Raw fish and shredded coconut

Inspiration: Clare Crespo's 'The Secret Life of Food'

Created: Wed 1 Oct 2003 00:06

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Some delectable sushi... or is it?!! Mmmmm, fruit roll-ups
On Sunday night I delved once again into the delicious world of Clare Crespo's The Secret Life of Food. This time, I made sushi cupcakes by icing some carved-up cupcakes with icing that I mixed with shredded coconut, and then topping the cakes with assorted lollies and dried fruit. The seaweed surrounding the sushi rolls was made from fruit roll-ups which were meant to be green, but ended up being dark purple, as it seems that Australian supermarkets don't see fit to stock green roll-ups.

The only condiment suggested by the book was sliced up dried mango to approximate ginger, which worked well. Had I thought about it a bit earlier, I would have added some other things to make the cupcakes more palatable. (In the end, who wants to eat a cake surrounded by a chewy glob of roll-up? Not me, that's for sure.)

One of my ideas was to have a chocolate sauce or topping as a soy sauce dipping substitute. Yum. Plus, there really should have been wasabi. You could probably make wasabi by adding some green food colouring into some cream, and then whipping the cream to within a centimetre of its life. Or, you could chop up a marshmallow into a small dollop-sized piece - but it'd have to be a green marshmallow, and I don't know whether they make those (dying a marshmallow sounds like something that wouldn't work out well, but you never know!).

Last night we went out to Sushi House Ben-K (formerly The Japanese Restaurant That Dare Not Speak Its Name) for dinner before heading back to stare in wonder at the sushi cupcakes. It was a truly sushilicious night. Something that I haven't been able to get out of my head is the fact that top quality and relatively authentic eating establishments do not end up doing as well as they ought when the popularity wagon rolls around.

Less than a month ago, Mikasa Japanese restaurant (billed as contemporary Japanese cuisine) closed its doors. In its window now is a sign to let everyone know that coming in its place is a "Sushi Wushi" store - which looks like it's going to be more targeted towards the young and hip.

When you can go to any shopping centre in the country and munch into a teriyaki chicken hand roll, why would you bother to go to a place like Mikasa or Sushi House Ben-K to have a tekka temaki? It's not a huge, poor quality multi-national taking over the delightful corner store, it's a case of clamouring for a position against a huge bunch of other stores, all willing to offer something approximating an authentic experience, at a lower (but not that much lower) price. You would think that the complete and utter awesomeness of places like Ben-K would mean big business, or that, at the very least, it would do well because it got there first. But this doesn't seem to be how it really pans out.

Quality over quantity, people. Once you've tried Shigeo's vegie rolls and salad don, anything else will taste like sandpaper in your mouth.


There are currently 11 comments for this entry.

Don't listen to her, people. Sushi House Ben-K is crap. The sushi is terrible, the hot meals putrid, and I'm pretty sure there are rats all over the joint.

Don't go there.

Especially not on Monday nights.
Posted by Paul (site) on Wed 1 Oct 2003 12:47 #

hello. can any one tell me what the name of the fijian meal is called that is made w/ raw fish marinated in coconut creme and chili and lime ?

Posted by paul on Thu 29 Jul 2004 23:32 #

Hi Paul With A Lower Case P,

I think the dish you're talking about might be Kokoda. Presumably the acidity of lemon/lime "cooks" the fish slightly.

Here's a recipe:
Posted by Nic (site) on Fri 30 Jul 2004 10:31 #

Eww this taste like do do!
Posted by kevin kay on Thu 15 Sep 2005 08:59 #
hi my name is bob. I think this is a great web site and is way better then martha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by bob on Mon 6 Mar 2006 08:51 #
I had an idea for the fake wasabi. I'm not sure if you have this stuff in Australia but her ein the US there's a product called marshmallow fluff, it's a marshmallow spread if you mixed green foodcoloring into it it would be a nice if gooey way to do wasabi.
Posted by Noadi (site) on Sun 26 Mar 2006 14:00 #
That's an awesome idea, Noadi. Unfortunately, we Australians don't stock marshmallow fluff, which is, for the most part, probably for the best.
Posted by Nic (site) on Mon 27 Mar 2006 09:04 #
Good design!
http://ptobigpj.com/blko/brep.html | http://uirkkptg.com/oagu/kxoe.html
Posted by Shelly (site) on Mon 11 Sep 2006 12:17 #
Ben K Sushi House is one of the best Japanese restaurants around. The atmosphere is great. There are no rats. I go there regularly. The Japanses chef is very nice and the staff a friendly. The food is amazing, better than any other menu I've seen, and it tastes amazing. Don't listen to Paul from 2003, he is nuts.
Posted by Betty on Sat 30 Sep 2006 17:46 #
Hi! I'm from Australia too. Do you live in Queensland? If you have a Coles supermarket near you, they have been stocking Fluff marshmallow spread for the last few years (at the Greenslopes Coles, though I'm sure other Coles supermarkets have been stocking it too) - if you still want to try the wasabi idea. The white one isn't bad actually, but I didn't like the strawberry one.
Posted by Anon on Fri 27 Oct 2006 11:53 #
Here's a thought for the wasabi. Cut a medium ripe avacado in half. Remove the large pit carefully. (holding the half with the pit exposed firmly in one hand, VERY carefully deliver a sharp blow with a chef's knife to the center of the pit in a single chopping motion) This should embed the edge of the blade about 1/8" into the pit making it very easy to just lift out) Then scoop out the meat and whip with a wire whisk or blender on the high setting. Its pretty good on its own, but a pinch of salt and a few drops of lemon juice will enhance its flavor. Voila faux-wasabi. Bon-Appetit
Posted by Maven on Fri 23 Nov 2007 06:16 #

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Commenting has been turned off because of my inability to cope with the ridiculous amount of spammage I was receiving. Sorry!

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