Oysters have always been a natural for shooters – their fresh ocean-y liquid is like a complementary soup when taken on the half shell. This, of course is elevated when topped with mignonette and all the lovely sauces that can top them. But they aren’t the only seafood suited for this privileged treatment. Sushi style shooters made with scallops, chunks of yellowfin tuna, salmon, and fresh tilapia make tasty shooters. And oh what fun for cocktail parties! For parties, fill a serving tray with crushed ice or rock salt. (If using rock salt, keep the prepared shooters in the fridge and replenish the tray as needed.) Nestle the shooters into the tray and watch everyone have a good time.
Here’s how I build a basic sushi shooter:
Pick your seafood. Start with small chunks of your favorite sashimi seafood. For my shooters, I used sea scallops. Add a couple of manageable bites to shot or sake glasses. Don’t add too much. Less is more.
Top with good quality sake. A good chilled sake subtly picks up the flavor of the seafood added and gives it a little punch. After all, you’re “drinking” seafood. I think that justifies a little punch. Sparkling sake is an interesting choice if you prefer a sweeter flavor. If you’re feeling frivolous, skip the sake and top the seafood with hefty dose of high quality bubbly.
Ponzu. Just a splash of ponzu adds a salty note and a hint of citrus. If using champagne, omit the ponzu. A squeeze of citrus such as grapefruit, blood orange or Meyer lemon is a better option.
Aromatics. Minced green onions, cilantro and finely grated ginger are my favorite additions to shooters. It’s best to pick one aromatic per shot, otherwise they can overpower the other flavors.
Extras. I like to serve quail egg yolks with my sushi shooters. You can drop them right in the shot or sake glass or serve them on the side as a build your own shooter. Keeping them in the shells makes a snazzy presentation. Other good extras include salmon roe, masago, serrano pepper slices, and dabs of sriracha.