Yellowtail & Tuna Poke Stack w/ Honey Miso
Last week was a doozy. It was incredibly busy for me (hence no posts here, and I am so sorry for that). Work was insanely swamped and had several other obligations that allowed for zero fun. Not my favorite kind of week, generally speaking, but I have learned to accept the good with the bad. One of the extra incidental appointments included visiting our tax preparer, who’s office just-so-happens to be about 30 minutes away and near one of the best Japanese food markets in Southern California. It’s called Mitsuwa and practically every time we drive by this little mart, that Kris calls “Heaven”, we stop in to browse the shelfs, peruse the fresh fish and seafood on display, and occasionally we will eat at the little food court hidden in the back of the store. Kris isn’t far-fetched to call it “Heaven”, for we all know about his love for sushi. If sushi was all he was given for the rest of his life he would die the happiest man, and I wouldn’t blame him. I too share a mutual passion for Japanese cuisine and consider it to be one of my champion favorites. Hence, the trip up there required the habitual stop. For quite some time, I have not stopped thinking about how I have been wanting to make a poke stack to share with all of you. Eating sushi and fresh fish does not have to be restricted to your favorite sushi bar, you can make it at home and it takes little time to prepare. It requires a few staples, but once you have them you are on the road to becoming the at-home-sushi-chef you have always wanted to be!
Here are some important notes about buying and preparing sushi-grade fish:
- Bright-colored fish (dull or really dark or brown fish means fish is beginning to oxidize).
- Try to buy the fish from a local Japanese market that sells fish that is meant to be eaten raw. Our local Japanese market, Mitsuwa, will ship the fish to your door overnight. Farmer’s markets will sometimes have local fishmongers who should know which fish is freshest for sushi. Grocery stores do not always carry fish that is fresh enough for sushi style eating (if this is your only option, make shrimp or tofu sushi, grocery stores will carry will what you need).
- Fish that doesn’t smell. A strong smell indicates the fish is old. Fish that’s smooth and firm to the touch, not slimy.
- Fillets instead of steaks. Fillets are a better shape for slicing sushi.
- 1 TBSP white miso paste
- 1 TBSP soy sauce
- 1 tsp ponzu
- 1 TBSP seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tsp chili garlic sauce (found in most grocery stores in the asian food aisle)
- 1 tsp honey
- 1.5 cups cooked long grain brown rice (see note*)
- 1/8 cup rice vinegar
- 1 tsp canola oil
- 2 tsp cane sugar
- pinch of sea salt
- .75-1 lb sushi-grade fish (I used a mix yellowtail and tuna)
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 1 green onion chopped, green and white parts
- toasted sesame seeds (I used a combination of white and black)
- seaweed salad, optional
- soy sauce & sriracha, for serving
- In a small bowl, whisk all ingredients together (making sure to break down the miso, honey, and chili garlic sauce) and set aside. Chop the fish into small cubes and place into a medium bowl. Pour the sauce over the fish and mix to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge while you prepare everything else.
- In a medium sauce pan, combine the rice vinegar, canola oil, sugar and salt and heat over medium until the sugar is dissolved. Add the fully cooked brown rice into saucepan and toss over the heat for about a minute (the rice will look wet at this point), cover and let sit for about 5 minutes. Remove the lid, and make sure the rice has cooled down (it should look less wet at this point), set aside.
- Assemble the stack: Using whichever plate you plan on serving the stack on, place a stainless steel ring-mold (see note*) in to the middle of the plate. Place about 1/4 cup of the sticky brown rice into the bottom of the mold and press with the back of a spoon (be sure you have enough to cover the bottom). Add half of an avocado, chopped, onto the rice and lightly press with the back of the spoon to ensure evenness. Top with the marinated fish and press again, lightly, with the back of a spoon. Pull off the ring mold and then top with green onions, seaweed salad, and toasted sesame seeds. Serve with more soy sauce and Sriracha if you like a little kick! Enjoy!
- I used Trader Joe’s bag of Fully Cooked Long-Grain Brown Rice. Feel free to use any long-grain brown rice of your choosing just be sure to yield about 1.5 cups of cooked rice.
- The ring-mold I used was 4″ wide and 2″ tall. Stainless steel ring-molds can be found at most kitchen stores as well as online. If you don’t have the time to buy one, a DIY mold is in your future (use a biscuit cutter, spring-form ring, a cut aluminum can, or even PVC pipe!). You could always layer this dish without a mold at all, it won’t have the visual height, but it sure will taste the same!