This is a "laterpost" (haha, instead of latergram 🤣) that I had started writing last year when the hubby and I went clamming for the first time and got a little over 2 dozen clams! Life got in the way and I completely forgot to publish it, but now that I am living in Illinois and it's hard to find "fresh" seafood, I find myself really missing the days we went crabbing and clamming in New Jersey.
It was such a fun time and also a bit of a workout--who knew raking for clams would be so tiring! My muscles were so sore the next day, but I didn't feel tired at all while digging! (Maybe that's the best kind of workout? Hahaha) We dug for clams in the shallows of New Jersey's Barnegat Bay. The water is relatively clear in the shallows and we used little gardening rakes from Home Depot. You basically rake through the sand and if you hit something, you dig it out with your hands! Sometimes it might be a rock, but if you're lucky, you get a clam! It's really a hit and miss but it's so exciting to find them, especially if you find a huge one! After the first time we went, we fell in love with clamming and went back a couple more times--and would come back with upwards of 60+ clams! They were always so sweet and fresh, and I would make dishes like stuffed clams, pasta with clams, steamed clams in wine sauce, or clam chowder with the big clams. 💗💗💗
Clamming was also a great to be away from our phones for a few hours and spend some quality time together. My family never understood why we liked to go catch our own crabs and I'm sure it's the same when it comes to clamming—they always say, "Why don't you just go buy them from the market? Less work!" But there's something that is just so satisfying and fun to be able to cook the food that you hunt for yourself. (For me, only seafood though, I could never hunt mammals in the wild like deer. To each their own I guess!) 😁
We purged the clams overnight to get rid of the sand and then enjoyed them as linguine with white wine clam sauce! Nothing like cooking your own catch! This recipe is a Japanese style recipe based on the Italian clams with white wine sauce over linguine. Of course you can always do the original Italian version, but in our house, I always like to put a little Asian spin on things 😎 Instead of white wine, I use Japanese sake and topped it with nori furikake (seaweed seasoning typically used for white rice). I found the Japanese sake to add an inherent sweetness to the dish that regular white wine doesn't provide, which also enhanced the sweet, fresh clam flavor. I also found that the clams had plenty of their own natural salty flavor (as did the bacon) and that I didn't need to add much salt if at all to the dish when cooking!
I hope that one day we can go back and go clamming and crabbing again 💗 I hope you get a chance to as well, and if not, at least enjoy this yummy clams and linguine dish 😊
JAPANESE STYLE LINGUINE WITH CLAMS
Makes 2 servings
Until next time,
If you love noodles and pasta as much as I do, be sure to check out some of my other favorite noodle recipes, like:
Air Fryer Beef Chow Mein
Dan Dan Noodles
Lobster Garlic Noodles
Braised Beef Noodle Soup
Korean Jap Chae Noodles
Shrimp Cheung Fun
Let's talk kale today. I could talk all about the benefits of this superfood vegetable that is great for you, but let's be real here, you can do your own research on that if you really wanted to. What I will talk about though, is how Wilson and I want to be more healthy and have a more balanced diet because we are getting older (30+ now! ahhhh) and while KBBQ, hotpot, seafood boils, rice, pasta and fried chicken every day sounds like a dream, we probably won't last long on this earth if we actually do loll! So, kale seemed to be a vegetable to get behind, or at least start adding to our diet. My hubby only likes enough vegetables that I can probably count off on one hand, and so cooking vegetables in a way that is yummy (or easily hidden HAH) is good.
But, to be honest, there just aren't that many recipes online for kale that I enjoyed. Once in a while, I'll buy kale and throw it in some kind of vegetable and bean soup, but after a while, that got old too. We aren't really fans of kale chips or kale salads, so when we still have at least half a bag of kale left with no inspiration, I was at a loss. But my sister told me to use it as a substitute for dishes I would normally use spinach in, and it opened up more possibilities for me! I decided to make breakfast with it to finish off the remaining bag of kale in our fridge by incorporating it into breakfast shakshuka!
Shakshuka is a North African dish that is popular throughout the Middle East, specifically in Israel. It's easy to put together and is essentially a mix of onions, tomatoes, and peppers in a tomato based sauce seasoned with paprika, cumin, chili powder, and topped with poached eggs. I decided to add in kale, mushrooms, as well as some chicken sausage, and it came out delicious.
Extra plus because it's also healthy, and a great way to use up/sneak veggies into your diet 🤭
This dish is so good with some toasted bread to dip into and smother the runny poached eggs all over. I added a splash of sweet soy sauce and it provided some extra umami, especially with the mix of mushrooms, tomato and onions. The kale and chicken sausage gave it extra body as well, making it a filling and satisfying breakfast dish.
This is definitely a dish we'll be making again and again, and a great way for us to eat more veggies. We rarely eat breakfast--if anything, we're more brunch people, but this dish is great for any meal, but even better incentive if we make it for breakfast because it's so quick to put together and has great savory flavors. I hope you enjoy it!
KALE AND CHICKEN SAUSAGE SHAKSHUKA
Makes 2-3 servings.
1. Cook red onions until translucent in olive oil, then add garlic, tomatoes, kale, mushrooms, chicken broth and cook until kale has softened.
2. Add sliced mushrooms and sliced chicken sausage, tomato paste, tomato sauce, sweet soy sauce, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, sugar and paprika, mix and cover. Add salt to taste if you feel you need it. Then lower heat to medium and cook for about 3 minutes.
3. Open and mix again, then crack 4 eggs on top of the mixture and cover again, cook for about 5-8 minutes or keep an eye on it until eggs reach your preferred doneness. I like them just cooked until the egg whites are no longer transparent and the yolk is still runny!
4. Garnish with fresh cracked black pepper and chopped parsley. Enjoy with buttered, toasted bread!
Until next time,
Lately, I've noticed that being in quarantine seems to be making everyone a little bit more creative in the kitchen, which is great! Perhaps out of necessity because we only have certain ingredients at home, or maybe because we're tired of eating the same things over and over. Either way, I am amazed and inspired by so many people posting their creations online.
Being in quarantine also means craving food that we don't regularly make at home, like fried chicken or like sushi and sashimi, which we normally eat out. But not having had sushi for a while and then going into quarantine, made us crave it big time. After all, we don't know when we will be able to go back to our favorite Japanese sushi restaurants! So while we were picking up groceries and essentials at Costco, we got a pack of farm raised Atlantic salmon for our poke bowl dinner.
And this is what I came up with. Drool worthy goodness. A salmon party in your mouth!
Now why Costco, you might ask? Is it safe? Is it sushi grade? Well the answer is that there will always be risk when eating raw fish, no matter where you buy it from. But of course, if you have access to sushi grade salmon, then go for it!
I and many other friends and family have regularly bought farm raised salmon from Costco for raw consumption and have never had any issues. We also eat it within the first two days of buying it, and any leftovers are cooked in other recipes or portioned out for the freezer to be cooked another time. If you are thinking of going to Costco for sushi night, I recommend this article from Sushi Modern as a guide for what to buy.
So after buying some farm raised Atlantic salmon from Costco, I set to work creating a hybrid dish that combines our favorite flavors from Hawaii and Japan. When we were in Hawaii, we got poke almost every other day! At restaurants, from ABC stores (they're like the equivalent of 7 Elevens but better!), and food trucks, everywhere! The fish was always fresh and the different versions were fun to explore. Our favorites were the oyster sauce pokes and the spicy salmon pokes! Our version in this recipe is a mix of sweet from the honey, saltiness from the soy and oyster sauce, heat from the spicy mayo and tang from the fresh lime juice melding perfectly together, sitting on top of a bed of seasoned sushi rice.
On top of our poke bowl we included strips of salmon seared with a blow torch. This was something we were inspired from watching sushi chefs lightly sear salmon nigiri before serving. The first time I remembered having it served this way was Kura Revolving Sushi Bar, a conveyor belt sushi place in Los Angeles's Little Tokyo. While conveyor sushi places tend to have a rep for having low quality fish or questionable freshness, Kura blew us away with their surprisingly sophisticated, creative and fresh offerings, with a la carte options delivered to you directly on a "bullet train" belt. When we first tried the seared salmon with mayo nigiri, it immediately became a favorite and if we didn't see it going past us on the belt, we would get direct orders to come to our table via bullet train. Somehow, searing it just makes the salmon feel extra soft and buttery, especially if you have a nice fatty cut of salmon! Adding the mayo on top just made it that much more creamy. So, with this in mind, we decided to torch sear our poke bowl salmon slices as well. Plus, the hubby loves to use the blowtorch any chance he gets. (He has claimed the blow torch and the grill his domain, lol.)
The sauce goes well with the rice and the salmon is just so, so good. Sprinkle some furikake and drizzle some Japanese kewpie mayo as a finishing touch and it is perfect! We hope you enjoy it!
• 3 cups uncooked Japanese sushi rice
• 1/2 cup Sushi rice vinegar
• 2 tbsp sugar
• 2 tsp salt
Spicy Salmon Poke:
• fresh sushi grade salmon (we usually use Costco farm raised salmon and have never had issues with it) cubed to bite sized pieces
• 1 tbsp oyster sauce
• 1 tbsp lite soy sauce
• 1/2 juice squeezed from lime or lemon
• 1 tbsp honey
• 1.5 tbsp Japanese kewpie mayo
• .5 tbsp Sriracha chili sauce (I usually add more to mine because I like spicy, but just gradually add to your preference)
• 1 tsp sesame oil
• 2 tbsp scallions
• 1/4 chopped red onion
• 1/2 avocado, cubed
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Seaweed furikake rice seasoning
• Salmon strips thinly sliced to top the bowl
• La-Yu chili oil to taste
1. Cube avocado and chop red onion. Cube the salmon and reserve slices of salmon to use for searing later. Mix the cubed salmon, cubed avocado and chopped red onion with all the salmon poke sauce and seasonings and chill in the fridge until ready to use.
2. Cook your sushi rice according to manufacturer instructions. Usually about 40-45 min in the rice cooker, about 20 minute on stove top.
3. When rice is ready, take it out and add sushi vinegar, salt and sugar. Mix well and let cool to room temp.
3. Fill your bowl with rice, add your salmon poke and top with salmon strips. Use a blow torch to sear the top. Shake some furikake seasoning on top of the salmon strips, some La-Yu chili oil (optional), then add some kewpie mayo for extra creaminess. Enjoy!
Just a gal who loves to eat and cook ❤