Monday, May 11, 2015

Hawaiian Style Omusubi!

     Japanese Omuraisu Made With A Fancy Hawaiian Brown Rice Spam Musubi Roll!
     There are two kinds of noodle house style Omuraisu.  Traditional or creative!  
     Omuraisu first became popular in a trendy Tokyo restaurant district nearly 100 years ago.  A Japanese gourmand visited America and he really liked American style omelets.  Back in those days, Americans were in the habit of pouring ketchup all over omelets.  The Japanese traveler thought that ketchup was traditional, so after returning home to Japan, the ketchup garnish evolved to be part of the traditional Tokyo style Omuraisu recipe.   
     Omuraisu is an interpretation of a classic American omelet.  "Omu" translates to omelette a "Omuraisu" translates to Fried Rice Omelette.  Back in the early 1900's, the Omuraisu creation was a smash hit in Japan.  Eventually Omuraisu ended up being one of the top selling street food items at trendy Tokyo shops.  

     Brown rice is popular in Hawaii and it is a healthy natural grain choice.  Many Hawaiian chefs prefer brown rice for making sushi items, like Spam Musubi.  
     The popularity of Spam in Hawaii is legendary.  One does not simply say bad things about Spam in Hawaii, without infuriating the volcano gods!  Hawaiians hold Spam in high regard and many of the greatest Spam recipes on earth were created in this chain of Pacific islands.  
     Spam Musubi was created by Japanese Hawaiians during WWII when fresh seafood was in short supply.  Spam Musubi is probably the most famous Hawaiian Spam recipe of them all.  
     There are few different ways that a Spam Musubi roll can be made.  Centering strips of Spam in the roll is the most popular way.  
     Sesame Fried Brown Rice is what I chose for jazzing up the Spam Musubi Roll for today's Omu recipe.  Fried Brown Rice is easy to make, because the grail hulls are attached to the rice and the rice does not stick to the pan.  
     Making ketchup from scratch is not difficult to do, but purchasing organic ketchup is more cost effective.  The cost of making homemade ketchup is not cheap these days.  Bottled organic ketchup can be used as a cooking sauce or to make condiment sauces.  
    Modifying ketchup with additional flavors can increase the appeal of Omuraisu.  Habanero Ketchup is one of my favorite ketchup sauces, but not everybody likes spicy hot ketchup.  Ginger Ketchup is another popular flavor and it was used as the ketchup garnishing sauce in today's recipe. 

     Ginger Ketchup:
     This recipe yields about 1/2 cup.  
     Place 1/2 cup of organic ketchup in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1 tablespoon of ginger paste.
     Mix the ingredients together.
     Place the ginger ketchup in a plastic squirt bottle and chill till the sauce is needed.

     Sesame Fried Brown Rice:
     This recipe yields enough fried rice for 4 to 5 Omusubi.  Any leftover fried rice can be served on its own or with another entrée.
     • Have all the ingredients ready, before starting this quick recipe!  Leftover brown rice that is partially dried is best for making fried rice.
     Step 1:  Heat a seasoned wok or non-stick sauté pan over medium/medium high heat.
     Add 2 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
     Add these ingredients:
     - 2 tablespoons of small diced carrot
     - 2 tablespoons of small diced celery
     - 2 tablespoons of small diced onion
     Stir fry till the hard vegetables start to cook.
     Step 2:  Add 1 minced garlic clove.
     Add 1 teaspoon of minced ginger.
     Sir fry till the garlic and ginger are aromatic.
     Step 3:  Add 1 1/2 cups of leftover cooked brown rice.
     Break up any clumps of rice.
     Stir fry and toss the rice with the ingredients in the pan.  (Add a little bit of vegetable oil, if the rice absorbs the oil in the pan.)
     Stir fry till golden highlights appear.
     Step 4:  Add 2 tablespoons of thin soy sauce.
     Add 1/3 cup of chicken broth.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of lime juice. 
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of Chinese chile powder.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of cumin.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of coriander.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of toasted sesame seeds.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of black sesame seeds.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil.
     Step 5:  Toss the ingredients together.
     Stir fry and toss, till the liquid has evaporated and the rice starts to fry again.
     Step 6:  Place the fried rice in a container and keep it warm on a stove top.
     Sesame Fried Brown Rice Spam Musubi Roll:
     This recipe yields 1 Spam Musubi Roll!
     Covering a bamboo sushi mat with plastic wrap is a good idea.  This creates a non-stick surface and it protects the mat.
     Step 1:  Cut 2 long rectangular slices of Spam that are about 3/16" thick.
     Place the Spam on a roasting pan.
     Warm the Spam in a 300ºF oven, till it is hot and aromatic, but not browned.
     Keep the Spam warm on a stove top.
     Step 2:  Place 1 sheet of roasted nori seaweed on a sushi rolling mat.
     Place the Spam slices lengthwise across the center of the nori sheet.
     Spread enough sesame fried brown rice on the nori sheet to cover the Spam with about a 3/8" thick layer of rice.  (Be sure to spread the rice evenly and leave a portion of the nori sheet bare on the two opposing edges.) 
     Step 3:  Dampen the far edge of the nori sheet, by spreading a few drops of water on the bare nori sheet.
     Roll it up! 
     *The Spam Musubi Roll should look like an even long cylinder shape.  Do not trim the ends of the roll, till the roll is wrapped with the thin omelette.
     Keep the Spam Musubi warm on a stove top.   

     Wasabi Paste Ball Garnish:
     Add just enough water to 1/2 tablespoon of powdered wasabi to create a paste.
     Roll the paste into a ball shape. 

     Hawaiian Style Omusubi:
     This recipe yields 1 Omusubi.
     Step 1:  Place 2 large eggs in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
     Add 1 teaspoon of water.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice.
     Whisk the ingredients till they are blended.
     Step 2:  Heat an 8" wide non-stick sauté pan over medium low heat.
     Add about 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil.  
     Add the egg mixture.
     Gently sauté the omelette, till the bottom half is cooked firm with no browning.  (Tilt the pan occasionally and use a rubber spatula to even the edges.)
     Step 3:  Flip the omelette.
     Sauté till the omelette is fully cooked with no browning.
     Step 4:  Place the omelette on a cutting board.
     Place the Spam Musubi Roll across the center of the omelette.
     Trim a little bit of the round edges of the omelette off, so it can be rolled evenly.  
     Roll it up!
     Step 5:  Trim the ends of the Omusubi so it looks nice. 

     Ketchup is the traditional sauce for Omuraisu!  
     Place the Omusubi on the center of a plate with the seam side facing down.
     Paint the Omusubi with ginger ketchup.
     Place the wasabi paste ball on the center of the Omusubi.
     Garnish the wasabi with a long thin bias sliced green onion sliver.
     Garnish the plate with sliced pickled ginger and curly leaf parsley sprigs.

     Hawaiian Style Omusubi tastes awesome!

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