Note: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Millennial Central for Kirin. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a SUSHI KIT!!! to thank me for my participation.
Hear me out- I am a person who is the beneficiary of magic. Okay, maybe ambition. All right, maybe it’s just dumb luck. For whatever reason, good things happen to me and it’s freaking awesome. I receive fun and strange compliments on my outfits from strangers. Packages arrive at my door at random. Brooks Brothers gives me amazing discounts, though that could also be because I spend the average GNP’s worth of a small country at their online store. And this week, in the mail, I got a real, live sushi kit, complete with pickled ginger, rice, and a six-pack of beer.
Kirin Ichiban, a Japanese beer, has a light, honeyed flavor that compelled us to fling open the windows and blast Janis from the floor to the skylights. It heralded summer to our doors, and when the thermometer hit 70, we roasted a chicken and gorged ourselves on rice and tuna.Two recipes, one sushi kit: the first, beer and wasabi-glazed roasted chicken with avocado and fried shallot rolls. Big bruisers of sushi rolls that hardly qualify as sushi, yet are too good to not recreate. The latter, daintier, more traditional- Kirin-marinated ahi tuna with mango, smoked sea salt, and black sesame seeds.The beer is strong and malty, with a pure, almost sweet flavor to it. I use Thomas Keller’s roast chicken recipe, and try to get it bone-dry. After a marinade of wasabi, lemon, chicken stock, and soy sauce overnight, I dried it under a vent fan and patted it down with a towel to roast at 450 degrees for 45 minutes. In lieu of beer as added moisture, I decided to reduce it down into a thick glaze with mirin wine, soy sauce, and wasabi paste to be painted on the chicken after I pulled it out of the oven. Simmer.Of course, we threw back a few beers while we were cooking as well. No sense in letting good booze go to waste around here. The natural crispness of the beer countered the fattier parts of the chicken, and made for a sticky, sweet glaze that melted over the chicken and seeped into the skin.These made monster rolls that took two or three bites to eat. Dipped in leftover beer glaze, rendered chicken drippings, and soy sauce, it was a savory, complex bite brimming with umami and salinity.
A fresh, co-op bounty and a lucky wishbone.We killed the plate, and then some. A recipe worthy of Masa Takayama’s cell phone number.
In the morning, our salmon was done, marinated in a bottle of Kirin Light overnight, tossed with mango chunks and black sesame seeds, and a little paprika, and drained in a cheesecloth. This was topped with a generous helping of fried shallots, as well as some smoked sea salt flakes.The hand rolls were moist, bite-sized and packed with flavor, thanks to a spread of sambal olek spread atop the nori to render it pliable.It was good enough to eat with a spoon.