Foodiva's Kitchen: 5-Star Makeover: Beetroot Shikai Maki with Shiitake Mushroom and French Bean Filling

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

5-Star Makeover: Beetroot Shikai Maki with Shiitake Mushroom and French Bean Filling




I really don't know where the time went...2012 seems to whizz by so fast and now the time for the second 5-Star Makeover Challenge of the year has arrived. I missed last month's challenge due to disorganization on my part, plus I think I must've lost my creativity cap somewhere during the end-of-year festivities and holidays :). Well, I found it again (just) and for this month's key ingredient, beetroot, I decided to go for an Asian-themed dish.


Diva D is an excellent sushi-maker and her deep love of Japanese food and culture has compelled her to learn how to prepare all sorts of Japanese cuisine from cookbooks and yes, YouTube. Her sushi-rolling skills are pretty advanced to the point that she is now teaching me how to do some of the more creative patterns. Like this pretty Shikai Maki roll, for example.


Watching her make some plain ones a few days ago inspired me to created this beetroot shikai maki. I thought the red of the beets would be visually striking contained within the squarish roll. A shikai maki usually has an empty space in the middle and this can be filled with all sorts of flavors. This time round, I opted for a totally vegetarian dish.


I got hold of some sweet and tender baby beets that I cooked and mashed into the sushi rice. To complement the beet-flavored rice, I made a filling out of Shiitake mushrooms and French beans sauteed with a dash of oyster sauce, honey and seasoning. Wrapped up in Nori, this beet-themed dish had a lovely and a not-too-overpowering sweet and savory note to it.


On hindsight, I wish I'd created an equally 5-star dipping sauce to go with the shikai maki but I was in a bit of a rush to finish photographing and writing this post, it completely slipped my mind! Oh well, let's just say that simplicity and elegance is the order of the day. :)

As always, many thanks go to our superb challenge hosts, Natasha of 5-Star Foodie and Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks! The round-up of participants' makeover dishes will be this Friday over at Natasha's blog, so don't forget to head over there to see what innovations they've come up with.

PS. I did a photo-tutorial on how to create this shikai maki pattern below. If I had more time (read: if I had better time management), this would've been a video.

Beetroot Shikai Maki with Shiitake Mushroom and French Bean Filling
Serves 2
Ingredients:
3 square nori sheets
2 cups cooked sushi rice
5-6 baby beetroot, roasted or steamed until very soft
2-3 tablespoons vinegar
4 French beans, each sliced into two
6 fresh Shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 scallion, finely diced
2-3 tablespoons olive oil, for sautéing
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon honey
Approx ½ cup water
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:
1. Prepare the filling: Heat olive oil in a pan on medium high heat and sauté the garlic and scallion for 1 minute. Add the French beans and mushroom and stir for another minute.
2. Stir in the oyster sauce, honey and water and cover pan to let the vegetables steam and soften, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool slightly.
3. Preparing the sushi rice: Add vinegar to the hot rice in a bowl and stir until well incorporated. Add the softened beetroot to the bowl and with a fork, gently mash the beets into the rice. Let this cool slightly before using (see below).

Assembly:


1. Cut one square sheet of nori into two. Overlap them to create one long piece.
2. Arrange a thin layer of beetroot-sushi rice covering the entire length of the nori. Roll tightly from one end to the other.
3. Cut roll into quarters lengthwise. Flip the quarters so the inside corners face outwards.
4. On another half-sheet of nori, place bottom two quarters and place mushroom and french bean filling along the crease created between these two quarters.
5. Place the remaining two quarters on top of the filling, then carefully wrap the half-sheet of nori around the four quarters, rolling the whole thing into a square. Do the same with the remaining nori sheets.
6. With a very sharp knife, slice roll according to desired thickness. Serve immediately with soy sauce dip.

Tips:
• When pressing the sushi rice down on the nori sheet, frequently dip your fingertips (if using) or the back of a spoon in a small bowl of salted water. This prevents your fingers or the spoon from sticking to the rice.
• When slicing roll, wipe blade of knife with a damp cloth in between slices. This allows for neater cuts and prevents sticking.

43 comments:

Culinaire Amoula said...

Oh la la sublime!! Bravo!! Douce nuit.

Anka Wrocławianka said...

Beautiful!

Natasha Price said...

The beetroot rice is so colorful and the filling with shiitake mushrooms and beans sounds delicious. Very elegant plating, nice!

Torviewtoronto said...

beautiful colour and presentation

Cher Rockwell said...

Stunning. I think you are back to true form! Welcome back mojo :-)

Foodiva said...

Culinaire Amoula and Anka, many thanks for dropping by!

Foodiva said...

Natasha, quite enjoyed this month's theme and look forward to your round-up on Friday. Thanks for hosting!

Foodiva said...

Thank you so much Akheela@Torviewtoronto. I must visit your site soon!

Foodiva said...

Cher, always an encouraging word. My mojo and I really appreciate it, my sweet Dorista-sistah!

gourmande said...

Really spectacular ! And they seem delicious.

Foodiva said...

Gourmande, thanks. Hope you enjoyed this twist on Japanese cuisine! And yes, the shikai makis were very delicious :).

Amy said...

These are so beautiful! I love the use of beets here! The flavors sound amazing as well :)!

Maureen said...

That's the most beautiful food!! I have to try it just for fun. They look sensational.

Foodiva said...

Amy, these rolls are rather pleasing on the eyes and they're lovely on the palate as well. Many thanks for your comments!

Foodiva said...

Maureen, try it...for fun if nothing else! Once you get the hold of wrapping these, there are many flavors and color combinations to try :).

Lisa H. said...

This looks great! I love the design of the sushi roll!

-Lisa
Thelovelymemoir.blogspot.com

easyfoodsmith said...

Stunning! Beautiful! Awesome! Perfect!

Vicki Bensinger said...

What a beautiful presentation. I teach sushi classes all the time but have never heard or tried this method. I'm going to have to view this from my PC for some reason since it won't allow me to enlarge the photo from my cell. I can't quite tell how this is created without the photo larger. However the end result is beautiful. I can wait to try this and maybe even teach this method as well Thanks for sharing.

Kristy and Adam said...

WOW Maya! This post really makes an impact! Gorgeous creative food design. Great use of colours, textures and flavours. Beautiful presentation.I have never made sushi with beets, but love the idea and of course the vibrant colour. Impressive! I created and cooked a delicious asian recipe last night and posted to blog 'Bok Choy with poached chicken and Spring onion, chilli, garlic and ginger sauce'. I hope you get to trial it - you will love it! :)

Linda Harding said...

Bravo! This is a true work of art - what an intricate way of making an absolutely stunning piece of sushi! The colours work so beautifully and I can almost taste it - definitely trying this technique asap. Such a wow factor!

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

So pretty indeed. Love the tutorial. I have to work on my maki skills.

Faith said...

This is absolutely gorgeous, and a brilliant use for beets. Thanks for the tutorial, I've been wanting to try my hands at making sushi!

FOODalogue said...

There is such precision in the assembling of this dish. It makes a stunning presentation...and I'm sure it was a darn good bite!

Priscilla - She's Cookin' said...

Simple and elegant sauce is all you need with such an intricate and beautiful piece of sushi! Gorgeous presentation and thoughtful tutorial, too :)

Trix said...

Yay, I am SO glad you did this month's challenge! And it looks like you are back in full creative form for sure - this is just stunning. And so very you. Love it. : )

Spicie Foodie said...

Maya,

This is amazing! I love beets but have never thought to used them in maki. I agree with Trixie, it does look like you are back in full creative form. So happy :)

Hope you are good. Hugs!

Daisy@Nevertoosweet said...

OMG! These look amazing!!! I was thinking to myself...how did you make that pattern! It seems like a difficult task! I don't think I'd be able to manage :) But i think you've definitely given this recipe a 6 star make over!!! :D

'Le ricette dell'Amore Vero' di Claudia Annie said...

che ricetta deliziosa! complimenti, un bacio :)

lostpastremembered said...

Zowie! That is one spectacular plate. The photo is a knockout... the design of the maki is really one of the best ever with those swirls of black and red. If this is you rushed... well I salute you and wish my rushed efforts could look that good =) Bravo.

Tanantha said...

OMG Maya! This beet maki is gorgeous!! Love it. I've made maki before but I haven't tried this style/design. So beautiful and the color of the beet rice is vibrant.

Bren @ Flanboyant Eats™ said...

fantastic recipe from someone who looooves sushi, 2nd to Cuban. Great tutorial and welcome to the club! ;)

angela@spinachtiger said...

Amazing and may I please have that white rectangle plate? If our group did a beet cookbook, this could be the cover.

Lizzy said...

If you ever find the secret to time management, make sure to blog about it...I'm in dire need of some help! Your dish is just stunning...absolutely perfect! Maya, you are an artist...and an inspiration. Hope you are enjoying your weekend, my friend!

Magic of Spice said...

These are absolutely gorgeous! What a delightful dish and tutorial...excellent use of the ingredient!

Spicie Foodie said...

Hiya Maya!!! I was watching Sideways yesterday and it made me think of you. Not because you drink wine, I mean do you? Lol ;)

Lazaro Cooks said...

Great post. Fantastic sushi tutorial. Perfect execution and lovely presentation.

Adrian (Food Rehab) said...

I swear...so many of your dishes could literally pass for art! Seriously.

Very creative with this one by the way. Love beets.

Parsley Sage said...

I give this six stars! This is visually stunning. Absolutely incredible! I'm gonna bookmark this...not sure I can swing it but I really want to try :)

Lori Lynn said...

You definitely found your creativity cap, and it is huge! Such a fantastic addition to the Cooking Group. and thank you for the tutorial, from the opening photo, I needed to see how this was done. Awesome.
Next up, junk food? Are you ready? I'm still thinking...
LL

Caffettiera said...

This sushi is so pretty! Thank you for the picture tutorial, I had no idea of how to make this before.

Sandra M. said...

I am speechless!!! Wow what a great presentation and photos are just stunning Maya! You are incredible with your ideas!

Gloria said...

Wow look absolutely amazing and beautiful!!! nice and awesome plate!

maha said...

sounds new and healthy too and looking delicious..
Maha

Related Posts with Thumbnails