Thursday, March 2, 2017

Sushi Hamantashen!

It's funny how fads in the food world start, someone comes up with a cool twist on a classic or an interesting over the top way to serve something, it gets posted to social media, and before you know it there are pictures and copycat dishes everywhere. Think about different trends you've seen on many social media platforms; rainbow everything, freakshakes, matcha, grain bowls, and the list goes on.
A food trend that went viral last week is the sushi donut. I actually saw it somewhere on Facebook nearly a year ago, but for some reason last week it resurfaced and now it's everywhere. A google search came up with over 22,000,000 hits!
When I saw the sushi donut several months ago before this new trend began I actually wrote it down on my must cook list because I had just bought a donut pan when I was in America, but like many things on that list I never got around to making them.

Many Jewish holidays are celebrated with food - there's famous saying: they tried to kill us, we survived, let's eat! The holiday of Purim is no different, we celebrate with a big meal of many delicious dishes and plenty of alcohol. The most traditional food of purim is the hamantash, a triangular three cornered pastry filled with sweet jam. The pastry is shaped like a triangle to symbolize the hat of Haman, the villain of the Purim story who tried to annihilate the Jewish people. The filling is a little hidden to represent the hidden hand of G-d throughout the story and the amazing miracles He performed to save us. Click here to learn more about Purim.

Every year people try to to push the limits on hamantashen and come up with some very creative things (make sure to check back next week for some more cool ideas from yours truly). A few weeks ago I started putting together a list of different hamantaschen ideas and I came across my must cook list from a while back and saw the sushi donuts. I thought, "hey donuts are round with a hole in the center, what if they're just reshaped into a triangle then you've got hamantashen!"

I played around with these for a bit to see the best way to put them together and have given two different ways to form them. They work with many different ingredient combinations, think about what you like in your favorite sushi roll and just go for it!

There are a lot of ingredients and many steps but a lot of it can be done in advance so don't be discouraged give this a try!

Many people like to have a theme for their seuda so if you're going with a Japanese/Asian theme you should definitely add these to your menu because they make for a real show stopper of an appetizer.

Sushi Hamantashen 

For the rice
2 cups uncooked sushi rice 
3 cups water 
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar 
3 Tbs sugar 
2 tsp salt 

Place the rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse with cold water until the water runs clear. Add the washed rice to a medium sauce pan and add the water. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and cook for about 20 minutes until the water is absorbed. Turn off the heat and let the rice stand covered for 5 minutes. 
In a small saucepan mix together the vinegar, sugar and salt. Bring to a gentle simmer and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add to the cooked rice and mix well for the rice to absorb the liquid. 
Allow the rice to cool before preparing the hamantashen. 
This can be done 3 days in advance just keep the rice covered in the fridge. 

For the spicy tuna and salmon 
3 oz. fresh sushi grade tuna, diced
3 oz. fresh salmon, skin removed and diced 
3 Tbs  mayo divided 
2 Tbs sweet chili, divided 
2 tsp sriracha, divided (adjust according to your personal heat tolerance) 

In a small bowl mix the tuna with 1 1/2 Tbs mayo, 1 Tbs sweet chili, and 1 tsp sriracha. 
Do the same with the salmon. 
Store both of these mixtures covered in the fridge until ready to assemble. Can be done 1 day in advance. 

The rest of the ingredients are really up to your own preference of what you like in sushi, but this is what I used feel free to tweak to your tastes!

1 Large carrot, peeled
1 Cucumber 
2 Avocados slightly underripe 
3 sticks kani/mock crab 
3 oz. sushi grade tuna, thinly sliced
3 oz. salmon, skin removed, thinly sliced
2 sheets nori/seaweed 
Pickled Ginger 

Using a vegetable peeler peel long strips off the carrot and cucumber. 
For the avocados use the peeler to peel off the skin and then peel strips of the avocado. 
Chop the kani into small shredded pieces. 
Cut the nori into short thin strips and use these to garnish the plate with the sesame seeds and ginger. 
Place the vegetables and fish in separate containers in the fridge until ready to assemble can be done 1 day in advance. 

To assemble

There are two different ways to assemble if you have a donut pan that is ideal, but this also worked beautifully with a muffin tin. 

If using a donut pan coat with non-stick spray. Firmly press a heaping tablespoon of the cooled cooked rice into the bottom of pan add a teaspoon of spicy tuna or salmon (you can also put in pureed avocado). If you don't want to add a filling that's fine too. Add another heaping tablespoon of rice and press that in. Place a sheet pan or cutting board on top of  the pan and then flip it over tap gently, remove the pan and the rice donuts will pop right out. 

If you don't have a donut pan don't fear you can use a muffin tin! Just follow the same directions as the donut pan. The only difference is that these will make slightly smaller sushi hamantashen. 

To turn these donuts into hamantashen you will need to get in there with your hands 
The top circle is what the pressed rice looks like out of the muffin tin. Use your index finger to make a hole in the center. You obviously won't have to do this step if you used a donut pan. To make the triangle place your hands palm side down on both sides of the circle, squeeze your hands into a triangle, pressing the circle together to follow the shape of your hand. Use your index finger to enlarge the space in the center if it closes slightly as the triangle forms. 
The triangular pressed rice can chill in the fridge for a day so make them the day before your seuda and you just need to drape the toppings over them before serving.

To serve 

This is the fun part! Be creative, top your rice hamantashen with all of the toppings or just a few fill the center with move spicy tuna, spicy salmon, or shredded kani. 
To serve use a spatula or bench scraper to carefully lift the hamantashen off your cutting board or sheet pan. Place on platter or individual plates. Garnish with seaweed strips, black sesame, and serve with pickled ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce. 

Seasons Kosher has a whole department of sushi essentials to make these hamantashen. 

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