Furikake Seared Ahi Salad with Nobu Matsuhisa Style Dressing

Furikake Seared Ahi Salad with Nobu Matsuhisa Style Dressing This is one of the simplest and most delicious ways to prepare fresh sashimi grade ahi.  The fish is coated with furikake, seared for just a few seconds on each side, and served with a flavorful dressing adapted from Nobu Matsuhisa’s original recipe.

Grapeseed Oil Grapeseed oil has a clean light flavor.  It emulsifies well which makes it perfect for salad dressings and homemade mayonnaise.  If you don’t have grapeseed oil on hand, you may substitute it with canola oil.

Nobu Matsuhisa Style Dressing Minced onion and a handful of other ingredients such as soy sauce and rice vinegar are mixed up in one bowl. That’s it!

furikake - 1 (1) There are many varieties of furikake.  Some are flavored with dried salmon or ume, others have shiso or bonito mixed in with the dried seaweed.  My favorite furikake is simply seaweed mixed with white and black roasted sesame seeds.  It’s the best choice for this seared ahi recipe.

Furikake Seared Ahi I lucked out and found a beautiful ahi block for a decent price while shopping at Foodland in Kahului.  Other times I will splurge and buy fish at Whole Foods paying nearly twice the price.  But when I have a craving, nothing stops me from telling the fishmonger to wrap it up!

Furikake Seared Ahi We served the ahi over finely shredded greens with a side of Japanese rice and takuan.

Furikake Seared Ahi Salad with Nobu Matsuhisa Style Dressing

Furikake Seared Ahi Salad with Nobu Matsuhisa Style Dressing
Dressing adapted from Nobu Matsuhisa's recipe
Cuisine: Japanese
Serves: 2
  • Ahi:
  • 1 block sashimi grade ahi, about ¾ pound
  • grapeseed or canola oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • furikake
  • Salad:
  • 2 cups finely shredded salad greens, such as iceberg lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, red cabbage
  • Keep refrigerated until ready to use
  • Dressing: Makes ⅔ cup
  • ½ cup packed finely minced sweet onion, rinsed in a sieve and drained well on paper towels
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon rice vinegar (not seasoned)
  • ¾ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon powdered mustard, such as Coleman's, mixed with water to make a paste
  • few grinds of fresh pepper
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon grape seed oil (or other mild flavored oil such as canola)
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  1. Lightly coat the ahi with grapeseed or canola oil. Season the ahi with a little kosher salt and pepper. Sprinkle furikake on all four sides of the ahi, patting gently so furikake adheres to the fish.
  2. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat with a teaspoon of oil. Once hot, sear ahi on all four sides just until the coating is lightly browned, about 1 minute total.
  3. Set aside to cool, then slice into ⅓-inch pieces.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine soy sauce, rice vinegar and sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Mix in mustard paste and pepper. Add the minced onion and whisk in grapeseed and sesame oil.
  5. Place sliced ahi over salad greens. Drizzle some of the dressing over ahi and salad greens just before serving. Leftover dressing is delicious drizzled over a tofu salad.





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Maui Cowboy Candy

Maui Cowboy Candy A while back, our friend Kim shared the tail end of a jar of candied jalapeños (also known as Cowboy Candy) that someone had given to her.  Distinctly sweet, crisp, and hot at the same time, John told me that they were delicious (I was nervous about the partial bottle. John is more adventurous!).  John grows several varieties of jalapeños that produce large, hot, gorgeous, peppers, and we make nacho rings as well as a delicious hot sauce with these peppers.  Intrigued by a new way to use our peppers we began searching on-line for a recipe.  We found several, but this one stood out.

Jalapeños from the Garden We wait until some of the jalapeños ripen to red before making our Maui Cowboy Candy.  The jars look beautiful and festive.

Maui Cowboy Candy

Filling Jars with Maui Cowboy Candy They are delightful with Mexican cuisine, sandwiches, in cheesy corn bread, potato salad, on crackers with cream cheese, or straight out of the jar.  I added them to my tofu banh mi sandwich below.

Maui Cowboy Candy on Banh Mi

Maui Cowboy Candy
Adapted from Foodie with Family ~ Blog Makes 7 - 8 half pint jars
Recipe type: Pickles
  • 3½ - 4 pounds fresh jalapeños
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 6 cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  1. Prepare jars and canner: Wash jars and place them in boiling water canner. Fill the jars and canner with water to the top of the jars. Cover and bring water to a simmer over medium heat, do not boil. Prepare the two-piece closures. Wash lids and place in a small saucepan and cover with water. Heat to just a simmer but do not boil. Do not heat screw bands.
  2. Wash jalapeños and slice into rings. Set aside.
  3. Combine cider vinegar, sugar, turmeric, celery seed, and granulated garlic in a large pot. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add pepper slices, raise heat to medium-high, cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Remove jars and empty hot water back into the canner. Place jars on a cutting board. Using a canning funnel and slotted spoon, fill the jars with peppers one at at time to within ½ inch of the rim of the jar.
  5. After all peppers are removed and placed in jars, bring syrup to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 5 minutes. Using a ladle, pour boiling syrup into the jars over the jalapeños within ¼ inch of the rim of the jar. Remove air pockets in jar with a chopstick. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp paper towel. Secure two-piece lids and rings.
  6. Return jars to canner and ensure that all jars are covered by at least 1 inch of water. Cover canner and bring water to a full boil over high heat. Process for 10 minutes, starting timer only when water reaches a full boil.
  7. Remove jars to cooling rack. Once thoroughly cooled, date jars and use within 1 year.




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Spam Musubi

Spam Musubi It’s true.  Every now and then I eat Spam.  Phew!  Now that I got that out-of-the-way, let’s move on to my latest Spam preparation:  The beloved Spam musubi.  Found at local convenience stores, airports, and mom and pop stores, Spam musubi is a tasty snack that travels well in your bag, backpack, and even fits snugly in your pocket.  It’s an island favorite.

Spam & Musubi Presses I have a good laugh every time I see the little man on the Spam can announcing “Glorious Spam!”

Sushi Nori

Favorite Furikake There’s a large variety of furikake at the markets.  Salmon, shiso, wasabi, and more.  I favor the simple combination of nori flakes with black and white roasted sesame seeds.  It’s perfect for Spam musubi.

Fried Spam Slice the Spam into eight pieces.  Fry the Spam for a few minutes on each side until lightly browned.

Seasoned Spam Add your soy sauce mixture and turn the Spam over and over in the sauce to coat well.  This will take just a minute.

Ready for Musubi! Ah, perfectly cooked Spam.

Making Spam Musubi Making Spam musubi is quick and easy.  Cook the rice, pan fry the Spam, put it all together, press, eat.

Making Spam Musubi I bookmarked this recipe from Serious Eats  years ago and finally got around to making it.  Not all Spam musubis are alike.  This one is a winner.

Spam Musubi

Spam Musubi
Quick and easy snack that packs and travels well. Adapted from Kathy Chan's recipe/Serious Eats blog.
Cuisine: Hawaiian-Style
Serves: 6
  • 2 cups short grain white rice, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 can original or 25% less sodium Spam
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 pieces sushi nori, cut in half lengthwise to make 8 pieces
  • furikake
  1. Slice Spam into 8 equal sized pieces (slice across the longest portion of Spam)
  2. Mix together brown sugar and soy sauce, set aside.
  3. Fry Spam on medium-high heat for a few minutes on each side, or until lightly browned. Turn heat down to medium-low, add brown sugar and soy sauce mixture and turn Spam over a few times to coat well. If the pan seems too hot, take it off the burner for a few seconds. You want the soy sauce mixture to caramelize a bit and coat the Spam nicely (watch closely so that it doesn't burn). Remove Spam to a plate to cool.
  4. Lay a piece of nori on a clean work surface. Place musubi shaper on top of the nori (in the center). Scoop enough rice into the musubi shaper to make a thin layer. Press the rice firmly with the musubi compressor. Sprinkle furikake over the rice, add a piece of Spam, more furikake, and lastly, more rice. Press firmly using the musubi compressor. You want the musubi to hold together when you eat it. To remove Spam musubi, hold the shaper and lift it up as you continue to press down on the musubi. Gently remove the compressor (if the rice sticks a bit loosen it with a butter knife). Wrap the nori around the musubi tightly.
  5. Serve right away or wrap and pack for a mid-morning or afternoon snack.


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Cream Cheese & Chive Scrambled Eggs

Cream Cheese & Chive Scrambled Eggs with Fried Potatoes, Bacon & Toast Cream cheese adds richness to these scrambled eggs without altering the flavor of the  eggs.  Luckily for us, our neighbors Judy and John who have three chickens, deliver beautiful, fresh, eggs to our front door.

Neighbor Judy's Fresh Eggs Judy writes the date on each egg so that you use them in the correct order.  Brilliant!

Neighbor Judy's Fresh Eggs

Lactose Free Cream Cheese These days there are more and more lactose free products available, such as this delicious cream cheese.  Green Valley Organics also makes lactose free sour cream and yogurt.  All of their products are superb.

Chopped Chives

Soft Scrambled Eggs Keep the heat low throughout the cooking time of your scrambled eggs.  Stir occasionally with a soft spatula.

Cream Cheese & Chives Scrambled Eggs Once the eggs have set a bit, fold in dollops of cream cheese and most of the chives to the eggs.  Keep stirring.

Cream Cheese & Chives Scrambled Eggs The eggs are almost ready to serve.  It’s your decision when to remove the eggs from the pan.  Some prefer very soft, runny, eggs, others like me prefer them to be just a bit more firm.  By the way, these scrambled eggs are delicious piled on buttered toast.

Cream Cheese & Chives Scrambled Eggs on Toast

Cream Cheese & Chive Scrambled Eggs
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 2
  • 4 - 5 eggs (Mine varied in size so I used 5. If using large or extra-large eggs use 4)
  • 1 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Spread (or butter)
  • 2 tablespoons Green Valley Organics lactose free cream cheese (or regular cream cheese)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. Place a medium-sized skillet over medium-low heat. Add 1 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Spread (or butter).
  2. Crack eggs into a medium bowl and whisk well. Add salt and a few grinds of pepper to the eggs. Pour eggs into skillet, stirring occasionally. Keep stirring until the eggs have set just a bit. Add dollops of cream cheese and most of the chives and fold into the eggs gently. Continue cooking until the eggs are as soft or firm as you like them. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with reserved chives.


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Coconut Pineapple Bread

Coconut Pineapple Bread I bought a beautiful, sweet, pineapple (that most versatile fruit) at Costco to use in a batch of mango-pineapple jam.  It was so large there was quite a bit of fruit left after making the jam.  Hmmm.  What could I make with the rest of the fruit?  Dessert immediately came to mind.  I did a quick search on-line to get some ideas and ended up with this delightful coconut pineapple bread from Maria and Josh’s blog Two Peas & Their Pod.  The coconut scattered over the top of the batter bakes up into a beautiful golden brown toasted coconut crust.

Toasted Coconut

Coconut Pineapple Bread Though this coconut pineapple bread is baked in a loaf pan I think of it more as a cake than bread.  It’s divine.

Coconut Pineapple Bread

Coconut Pineapple Bread

Adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod


1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (or unsalted butter) at room temperature

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon if using unsalted butter)

1 cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs

3/4 cup sour cream (I used Green Valley lactose free sour cream)

2 cups fresh pineapple cubes (small dice)


Preheat oven to 350°F.  Butter a 9×5-inch loaf pan and set aside.

Spread 1 cup shredded coconut on a foil lined baking sheet.  Bake until lightly toasted, tossing occasionally, about 6 minutes.  Watch closely so the coconut does not burn (edges tend to brown quickly).  Set toasted coconut aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Reduce speed to low, and alternately add flour mixture in three parts and sour cream in two, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Mix just until combined. If you don’t have a stand mixer you can substitute it with a hand mixer.

Using a rubber spatula, fold pineapple and toasted coconut into the batter.  Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup coconut.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 60 minutes (cover pan with foil after baking for 35 – 40 minutes so the coconut on top of the bread doesn’t burn).

Remove bread from oven and let cool in pan for at least 30 minutes.  Remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Slice and serve!


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Glory Bowl Salad

Glory Bowl Salad I bumped into a friend of ours, Lisa Tamaki, with whom I have a shared interest in cooking as well as home canning.  She told me about a new salad recipe she thought I would enjoy.  The dressing has nutritional yeast in it, one of my favorite foods. Lisa’s enthusiasm about the “Glory Bowl Salad” (named for a top ski bowl in Canada) made me eager to try it out right away. Thank you, thank you!

Cucumber, Carrot, Edamame, Snap Peas, Red Cabbage The original recipe comes from Shelley Adams who once owned Whitewater Ski Resort in Canada.  This salad is one of her most requested recipes.  Rachel also posted Sami’s version of this delicious salad.  I followed her suggestion of seasoning the tofu with sesame oil and soy sauce before baking and it adds a wonderful flavor to the tofu. You can use almost any vegetables you want to in this salad.  I opted for colorful red cabbage, crunchy snap peas, cucumbers, carrots and edamame.  Don’t skip the toasted almonds.  They are super in this salad.  The dressing has a fantastic umami flavor due to the generous amount of nutritional yeast and soy sauce, so good you’ll be looking for things to pour it on once your salad is long gone.

TofuXpress I use my TofuXpress often.  It presses out the water quickly.   No more wasting paper towels!

Extra Firm Tofu

Baked Tofu It’s best to serve the baked tofu once cooled, however, you may bake it in advance and refrigerate it until ready to use.  The texture won’t be quite the same (it softens once refrigerated) but it will still taste delicious. Just bring it to room temperature before serving.

Glory Bowl Salad

Glory Bowl Salad

Adapted from Whitewater Cooks & The Conscious Dietician blog

Two generous salad bowl servings and 1 cup dressing


Salad Bowl:

1 cup short or medium grain brown rice

1/3 cup toasted slivered almonds (bake in toaster oven at 300° for about 5 minutes – watch so they do not burn)

1 package (14 ounce) extra firm tofu (Wildwood recommended) water pressed out

2 teaspoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 ounces sliced cucumber

1 ounce shredded carrot

1/3 cup cooked edamame

3 ounces snap peas

1 ounce shredded red cabbage

roasted black sesame seeds – optional


1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

3 tablespoons water

3 tablespoons soy sauce

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 1/2 tablespoons tahini paste

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup canola oil

freshly ground black pepper

Cook brown rice according to package directions.  Set aside.

Toast slivered almonds for a few minutes to crisp up.

Press out water from tofu using the TofuXpress or a clean dish towel or paper towels (weighted down).  Cut tofu into rectangles about 1/2 inch thick.  Combine sesame oil and soy sauce in a small bowl. Brush mixture over tofu slices, or toss to coat well.  Place tofu on a foil lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 25 minutes (I use my toaster oven).

Using an immersion blender combine nutritional yeast, water, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, garlic, tahini paste, extra virgin olive oil, and canola oil.  Or whisk by hand until all of the ingredients are well incorporated. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.

Assemble your salad by placing the rice on the bottom of your bowl, adding the vegetables and tofu over the rice. Drizzle a generous amount of the dressing over the salad.  Sprinkle toasted almonds and roasted sesame seeds over the top and serve with extra dressing.



Posted in Dinner, Lactose Free, Recipes, Rice Dishes, Salad, Side Dishes, Tofu, Vegan, Vegetarian, Veggies | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment