This is a meeting of heavenly ingredients. But, alas, I am getting way, way ahead of myself.
His name is Yuri Rabayev. And, apparently, we were destined to meet.
I have been on a wild search for a grocer who sells salmon roe in town. I've had little luck. AJ's informed me that they have salmon roe for $20 for two ounces. A bit steep, I thought. A couple of market that do carry roe were apparently out and not expecting a shipment for some time. A number of grocers carry jarred caviar, but never salmon -- and I have decided never to buy another jar of caviar again. Ever.
But what luck. A fluke call to an unsuspecting location -- Rincon Market, which I had wrongly assumed only specialized in cheeses, meats and hard-to-fine wines -- yielded the answer I was looking for: "Yes," Yuri said, "we carry fresh salmon roe. It's called caviar. And it is some of the best in the world."
I was skeptical, but thrilled.
This love for salmon roe is a new obsession of mine -- literally only three to four weeks in age. I ordered salmon roe at Sushi Ten as an experiment of taste. I fell instantly in love. The color. The texture. The flavor. The taste. The feel of the roe gently exploding bead after bead. The succulent nature of the roe.
A literal culinary love explosion.
But I couldn't eat salmon roe alone. Well...yes, I could. And I did, taking tiny samples over the course of preparing dinner.
While talking to Yuri (who, interestingly, I had heard of before but never met), it came to me: salmon roe stuffed shrimp.
With the appetizer set, I tried to figure out what might accompany such a delicate, yet flavor-foward sampler.
Tofu. Miso-marinated tofu. Miso-marinated tofu with bean sprouts cooked in a swift stir fry with ginger, bamboo shoots, scallions and a dash of ponzu.
And that's what came to past.
This dish took forever, mostly because I was having a hard time figuring out what to cook at what point. I wanted the end product to be fully cooked, yet gently warmed, shrimp topped with cold salmon roe served beside a warm dish of the miso tofu stir fry.
I began with the tofu. I had to press it, and opted to do this for only about a half hour. Meanwhile, I prepared the miso with water and a few shaves of ginger.
I cooked the tofu in a skillet and, once brown, added the scallions, bean sprouts and bamboo shoots for a couple of minutes. In with the sauce, and a swift cook and it was ready.
At this point, I had already butterflied the shrimps and gently tossed them in lemon juice and kosher salt. I then put them in the oven in a thin layer of butter for about 10 minutes.
Once they were out of the oven and cooling, I prepped for the presentation. At the very end, I tossed the tofu around in the skillet on high heat, then began the plating.
The tofu came out very, very nicely! I loved the flavor and found that the miso was a huge addition to the dish.
But my favorite, my all time favorite, was the flavor of roe atop the colossal shrimp. What a lovely, lovely and blessed end of the day and the week.
Who's That Girl
- Create. Snap. Eat.
- WHO'S THAT GIRL: A higher education obsessed foodie who is documenting her life in the kitchen. I love to cook delicious, gourmet-style foods for those I love and always welcome a challenge in the kitchen. With that challenge comes an impromptu nature. I tend to avoid following recipes to the exact, so you are not likely to find very many posted here. Being that I am a Libra and am learning to be free in the kitchen, the story always goes, "A pinch of this and a smattering of that!" Thank you for visiting -- and happy reading!
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