Monday, June 27, 2011

The Morimoto Ikura Video

         Morimoto's highly reputable name is due to its succulent food, amazing decor, and its world renowned chefs. Sushi Chef Kwang Kim was kind enough to supply me with vast amounts of information pertaining to his cooking career, personal experiences as well as his knowledge of Ikura. Chef Kim kept the conversation going by sharing stories of his childhood fishing memories with his father and his first experiences as a sushi chef in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He also shared that before working as a sushi chef at Morimoto, he worked and trained at Nobu (another one of Masaharu Morimoto's world renowned sushi restaurants) also in New York City. With regards to the Ikura, Chef Kim stated that the Ikura he uses comes from Japan either packaged or in the actual sac(sujiko). Chef Kim also concocted an incredibly unique marinade that really emphasized the amazing flavor of the Ikura. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

That's not a salmon!

                  My quest for delicious and unique Ikura has brought me to one of my favorite places on earth; Montauk, NY.  This community has been around since 1852 and is known for its thriving fishing community, great surfing swells, and of course Frank Mundas the famous captain of The Orca in the movie Jaws. A tradition that my father and I have, is to go fishing at our secret fishing spot every weekend that we are in Montauk. So today, I strolled down the dock, cast my line into the shimmering harbor full of fishing vessels and watched as my lure soared through the water. As I began to reel in my line a felt something grab my lure and before I knew it, I had a fluke flopping up and down on the dock. Eventually, I had to throw it back since it was under regulation size for recreational fishing. Wait a minute, fluke don't even carry Ikura!

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

My Ikura Dinner

Tonight I enjoyed a delightful spicy salmon hand roll piled high with mounds of Ikura at Kiraku, a local sushi restaurant in Long Island, New York. This Ikura was incredibly different from the Ikura from Morimoto however, both were outstanding. Tonight's Ikura was salty rather than sweet and had a completely different texture. These pieces if Ikura were a lot firmer which made for a more dramatic pop! It is also kind of ironic how the hand roll was filled with salmon and the pieces of Ikura come from within a female salmon!

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ikura adventure

Today I began my journey to find the restaurants that uniquely served this succulent delicacy. My journey brought me to Morimoto in New York City which is known as one of the best sushi restaurants in this vast urban landscape. As I sat along the beautifully carved wooden sushi bar, I gazed upon a large bowl full of Ikura. These pieces of Ikura were shimmering behind a refrigerated piece glass case and were just waiting to be eaten. I ordered myself two rolls of just Ikura, nothing else inside, to experience the full taste of these salmon eggs. I watched carefully as sushi chef Kwang Kim intricately created each individual roll. After observing it's beauty, I lifted the roll and took my first bite. Pop! Pop! Pop! is all I felt inside my mouth as each of these pieces of Ikura released their incredible distinct flavors. These pieces of Ikura tasted like no other piece of Ikura I have ever tasted before. They were sweet, salty, and fresh which was from chef Kim's unique marinade consisting of sake, soy sauce, and yuzu pepper skin. Words cannot fully describe how amazing this Ikura tasted. The flavor stimulated my taste buds in a way that made every other piece of sushi that came afterwards taste sublime.

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Monday, June 20, 2011

The Unique Name

     The word Ikura refers to each individual egg rather than a whole cluster of eggs. Within a female salmon, lies a pouch that contains bounties of Ikura; this cluster of Ikura is known as sujiko. Sujiko is generally sweeter in taste and also has a bright reddish color rather than an orange color.

Friday, June 17, 2011

An Interesting Fact about Ikura

Something that is quite interesting about Ikura is the way that it is harvested. The eggs are collected from a female salmon just before the spawning period when there is a well-developed egg mass. Also, the Ikura is harvested in a way so the female salmon can still be utilized and sold in market.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Just learned something new about Ikura!

            Recently, I have learned that Ikura is not just simply harvested from inside a salmon, placed atop a bed of rice and surrounded by a sheet of seaweed. The Ikura goes through a rather intricate and unique process to make the orangey color pop and the texture much more succulent. Each individual piece of Ikura  is soaked in Japanese soy sauce and rice wine vinegar to extricate the pungent fishy odor that encompasses these mini spherical jewels.