Ah, Japan…. A country that I have not yet gotten to visit, but which I have the feeling of knowing, at least a little bit, mainly through its people– a people that began immigrating to Brazil in 1908, and which subsequently formed a huge community that has profoundly influenced us with its exotic culture. A people that we much admire for their determination, hard work, and creativity….
They came from a comparatively small archipelago in the North Pacific, but space has not limited their achievements. The economic, technological, and cultural richness of their country speaks volumes about them.
Japan is also the country that hosts the third largest number of Brazilian immigrants — principally descendants of the original Japanese who once immigrated to Brazil…. And Brazil? Wow! Brazil is actually home to the largest Japanese population outside of Japan.
In Japan, most Brazilians are concentrated in the cities of Hamamatsu, Tokyo, Toyota, and Oizumi. Conversely, in Brazil, the Japanese and their descendants are mostly concentrated in São Paulo and Paraná, where they have influenced the local and even national cuisine.
Yakisoba and sushi are the most popular Japanese dishes. Actually, sushi is so popular in Brazil that is frequently served even in Churrascarias or Brazilian Steak Houses — but with a tropical flavor. Tropical fruits are incorporated, making sushi even more delicious and interesting.
It is so popular that I decided to make my own version to share with you. I have to confess that I consulted a third party source regarding the proper preparation of the rice. Nami is the Japanese born-and-raised cook, photographer, and author behind one of my favorite food blogs – Just One Cookbook. I based my rice recipe on hers because just the recipe alone is a entire class worthy of praise. There you will also find many other interesting sushi recipes, which I could just gobble up with my eyes…
Hopefully in the future you will be able to find an additional Brazilian-Japanese fusion recipe here at From Brazil To You. I am waiting for my friend Kazuko Nakagawa. She is the author behind Gacha Mama, another fabulous Japanese food blog that I follow — although in translated form. She has already honored me in her blog by making and publishing at least 2 (two) of my recipes. Since she does not make sushi, I will be partnering with her in the future to create a fusion recipe of another type.
Well, I do hope that you enjoy my tropical sushi version. From Japan, I utilized the rice, the seaweed paper, and the black sesame seeds. From Brazil, I incorporated cashew nuts and cashew juice (the fruit and its nut are originally native to Brazil), cachaça (the most famous Brazilian distilled alcoholic beverage), and pomegranate instead of salmon roe. Although pomegranate is not originally from Brazil, it is widely esteemed by Brazilians for the good luck factor that we associate with this fruit. And finally, shrimp is the unifying element common to both cuisines.
Believe it or not, these ingredients make a delicious and harmonious dish, a well-integrated combination of flavors that just makes me smile from ear to ear…. Yes, I am very happy with the result, although a trifle tired… I have given it my all.
If you don’t already know, making sushi is a ritual, which requires the most important ingredients: patience and love.
I hope you that can sense them in my recipe
By Denise Browning
Yield: About 21 sushi rolls
For the Sushi Rice
Yield: 3 cups cooked rice
(Based on “How To Make Sushi Rice” by Nami from Just One Cookbook)
1-1/3 cups water
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup roasted and salted cashewnuts, chopped
In a medium bowl, place uncooked sushi rice and pour in enough cold running water to cover. Wash rice in circular motion 10 times, repeating this process one or twice. Each time, dispose of the water immediately in order to purge dirty particles; otherwise, the rice will absorb the water quickly. The water should be half-cloudy after the second rinse.
Place washed rice into a sieve and set aside for half an hour. Then, place rice and 1-1/3 cup water in a medium nonstick pan over medium heat. As soon as it starts boiling, cover and reduce heat to low. Let cook for about 20 minutes or until cooked.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Microwave for about 1 minute or until the sugar is completely dissolved. Mix and set aside.
When the rice is cooked, wetten the inside of a large bowl with water (so that rice will not stick to its sides and bottom). Transfer the cooked rice into the bowl and immediately add the vinegar-sugar-salt mixture.
Holding a rice scooper or a rubber spatula at a 45 degree angle, make several linear slices through the rice from top to bottom and from side to side. It is very important to not mix the rice, or else it will become a paste.
Fan the rice with a folding fan for about 1 minutes. Gently mix in the chopped nuts using a rubber spatula or rice scooper.
Cover the rice completely with damp towel; otherwise it will dry out.
For the Shrimp
21 (4.5 oz or 150 gr.) jumbo shrimp (fully cooked, deveined, and tail removed), chilled
For the Seaweed Paper or Nori
21 (1/2 in or 0.75 cm) strips roasted seaweed paper, quicky dumped in cold water (just wet the paper strips when you are about to wrap the rice ball so that its edges will stick together).
For the Cashew Fruit Sauce
Yield: 1/3 cup
3 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoons cachaça (or white rum if cachaça is not available)
3 tablespoon reduced chicken or vegetable stock (I used Knorr chicken bouillon)
A pinch salt and ground white pepper
Place all the ingredients into a small saucepan. Let cook over medium-high heat until sugar has dissolved and sauce has thickened, stirring occasionaly (about 8 minutes). Add both the salt and pepper. Stir.
Let cool down and refrigerate. When chilled, pour a little bit over the sushi balls.
2-3 tablespoons toasted black sesame seeds to sprinkle on top of sushi balls
1-2 tablespoons fresh pomegranate seeds to garnish the top of the sushi and plate
How to Arrange the Sushi
When rice is cooked and cold enough to handle, form balls (2 tablespoons of rice per ball) and flatten them a bit (in order to make them cylindrical rolls rather than round spheres). Top with one cooked jumbo shrimp per rice ball. Then, wrap one strip of roasted seaweed paper per ball. Top with a bit of sauce and sprinkle with black sesame seeds.
Serve at room temperature or chilled (in this last case, wait to pour the sauce on top right before serving). Enjoy!
Receita em Português:
Por Denise Browning
Rendimento: 21 sushis
Para o Arroz
Rendimento: 3 xícaras de chá de arroz cozido
(Baseado em “How To Make Sushi Rice” — Blog: Just One Cookbook)
1 xícara de arroz para sushi (grão pequeno ou médio)
1-1/3 xícaras de água
2 colheres de sopa de vinagre de arroz
1 colher de sopa de açúcar
1 colher de chá de sal
1/2 xícara de castanha de caju, torrada e picada
Modo de Preparo:
Lave o arroz em água fria corrente em uma bacia média, em 10 movimentos circulares, repetindo o processo uma ou duas vezes. A água ficará meio-translúcida.
Ponha o arroz numa peneira e deixe descansar por meia hora. Depois, ponha o arroz e 1-1/3 xícara de chá de água numa panela anti-aderente sobre fogo médio. Assim que começar a ferver, tampe e reduza o fogo. Deixe cozinhar por aproximadamente 20 minutos em fogo baixo ou até que o arroz esteja totalmente cozido.
Nesse meio tempo, junte o vinagre, o açúcar e o sal em uma tigela de vidro. Esquente no microondas por 1 minuto. Mexa e reserve.
Quando o arroz estiver cozido, transfira o arroz para uma bacia molhada e despeje a mistura de vinagre.
“Corte” o arroz com auxílio de uma espátula ( como se estivesse escrevendo o número 1, de um lado para outro).
Abane o arroz por 1 minuto. Misture delicadamente a castanha picada com a espátula. Cubra o arroz com um pano molhado para prevenir que o arroz resseque.
Para o Camarão
21 camarões grandes (cozido, limpo e sem rabo)
Para o Papel de Alga ou Nori
21 (0.75 cm) de tiras de papel de algas, molhado (esse tipo que eu usei já está pronto para consumo)
Para o Molho de Caju
Rendimento: 1/3 xícara de chá
3/4 xícara de chá de suco de caju concentrado
3 colheres de sopa de açúcar
1 colher de sopa de cachaça
3 colheres de sopa de caldo de galinha (líquido)
Uma pitada de sal e de pimenta branca moída
Modo de Preparo:
Ponha todos os ingredientes numa panela. Deixe cozinhar sobre fogo médio-alto até que o acúcar se dissolva e engrosse, mexendo de vez em quando (8 minutos). Adicione o sal e a pimenta. Mexa.
Deixe esfriar e refrigere. Quando estiver gelado, ponha sobre o sushi.
2-3 colheres de sopa de gergelim preto torrado
1-2 colheres de sopa de romã (sementes)
Como Armar o Sushi
Quando o arroz esfriar o suficiente para não queimar as mãos, forme bolinhos (2 colheres de sopa de arroz por bolinho) longos. Ponha 1 camarão em cima de cada bolinho. Embale cada bolinho com uma tirinha de papel de algas. Regue com um pouco de molho de caju e enfeite com um pouco de semente de gergelim e romã. Sirva à temperatura ambiente ou gelado. Se gelado, somente regue o sushi antes de servir. Bom Apetite!