If you know already about Nikkei cuisine I’m sure you will like this recipe as it’s safely gluten free and delicious.
If this is the first time you hear of the term Nikkei, please explore further, I hope it will change your life (and palate) as it changes mine. Nikkei indicates the fusion between Peruvian and Japanese, a mix of generations of Japanese immigrants in Peru and many skilled chefs that raised it to perfection. And the result is stunning. One of the Nikkei restaurants in Lima, Maido, is in the top 10 of best restaurants in the world, and you will find many more great restaurants in the city.
This recipe is an example of this extraordinary fusion, not just for the use of quinoa, but even more for the use of the Leche de Tigre nikkei as well. I’d suggest you can use it for different fish marinades as well!
175 gr white quinoa
4 nori seaweed sheets
200 gr fresh white fish filet (corvina, otherwise sea bass or cod)
1 ripe avocado
Leche de Tigre Nikkei
Ingredients Leche de Tigre Nikkei
5 mm peeled ginger
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 sesame oil
Cook the quinoa in a small pan with double the volume of water. First over high heat, then when the water stats boiling, move to low heat, cover the pan with a lid and cook for 12-15 minutes until the water is all absorbed. Let it cool down.
Start preparing the Leche de Tigre, Nikkei version. Start by squeezing the lime juice, filter it and place it in a small bowl. Add the ginger (cut in half) and the garlic. Let it rest for at least 5 minutes then filter the liquid in another bowl. Add the mirin, soy sauce and sesame oil, mix well, cover with cling film and place in the fridge.
Cut the fish filet in 4 strings, as long as the nori sheet. Let them marinate in the Leche de Tigre for a few minutes: 2 min for a raw result or 10 min if you prefer a more “cooked” result. Cut the avocado in strings.
Get ready to roll the quinoa sushi - better if you have a sushi bamboo mat at home. Cover the bamboo mat with cling film, place the nori sheet on the film (the shiny smooth part facing the film) then spread 1/4 of the quinoa on the seaweed sheet. Important: leave 4 cm of nori empty.
Place the 1/4 of the fish in the middle of the quinoa base, then add a few avocado strings. Roll the mat using the bamboo mat, from the side full of quinoa. The empty nori part should close the roll. Make sure the roll is tight.
Free the roll of the cling paper, place on a cutting board and cut in 6-8 pieces using a very sharp knife.
Repeat for the other rolls and serve immediately.
TIPS: I had to try this recipe a couple of times to make it work! Here’s what I learned:
Make sure the quinoa is cold and as dry as possible before rolling.
Use the cling film to ensure the roll is very tight.
The ideal is to cut the pieces as soon as you do the roll it, so the nori seaweed is still crunchy and dry.
If you see that the roll doesn’t stay perfect when you cut, you can place the roll for a few minutes in the fridge or freezer. It is definitely not an “authentic move”, but it might help to make it more firm.