar layers as follows (see photos above): layer the cucumbers in a shape greater than the size/shape of the mold - overlapping the sliced cucumbers slightly.  
In the mold placed on top of the cucumber slices: add a layer of sushi rice, then the sliced avocados, 2 segments of grapefruit (sliced), the Tuna ceviche mixture, and top with garnishes if preferred (cilantro, nori, etc).
6.  Drizzle the plate and the tartar with balsamic reduction or soy sauce.
7.  Slowly remove the metal ring mold, serve immediately & chilled.


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