Top 5 Surprising Farmers Market Finds for Sushi
Did you know that your local farmers market can be a valuable resource for sushi ingredients? They are full of the freshest ingredients that can elevate the overall quality of your sushi. Sure you’ll find obvious items such as cucumbers, green onions, and other typical vegetables; but there are many more farmers markets finds that can do double duty in sushi applications.
Here are my top 5 Farmers Market finds and clever ways to use them for sushi.
#1 Honey – Incorporate local honey into your sushi rice recipe. Honey serves to bring out depth in the rice, particularly if you’ve opted to make Brown Sushi Rice or MultiGrain Sushi Rice. Also, a little honey stirred into soy sauce and flecked with red pepper flakes makes a nice alternative for dipping sushi.
#2 Corn – When in season, lightly cooked kernels of sweet corn add a roe-like pop to sushi. Add corn kernels to the insides of inside out rolls or futo maki rolls. For vegetarian and vegan sushi, gunkan style bites can be filled with corn kernels straight off the hush or marinated in ponzu and sesame oil.
#3 Beets- There is something magical about the combination of earthy beets and salmon or arctic char. Rather than sushi, try a simple sashimi of salmon or arctic char topped with thinly sliced, cooked beets. Finish it with a drizzle of ponzu. But be sure to conserve a little of the deeply tinged peels once removed from the cooked beets if you’re fond of tinted sushi rice or pink pickled ginger. A 1/2 inch piece of beet peel tossed into the rice cooker will result in a fun color without affecting the flavor much.
#4 Preserves and Jams – One of my favorite sushi ingredients is umeboshi, pickled plum paste. Unfortunately, it’s not always readily available in my neck of the woods. Instead, I like to experiment with various flavors of jams and jellies combined with contrasting herbs. A little goes a long way, but the end result is always quite stunning. Try adding a good schmear of your favorite jam or jelly across the center of a thin sushi roll. Top with herbs. A few of my favorite combinations are: peach preserves+shiso+finely grated ginger, hot pepper jelly+cilantro, apricot preserves+finely grated daikon+finely grated ginger
#5 Eggs – A bit of egg mimosa sprinkled over the top of nigiri or bits of Japanese omelet sliced into thin shreds inside a sushi roll adds more that you might expect. There is a depth of sorts imparted that is hard to describe. Just be sure not to overpower your creations with too much of a good thing. A little bit goes a very long way. And for extra enhancement, consider duck eggs. The yolks impart a richer flavor.