Friday, April 2, 2010

One of the players in my biliary system is gone and the team is a bit confused.

Or, maybe it's just me.  I've been adjusting to life without a gallbladder for a few weeks now, learning what foods (and drinks) I can tolerate.  I tried to rationalize the fact that I have lost my appetite, thinking it's all in my head and if I recognize that my body will follow suit.  After a little bit of reading I've found that my body is smarter than me, it's been making adjustments from day one and I've just been tuned in to the wrong frequency.  There's a reason I can't eat certain things and that reason is purely physiological - it's not going to sit well with the rest of the gang.  There's good news though, I have a new found love affair with fresh veggies and water.  Okay, enough about my digestive track.

How To Make Spicy Tuna

 Fresh tuna is best, finely chopped with some green onions.  
This is yellowfin tuna straight from the waters of Saipan. 
 You can use any type of mayonnaise, but Japanese mayo has a creamier consistency and is less tangy.  I've seen this everywhere, it has no labels except for the distinctive red cap.  I found this at Himawari. It's a bit pricier, but worth it if you want your spicy tuna to taste authentic.
 Japanese chili paste.  It isn't pika (hot), but it adds a nice chili flavor.  I've done spicy tuna without it before and it always tasted like something was missing.  This is the something.

We sent our 17 year old son to the grocery store to buy salt and he came back with this, kosher salt.  Surprisingly, we use it for everything now.  It has nice salt flavor which enhances the flavors of everything else (learned that from Alton Brown) and it doesn't have that weird chemical after taste that iodized salt has or the extreme sharp saltiness of rock salt.

 Mix all these ingredients together.  I like to add some black pepper to it for punch, but that's because I'm Chamorro and what food isn't complete without black pepper? 

 Keep your mix in a bowl that you can refrigerate until you make your sushi rolls.  Doesn't it look delicious?  Only problem is, since I've learned how to make this I don't want to eat it much anymore.  I guess that's a culinary risk every cook has to take.

When preparing your rice for sushi, rice wine vinegar is a must.  Make sure you use the short grain rice because it's sticky.  If you're not a rice fan like me, you can use a square of tofu, but that's another recipe.  In restaurants, they'll add a dash (teaspoon or two) of sugar to the rice  and you hardly notice it's there, but we just go without it.  Sugar on my rice is like sugar in my spaghetti, nah.

If you're making this at home, it's safer to roll your sushi rice in the nori (seaweed) and separate it from the spicy tuna mixture.  We just grab a roll and put the spicy tuna on it as we eat.  This way, if there is any leftover you can refrigerate the tuna mix for later and not have to worry about eating rock hard rice rolls or suffering from salmonella poisoning.  You can't microwave left over spicy tuna and you can't leave it out for too long without risking food poisoning.

Hot pepper, or donne'.  This is what makes your spicy tuna spicy.  
Add this to everything. I like to add it to ice cream too.  Just kidding. 

Well, that's the lesson on spicy tuna for you. I know I didn't go through the sushi wrapping process, but it's pretty easy.  Lay seaweed sheet flat, put a nice layer of sticky rice on it, wet the end of the sheet with water or rice wine vinegar so it'll adhere, roll it like a burrito or lumpia and cut it into desired widths.  Spicy tuna!

Oh incidentally, did you know you can find the recipe for fina'denne on For real!

Oh, I almost forgot, spicy tuna is eaten best with parents who show up close to midnight with a laptop full of movies and margarita mix! Permitted topics of discussion: life, children, goals, plans for the next gathering and jokes.  Topics prohibited from conversation for the sanity of everyone else who isn't dad or Boni: HB 17-45.  LOL!


bigsoxfan said...

So, spicy tuna works well without your missing organ? Bring it on, I say. I can live without a lot of things, if spicy tuna is still allowed. Glad, you didn't get my brother's affliction. an irritation of the upper GI. He's on a high fiber, low fat diet. Take my Gallbladdr now.

Saipan Writer said...

I always thought that spicy tuna only needed donne-didn't know about that Japanese chili. Thanks for the insight.

Love the ending of the post--permitted topics, prohibited conversational topics--healthy family life!