Lox Bowl

Author: Aaron Israel

The lox bowl is a perfect manifestation of the blended cuisines of Aaron Israel and his wife, Sawa. Before they opened Shalom Japan together and put the lox bowl on the menu, Aaron and Sawa loved eating different variations of this dish for breakfast. It can be made with any variety of fish and as many or few toppings as you prefer.

Ingredients:

1 lb thinly sliced house cured lox (see recipe below)
2 cups uncooked sushi rice (yields about 4 cups cooked rice), seasoned with rice 1/4 cup rice seasoning (see recipe below)
1 avocado, sliced
1/2 cup julienned cucumber (English or Japanese) without the seeds
1/2 cup Japanese pickles of your choosing, we prefer various versions of pickled daikon
1/2 cup cooked and seasoned konbu (see recipe below)
1/4 cup crack sauce (mix keupie mayonnaise with as mush or little sriracha hot sauce as you prefer)
1/4 cup fried capers
cilantro
3-4 scallions, cut thinly
shredded nori
As much salmon roe as you like (I like a lot, the more the merrier!)

Directions:

Cook the rice in a rice cooker.  Once it is done, dump out into a large bowl and spread out using a paddle.  Pour 1/4 cup of the rice seasoning over the rice and fan aggressively to cool quickly.  Once cooled, put rice back into the rice cooker and keep warm until ready to assemble the lox bowl.  The rice can be made and stored up to 2 hours in advance of making the lox bowl.  To make the lox bowl, put the rice down first.  Make individual or one big communal one.  Put sliced lox on top of sushi rice.  Drizzle with crack sauce, and start arranging the avocado, cucumber, scallions, konbu, fried capers, cilantro, nori, and roe in whichever way you like.  Other ingredients can be used as toppings, such as mushrooms, blanched asparagus, and many, many other types of pickles.  Have fun with it and go wild.

To cure the lox:

(makes extra, it lasts up to a week and is delicious in many applications):

3 lbs side of salmon, preferably naturally raised king salmon
4 sprigs curly parsley
4 sprigs dill
1 1/2 cups lox cure

For the cure:

1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 T ground black pepper
1 T coriander
1 clove garlic, grated

Mix all the ingredients together for the cure.  Cover both sides of the salmon with the cure and store face down on top of the parsley and dill.  Cover and refrigerate for two days.  After the second day, rinse the cure off the salmon (now lox) and let sit one day before slicing.  To cut the lox, use a long sharp slicing knife and start from the head end.  Cut at an angle, making the slices as thing as possible.

For the konbu:

1`piece of cooked konbu (rehydrated after making dashi), cut into thin strips, about 1 cup
1/2 cup soy
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup mirin

Cook the cut konbu in the soy, sugar, and mirin for about 20 minutes.  Store in the liquid for up to two weeks.

For the rice seasoning:

(yields about 1 qt):

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup salt
2 cups vinegar
1, 3 square inch of konbu

Mix all the ingredients together and store in the refrigerator for up to a month.

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