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With the weather being in the high 80s-90s F (30sC), I just want something cool and easy to eat. My solution to this was makeshift sushi. This takes us back to the “good old days” about a year ago when I tried the similar shrimp and garlic roll, but with less ingredients and no sushi mat.

Of course, this doesn’t mean I’m a sushi chef. Far from it. But it’s definitely a fun party food. You can make it with very inexpensive and cheap ingredients. I used shrimp, egg, and cucumber here. You can use canned tuna, imitation crab, anything you want. It’s fun to make when people choose their own ingredients, and, if you have enough mats,  they can even roll it themselves.

Ingredients:

1 cup of sushi rice
3 sheets of nori/seaweed sheets
0.25 cucumber
1 egg
6 cooked de-veined shrimp shrimp.
(any other fillings you might like)
sesame seeds or roe for garnish

1. Cook the sushi rice and season with rice vinegar. If you don’t have rice vinegar, mix together ~1/8 cup of vinegar with half a teaspoon of sugar and mix until the sugar dissolves. Mix with cooked rice to flavor. Wait for rice to cool to room temperature.

2. Scoop some rice and spread flat on nori, which should be on top of your bamboo mat. Leave about a centimeter on top and bottom ends of the nori.

3. Place one of each filling ingredient on the inside and roll up the nori one time. Make sure to roll it up and squeeze tightly before continuing to roll. After each roll, squeeze the sushi mat tightly to make sure the fillings stay in place.

4. Take a sharp knife and cut into bite-sized pieces (or just eat it as the whole roll? haha)

Like I mentioned before, ingredients can be substituted for what you like. I tried experimenting and came out with different rolls that were just perfect and cool enough for some really hot weather.

To have the rice on the outside and the nori on the inside, simply place the rice directly on the sushi mat and then put the nori on top. If you want to try this, I’d suggest wrapping your mat in plastic wrap so you don’t have a nightmare cleaning the mat after.

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It’s that (second) time of the year again, folks! Ann Arbor’s Restaurant Week just passed by, and when Restaurant Week opens, students (or jobless alumni like me) go flocking!

This time around, I visited Real Seafood Company for lunch and The Earle for dinner. Unfortunately, my (mediocre) photos only came out for RSC since it was too dark in the Earle for me to photograph, especially since I make it a policy to not use my camera’s flash.


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I can’t believe I forgot to post these!

These little crabs (the body of the crab is about the size of a penny) were from Pacific Mall in Toronto. My cousin got these for me as a snack since I told her that Ann Arbor was, in many ways, like a “village”.

It’s just a cute little snack that are incredibly…exotic, for lack of a better term.
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My apologies for the long long absence! Once again, school was frying up my life as I scrambled to get everything under control and find some time to sleep as well. It also didn’t help that my computer was broken for about a week over New Year’s (when I actually had time to post…) But everything’s slowed down (just a teeny bit) and fixed so I can post about my experiment today!

There is a small chain of restaurants here on my campus called “No Thai!” I normally go there when I’m craving some nice “Asian” noodles. Asian in the sense that it’s Asian American, kind of like how “chow mein” is Asian (aka, not really Asian).

About two weeks ago, I went to No Thai and ordered Pad Thai since I had gotten the “Drunken Noodles” last time. I wasn’t particularly impressed, but then again, what could I expect from a chain semi-fast food store?

So, today, I thought I’d give my own (inauthentic, probably) version of Pad Thai a try. I was craving for something that reminded me that sunny snow-less places still exist somewhere out there.

I used this recipe from Thai Table and modified it for myself.

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When I say an accident, I mean it.

I had a salad the other day, and I felt like making something other than the dressing I used in the Apple and Breaded Chicken Salad, so I thought I’d come up with the “brilliant” idea of making a miso-based dressing. Honestly, it wasn’t too bad…I guess. Separately, the dressing and the salad probably would have tasted better. So it might not be unsurprising that I had a lot of this murky dark dressing leftover.

As I was doing the dishes, I was trying to figure out what to do with all this leftover dressing. I didn’t have enough vegetables leftover for a salad, and I just couldn’t figure out what the taste and texture reminded me of.  And then it hit me! I had jajang myun for the first time a few weeks ago, and I figured by adjusting the flavor a little would give me the same type of taste (if not the color). I then added glops of peanut butter to thicken the mixture and poured it all on top of a bed of rice noodles before topping it with some cooked slices of pork shoulder butt, shallots, and nori.

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It doesn’t make much sense to me when people are told not play with food. I mean, if what we food bloggers are doing isn’t considered “playing with food”, then what exactly are we doing? I mean, I’m turning 20 this year, and I still make noises (when no one’s looking or listening) when I’m trying to swallow a spoonful of mystery glop.

The point is not that I’m extremely childish (although that may be the case), or that I’m actually a nutcase that can only be fed liquids (which is not so much, but also possibly, the case). The point is, playing with food actually makes the food more enjoyable, regardless of age. Kids love eating those mashed peas and beef when it comes zooming at them and “crash lands” in their teethless mouths. Adults would probably love a chocolate-sculpted airplane that could fly into their mouths and save them the effort of reaching into the chocolate jar.

Which, sort of, leads me to these sweet potato boats I made one day.

It’s amazing how few savory yam recipes exist out there. Thus, this is mostly my invention. It’s amazingly simple and is good enough when you need something simple and fairly healthy.

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It feels like it’s been ages since I made a post! Life has been busy and I was up slaving away on papers about pro wrestlers and Olympic advertisements.

But let’s return to the favorite subject of the every day, shall we? Food!

I was craving something like sushi again, but cheaper and perhaps a bit more within my budget that I could make in my historic landmark/very old and seemingly lacking kitchen.

My solution? Chirashizushi.

This is really the easiest of the easy even though I was missing a key ingredient. It’s fun since you can put pretty much anything you want with what you have, and it feels (falsely) advanced since the end product looks so nice. I’m also a person who likes to cut, and this dish really offers a lot of opportunities to use my trusty meat cleaver. Thus, if you like eating (or why else would you be here?), Japanese food, rice, and/or cutting, this is probably a perfect dish for you.

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So maybe I’m a liar, and I don’t really nibble, but you can nibble these snacks! I’m usually too impatient, so I shove the entire thing in my mouth and bite. I used to be so proud of this until my dentist praised me (ironically) and told me, “You have a big mouth! We like that around here!”

My mom got a kick out of that.

But I digress.

Back to what I originally planned to say. I’ve been having terrible cravings all week, and I finally decided to whip this one up. It’s super duper easy (like everything else), and passable for a quick craving (although I went and dug something else up again anyways). It’s also simple and delicious, if a bit plain for those master chefs out there.

More photos and the super duper easy recipe behind the jump.

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Who doesn’t love this typical dim sum restaurant dish? At dim sum restaurants, it’s almost always a must for my family. The problem is that there’s a big difference in the taste if it’s cold or fresh and hot, so we always look to see if there’s steam rising from the dish before we take it.

But besides that, there aren’t any decent dim sum restaurants around here in Michigan, so the only option I had was to attempt to recreate the salt and pepper calamari on my own in my less-than-satisfactory kitchen.

It turned out fairly well considering how I was cooking this from memory and how I didn’t measure my ingredients again, so I might just do it again sometime. : )

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Well, the name is something I made up just now because it’s mostly sea products.

To be honest, I pride myself in my quick and easy soup noodles because…well, they’re quick and easy. The easy also applies to cleaning up after. I normally make these several times a week while changing up the ingredients, and they’re pretty healthy because of the vegetables and protein.

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