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A really rich life
Bruce Rutledge
August 22, 2020

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July 24, 2020

Discover Nikkei reviews Persimmon and Frog
Bruce Rutledge
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David Rutledge
April 9, 2020

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David Rutledge
March 30, 2020

Report from the French Quarter
David Rutledge
March 25, 2020

A Vida Count of Our Very Own
Tracy Wang
October 25, 2017

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Emmaline Cotter
June 5, 2017

Eggnog, Hot Cider, Mulled Wine, and What Else?
Jin Chang
December 15, 2016

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Happy Sushi Day! How About Some Sacrilegious Asparagus?
Olenka Burgess
June 18, 2016

Shiro: Wit, Wisdom & Recipes from a Sushi Pioneer

International Sushi Day is here again! Long live sushi.

To celebrate, I thought I'd try out a recipe from Shiro Kashiba's gorgeous memoir. In keeping with our fruits and vegetables theme this week, a vegetable dish seemed like the way to go. Yes, I know—"A vegetable dish on sushi day? Give me a break!"—but if the recipe comes from inside a book about sushi, I think it still counts. (I'll leave the raw fish to the experts for now.)

Asparagus is still bountiful at the farmers market, so "Asparagus with Sesame Miso" was the perfect choice. The only problem was that I didn't have all the ingredients, and I was determined to use up some odds and ends from my refrigerator. Thus was born "Asparagus with Sesame Miso and Applesauce and Hummus."

Now, I know what you're thinking: "That sounds absolutely disgusting. Why did you have to go and ruin a perfectly good recipe by one of the premier sushi chefs on the planet?" But hear me out. I did employ a bit of logic in my substitutions, and the result was actually pretty good.

Shiro's Asparagus with Sesame Miso

Original sauce ingredients:

4 tablespoons white miso
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
½ tablespoon sesame seed paste
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons sugar


Asparagus with Sacrilege

Sacrilegious sauce ingredients:

3 tablespoons red miso
2 tablespoons olive hummus
Probably like a tablespoon of ground black sesame seeds
1 teaspoon grainy mustard
2 tablespoons mirin
3 tablespoons apple sauce

The reasoning:

  • Red miso was what I had on hand, and the flavor is sharper and more robust than mild, white miso, so I scaled that back a bit.
  • I have never been a huge fan of mayo. Hummus is my go-to substitute on sandwiches, and it fulfills the creamy factor, so I threw in a couple tablespoons. Hummus has a distinct flavor, too—I reduced the quantity so as not to offend the remaining ingredients.
  • I had a huge bag of black sesame seeds, and I love grinding things. So I made a powder. This made the sauce a bit more gray than most people would find appetizing, so beware.
  • Applesauce is sweet, so it fulfilled the sugar role; it's kind of creamy, so it takes the place of the remaining hummus/mayo; and it's moist enough to compensate for the dry sesame powder.

So, there you have it. Mix ingredients and add to blanched asparagus. I enjoyed my Sacrilegious Sauce, but in the end I would still strongly advise you make the original, proper recipe. Shiro knows what he's talking about!

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