I know I should be more humble about this but we really knocked it out of the park for this month’s Family Dinner where we took a gastronomic trip to Japan.
Dinner was at eldest seester’s house and we literally cooked and ate for 3+ hours straight! Right when we finished one dish, we would only take intermittent pauses to nosh while we worked on the next dish. Quite fun, actually!
My seester has been talking about a fishmonger near her house for ages but we’ve never had a chance to give it try. So with a Japanese themed menu, what better opportunity? We were able to snag a bunch of beautiful product from Dry Dock Fish Co. and lemme tell you—totally rad.
So instead of just describing our menu, how about I show you what we inhaled.
Using the oysters we got from Dry Dock Fish Co., I put together these indulgent beauties. I drizzled each oyster with an Asian inspired mignonette, topped some with uni and tobiko, and fresh chives.
This gorgeous sashimi platter consists of salmon, hamachi, ahi and ahi poke. We picked up the ahi poke pre-made from Dry Dock Fish Co. but added additional scallions, soy sauce and sesame oil for a bit more depth. And of course, we had some beautiful spot prawns.
The spot prawns were so incredibly fresh. How fresh? So fresh that they were still swimming when we brought them home. And for those a bit wary of eating prawns sashimi style–don’t be! These spot prawns were incredibly sweet and had a wonderful crunch to them.
Sorry, I just had to stop myself from licking the screen.
As for the heads—waste not, want not! My sis quickly flashed fried and then lightly salted them.
Crunchy and filled with unctuous goodness…….
There were also pork and shrimp filled gyozas (that I commissioned my niece, Nini to fold) and of course, some yummy maki rolls. The rolls above were my seester’s brainchild–filled with lump crab and avocado, then topped with seared steak, black sesame seeds, and chives (that she commissioned our niece, Nina to roll).
Yea, we put the kids to work that night….
And it would be hard for me to have a Japanese meal without some satisfying spicy tuna rolls.
Nina rolled these for me too 🙂
We also wolfed down these Honey Pork Belly Lettuce Wraps adapted from a recipe from the rad Nami of Just One Cookbook. Sis par cooked the pork on the stove and then finished them off in the oven which gave them a crunchy texture that was lip-smackingly awesome from the glaze.
And the salmon collar–which we nearly forgot about! Luckily Big Sis remembered them half way through dinner and crisped them under the broiler. Crispy goodness though it stayed quite moist. Not the greatest photo but it was darn oishii!
Finally, we finished the savory portion of our meal with my Uni Pasta —because apparently, we didn’t have enough to eat.
At this point, we were feeling a little guilty (okay, just a tad) and rallied for a walk before dessert. Well, the gals + Lucasaurus went for a walk while the big boys opted out—the guys had gone for a mountain bike ride pre-dinner so we gave them a pass.
Dessert was an Icebox Green Tea Cheesecake I made with a chocolate crust. Since it was considered a “no bake” cheesecake, it was actually quite light and fluffy and was the perfect dessert to end our meal. The matcha added a slight bitterness to the filling but not at all overpowering.
Of course it wouldn’t be a Family Dinner if we didn’t mix up a few thirst quenching cocktails. To go with our theme, I shook up these delish Lychee Saketinis that were aromatic and floral. And although they went down smooth, don’t let these little buggahs fool ya. They pack a punch!
I’ll be sharing several of the recipes we enjoyed in the next few posts but for now, I’ll let you in on how to make these wonderful Lychee Saketinis.
Until next time, Friends — Kampai!
This Month’s Family Dinner Menu
Cocktails: Lychee Saketinis
Appetizers: Sashimis (Ahi, Salmon, Hamachi, Spot Prawn), Poke, Oysters topped with Uni & Tobiko, Spicy Tuna Rolls, Pork & Shrimp Gyoza, Crispy Ebi Head, Beef-Crab-Avocado Roll
Entrees: Grilled Salmon Collar, Uni Pasta, Honey Pork Belly Lettuce Wraps, Rice
Dessert: Icebox Green Tea Cheesecake
1 20-ounce can of lychee (in light syrup)
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
juice of ½ lime
1½ ounces vodka
5 ounces sake
Pour the can of lychee and its syrup into a blender. Add the ginger and puree until smooth. Strain the lychee puree through a fine sieve, using a rubber spatula to push down on the pulp to release the liquid. Discard the pulp and set the lychee liquid aside.
Fill a large shaker with ice. Add the lime juice, vodka, sake and 5 ounces of the lychee liquid. Shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds and strain the contents between 2 glasses. Garnish with additional lychees and lime wedges. Cheers!