07 July 2010

Dining with Paul

In order to enact some kind of vengeance on Paul, the World Cup cephalopod oracle, I went out to Oto's Japanese Market this afternoon in search of octopus. As is most usual at inland markets, I only found partially cooked octopus, so I made due with it to prepare some tako poke--cold octopus salad.

While at Oto's I perused the aisles of the store, stopping short of grabbing 90% of the packaged goods that I saw; choosing instead, to simply reading the ingredients, so I could figure out how to make them myself at a later time. One such item was the wasabi mayonaise. It has the standard ingredients for a mayo: oil, egg, and acid as an emulsifier. It was just dolled up with cider vinegar, lemon juice, mustard flour, and green food coloring. Hardly a value priced at $6.00 for 50 some odd cents in ingredients when it doesn't even contain actual wasabi.

I did cave and splurge on a $6.00, 60 g pack of tiny dried anchovies (chirimenjyako) to mix with rice and sesame seeds. Not wanting to bother slicing and soaking thin strips of wakame, I shelled out the buck fifty for a little tub of seaweed salad.

I wish I could say my lame attempt to enact vengeance upon the kraut octopus has abated, but it hasn't, so I will have to be satisfied with a tasty cold yet spicy salad on this warm Sacramento evening.

As with most of the dishes I make, I have bastardized this recipe to fit my own tastes.

Tako Poke

1 tbs - Sesame oil
1 tbs - Soy sauce
1 tbs - Lemon juice
1 tsp - Sesame seeds
1 sheet - Nori pulverized
1/2 - English cucumber halved, seeded, sliced
3 - Scallions cut on the bias
1 - Jalapeno sliced thin
4 - Tomatoes homegrown and tiny
2 - Cloves garlic minced
1/4 lb. - Octopus

Mix the liquid and dry ingredients together and toss in the produce.

Bring a pot of salted lemon water to a boil. Toss in the octopus, reduce heat, and simmer for 40 minutes or until tender. Remove, allow to cool, and dice the octopus. Add to salad and toss. Cover and refrigerate. Serve your revenge octopus cold. Wocka wocka.