Avocado Sashimi

Japanese avocado jellySummer is here with double digit humidity and high temperatures. Japanese jellies made with agar-agar are cool and refreshing. While it is most often used for making sweet snacks and desserts, agar-agar is sometimes made with savory flavors suitable to serve with a meal. I just made an avocado sashimi, which we ate as sort of a salad.

Agar agar (“kanten” in Japan) sets and melts at higher temperatures than animal gelatin, and it sets more firmly, though acid weakens its jelling power, and some raw fruits have enzymes which will break its structure. It’s made from a seaweed derivative so it’s vegetarian friendly.

Because many Westerners believe that Avocado Agar Agar SaladJapanese food is light on meat, vegetarians visiting Japan are surprised how difficult eating can be. Many traditional dishes rely on dashi which is usually made with bonito flakes (fish). Japanese temple cuisine is both traditional and vegetarian.

Temple food is called “shojin ryori” or “shojin cuisine.” Japanese Buddhist monks and nuns eat no animal Avocado Jelly Saladproducts—only fruits, vegetables, seaweed, grains, and pulses. (In other countries (I think) Buddhists might eat dairy foods occasionally.) People visit/tour the temples and stay for a meal. The food is not eaten as part of a religious service; the cuisine is part of a spiritual life but is enjoyed by all.
I’ve borrowed a book about shojin ryori from our library called, the enlightened kitchen. It’s distracting me from my Japanese Avocado Saladcookbook project, but some of the recipes look delicious. Very colorful and creative. Besides, the point of this project is for me to learn about Japanese food so I’m making a small detour.
Avocado Sashimi
from “the enlightened kitchen” written by Mari Fujii

first edition 1995
ISBN-13:978-4-7700-2493-0
ISBN-10:4-7700-2493-2
serves 4
The Gelatin:

  • 1 avocado, about 6 ounces
  • 3 teaspoons agar-agar powder
  • 4/5 cup kombu stock—200 ml
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Garnish:

  • 1/2 teapoon wasabi paste or Japanese mustard (reconstituted)
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • Lemon wedges, optional

Scoop the avocado from its shell. Blend in a food processor with the agar agar powder, kombu stock, and salt until smooth.
Put the mixture into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Cook on low for 5 minutes. Pour into individual serving dishes or into a 6″ square dish. When the mixture has cooled, refrigerate for half an hour. If you used a square mold, cut the gelatin into cubes.
Serve with wasabi or mustard, and soy sauce and or lemon.

If you like agar-agar jells in cubes, make your own square mold.

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7 thoughts on “Avocado Sashimi

  1. Impressive mold making, Tess; that’s really very cool.

    Did the picture of the avocado sashima show the true color? I’m not sure I find the color appealing, but I have bad memories of seventies avocado colored appliances. What WERE they thinking?

    Marcia

  2. The color is sort of right but not exactly. It looked more like regular avocado slices. More delicate? My avocado was a bit over-ripe so that might be why it looks weird, or it might be my camera, which does makes colors odd in pictures indoors. The colors are never quite right… Tasted good, though.

    Remember “harvest gold?” That was worse, I think! And what was that brown color called?!!!

  3. If it looked like regular avocado slices, I’d love it.

    I do remember harvest gold and the brown color was called “coppertone” and was ubiquitous.

    In our first house, there was avocado carpet everywhere, but nice hardwood floors underneath. One has to wonder….

    Sorry about the typo in the other post. Sashimi – I meant sashimi!

  4. Pingback: Tempting! Links to Delish Dishes and Handy Hints. « A Life (Time) of Cooking

  5. I am about to make this – perhaps using the avocado skin as the mould to make the ‘sashimi’. WIll let you know how it turned out. I ahve that enlightened cookbook too – most recipes look interesting, but i have yet to find some with a lot of taste. I guess that is the usual thing with shoujin ryouri!

    • Hi Lucas,
      It was good. But to be honest, this was the only time I made it. It tasted just like an avocado, but with a different texture. I suppose that I like avocados just as themselves.

      Let me know how you like it.

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