When I am sick, I crave for weird stuff. Like right now I want nothing but a bowl of instant Shin Ramen, the spicy type that makes you want to cry! After all I am living with a really cute Korean flatmate who has introduced me all sorts of Korean food and snacks. But only until yesterday I discovered that she had never tried wasabi peas. What?
I actually believe that almost everyone I know has tried wasabi green peas. I happen to know someone who ate wasabi peas religiously during her exam back in her undergraduate years. I remember seeing tones of tins like these in her Melbourne CBD apartment. Literally, tins and tins of wasabi peas. I don’t know whether she still likes them, but well, they are great snack. Crunchy and a bit spicy, wasabi peas can be really addictive.
I love wasabi peas, and I also adore sushi and salmon. I also like those flavoured rice balls I used to get from a tiny Japanese cafe in Caulfield, Melbourne. So why don’t we have wasabi peas flavoured rice ball? However, there is a technical problem – I don’t know how to mould or roll sushi. So I cheat and create a sushi layered cake instead.
The so-called ‘cake’ is actually nice. I like the crunchiness of the crushed peas in the rice. Making it is such a breeze as well. The only thing you have to cook is the rice (which can be taken care of with a good rice cooker). The ‘construction’ part is easy as a well. No need for fancy mould or rings. Just use a foam cup (picture shown).
Simplicity it is, good ingredients are essential. Sashimi grade salmon is a must. And venture out to Asian shops (particularly the Korean and Japanese ones) for premium grade sushi rice. This type of rice has firmer and larger grains than the variety found in chain supermarket. For vegetarians, you can top the sushi with marinaded tofu, picked carrots or whatever you fancy.
Here is the instruction for the recipe with the longest name I have ever created!
I ‘eye-ball’ while cooking, so please adjust the recipe to your taste. The quantity specified is enough for 4-5 medium sized ‘cake’ (which can be eaten for lunch). Use smaller foam cup for appetizer.
1+1/2 cup sushi rice, cooked as per packet direction with a pinch of salt and cooled.
1 cup (or more) wasabi peas, crushed
200g sashimi grade salmon, cubed
1 cucumber, cut into cubed
1 small avocado, cut into cubed
1/4 cup Rice wine vinegar, mixed with 2-3 tbp sugar
To serve: Japanese soy sauce, wasabi paste (the real thing ;))
- Mix the cucumber and avocadoes with the rice wine vinegar & sugar mixture. Taste and adjust to achieve sour-sweet balance.
- Mixed crushed wasabi peas with the rice. Taste and adjust!
- Get one foam cup, cut off the bottom and use as a mould. Place the mould onto the serving dish. Press a layer of rice into the mould, followed by cucumber & avocado mixture, then another layer of rice. Top up with salmon pieces. Remove the mould.
- Serve with soy sauce and wasabi paste.
- It is easier to eat this with a fork and a knife.
Vegetarian option: replace salmon with marinaded tofu, picked carrot/daikon.