VIDEO: Let’s Make Sushi!

Tanayas Table Sushi

The delicious sushi we made in class. Yup, that sushi flower is my creation! 😉

 

It had been a while since my friend Dani gave me a lesson in sushi making, so when I had the opportunity to take a class with Chef Eric Crowley of Chef Eric’s Culinary Classroom in West LA, I was excited to get an official refresher and learn some new techniques along the way!

A major key to sushi success is making sure the rice is perfect. Flavoring it with kombu (edible kelp that imparts an umami flavor), fanning it out for the perfect stickiness level, and flavoring it with rice vinegar are a few tips to keep in mind.

We also learned to cut the fresh fish against the muscle fibers to maximize the delicate, soft textures, and how to roll the sushi in mats, forming tight and perfect little circles of deliciousness. The video below has Chef Eric teaching me the ways!

Chef Eric was patient and informative, and helped us all out in a hands-on manner during the class so we could get the most out of it. We toasted the nori (seaweed sheets) over the stove flame to allow for crispiness, and gleaned other helpful hints along the way… all culminating in the ultimate sushi party, where we made and enjoyed nigiri, sashimi and sushi rolls.

We got creative, cutting and adding different fish (yellowtail, salmon and tuna being a few options) and other fillings (avocado, sprouts, fish roe, carrots, cucumbers and more) to customize our rolls. I decided to get artsy and made the flower in this video:

Chef Eric and his team are so friendly and welcoming that I’d definitely recommend trying out his class if you’re a sushi fan, or just love learning new skills in the kitchen. Heads up: the next sushi class will be on Friday, 4/29!

If you’re interested in learning how to make your own sushi, or want to take your pick from array of other classes offered (knife skills, grilling, wine pairing, professional programs, 4, 10 and 18-week cooking series and more!) sign up at Chef Eric’s Culinary Classroom. Happy cooking! ❤

VIDEO: The Inside Slurp On Ramen Champ’s Revamp

Tonkotsu Tan Tan

Tonkotsu Tan Tan

Hi all! I know it’s been a while, and I’ve missed you guys tremendously while on the road, in the air, on overnight trains, boats and auto rickshaws in the 10+ cities around India and Hong Kong I was visiting this past summer.

I encountered some obstacles in the health department on the trip, but I’m all good now and back in action here in LA! Stay tuned for a ton of travel food, sights, sounds and protips to come in the form of videos, photos and stories. They’re coming very soon!

But for now, I’d like to dish some local food news, starting with a preview of Ramen Champ’s upcoming re-opening. Because who doesn’t love a warm, hearty bowl of comforting ramen?

Here’s a sneak peek at the new Ramen Champ menu in action:

A few food blogger friends and I got to taste a variety of bowls, and genuinely enjoyed every strand of noodle and every sip of broth.

The soy-based vegan “meat” was a bit sweet for my taste, but I suppose its purpose is to balance the traditional saltiness of the broth. Other than that, the spinach noodles, crispy garlic and complex broth of the vegan ramen made it a true winner for herbivores and omnivores alike.

You can find more on visiting Ramen Champ at their 2nd floor location inside LA’s Chinatown Far East Plaza here.

The conclusion? Whether you get the Original Tonkotsu ramen, the Tonkotsu Tan Tan noodles, the Hot and Sour ramen or the Vegan ramen, you can’t go wrong. They re-open October 2 under new ownership, so I definitely suggest you go check it out if you’re a ramen fan. Cheers!

Ramen Champ Noodles vegan

New Opening: Unique Asian Fusion At Red Eye Fish

Video: One minute of some of the most unique happy hour dishes at this new Asian fusion spot.

Video: 20 seconds of the most unique happy hour dishes at this new Asian fusion spot.

The newly opened Red Eye Fish’s motto is “not just sushi.”

Indeed, this new Asian fusion spot in Artesia, CA has much more to offer than your traditional sushi (which I am always down for too, given top quality!). We stopped in for a bite and found that there were a ton of creative food mashups just waiting to be explored!

It happened to be happy hour when we went, and it seemed that it was about a dollar or two off the original prices for happy hour items. Here’s what we got, and how it was:

Kimchi Fried Rice with Pork Belly

Kimchi Fried Rice with Pork Belly

The kimchi fried rice has pork belly, and rich savory-sour-spicy flavors. Besides being a bit on the greasier side (as most fried rice dishes are), it’s a really fantastic dish paired with some other items.

Tanayas Table Red Eye Fish Hot Cheetos Sushi Roll

Hot Cheetos Sushi Roll. Yes, you read that right!

Hot Cheetos Roll. Our server said that this is their signature dish, and claim to fame. It is essentially a California roll topped with spicy tuna and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos crumbles.

Somehow, I was expecting more uniqueness and cohesiveness in this dish, but hey, I love all the ingredients in the roll. Plus, my not-so-secret guilty pleasure happens to be those little crunchy bites of heat (a.k.a. Hot Cheetos). So it was awesome to get for the novelty, but I think there are even cooler things on the menu that I would get again next time.

My favorite happy hour item!

My favorite happy hour item!

This leads me to my most favorite item on the menu, the — wait for it — Sushi Pizza!

This baby has a ton of flavorful sushi fillings that go right on top of the crispy rice “crust,” along with a bit of cheese to bring it all together as pizza. It is SO good. My favorite thing so far!

If you’re an adventurous foodie, you should definitely give this place a try. Go here for more info on the new restaurant, and check out the video above for all the aforementioned food in action. Cheers!

One more shot of that sushi pizza. It's just that good.

One more shot of that sushi pizza. It’s just that good.