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Posts Tagged ‘Eunyoung Sebazco’

By Phyllis Odessey

Eunyoung and I are going to the Urban Agriculture Summit in Toronto, Canada.  Our proposal, Yes, You Can Grow Rice in NYC has been accepted by the programming committee.  The summit is sponsored by Food Share and Green Roofs for Healthy Cities and will take place August 15-August 18.

By the time we arrive in Toronto, our second rice paddy will be in full swing.  Last Thursday, volunteers from Goldman Sachs Community Teamworks built a new section of The Learning Garden, which included the second rice paddy, under the direction of James Burns, our horticulture crew member and paddy builder extraordinaire.

The first row of bricks was the most taxing.  The ground is uneven and leveling it was a job.
James demonstrates how to lay the bricks.  He is kind of a precise guy and that is good thing.  The bricks are not exactly bricks; they fall somewhere between bricks and cinder blocks.  They are heavier than the usual brick. The extra weight is extremely important in holding the water within the plastic liner.
Getting the liner in the completed paddy was a little like shaking a sheet after its been in the dryer.
Eunyoung stomps the  one foot depth of  soil. The soil was an organic mix of compost, sand and loom.
PART II – propagating rice with small plastic cups.  Each cup has holes punched in the top in.  The cups are filled with soil 3/4 to the top.  water is added and the rice seeds.  We wait and see what happens.  But there isn’t too much waiting, the rice propagates fairly quickly and what looks like thin blades of grass start showing.  By the time we get to the Urban Agriculture Summit, we will be able to report on the first and second rice paddy.

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By EunYoung Sebazco

Horticulture Manager

My old Japanese friend taught me how to wash and cook rice. She also taught me how to distinguish between good quality of rice. After the excellent training from her, I was able to find the beauty in the shiny surface of cooked rice and the sweetness from its chewy texture. I found the Koshihikari rice ( Oryza sativa ) from Kitazawa Seed Company a few years back and we planted them on our ricepaddy last year. The Koshihikari is a well known the expensive rice in Japan. The firm, short and sticky grains are perfect for traditional Japanese dishes. It uses a popular variety of sushi rice as well. It was first created in 1956 in Japan and has been grown in US since 1991. Also, it was first planted in New York City at Randall’s Island in 2011!

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By Yoshihiko Kousaka

Executive Chef at Jewel Bako, NYC

In 2010, I was featured as one of the best chefs in New York City as a sushi chef on France Chef TV. It was honor to be in with Daniel Boulud, David Bouley, Daniel Humm, Ben Pollinger, Michael Anthony and Ed Brown. I also introduced some of my recipes on the episode. I would like to share one of them as a basic building block in how to make sushi.
Prep time: 4h     Ingredients for 10 persons

20 oz of Japanese (Koshihikari) rice
20 oz of water
1/4 filet of golden eye snapper
1/4 ocean trout
1/4 filet of tuna rim
1/4 filet of tuna toro
1/4 filet of amberjack(yellowtail)
1/4 filet of baby red snapper
1/4 filet of octopus rack
1 wasabi root
Salt
Sushi vinegar: 1 oz sugar, 1/3 of salt, 1 cup of rice vinegar

Wash the rice a few times with a little bit of water with a gentle rubbing motion until the water isn’t white any more. Let it dry in the chinois for 25 minutes. Put the rice in a towel and cook it in a pan with water during 20 minutes. Then turn off the heat and let it rest in the towel for 20 minutes adding sushi vinegar. While it is draped in the towel, the rice will continue to steam. Let the rice and cool for 15 minutes.

Filet and remove the bones from the fish. Remove the skin/scales by slicing length-way. Cut the slices against the grain of the fish.

Peel and grate the wasabi root on shark skin rasp. Make a paste with the root.

Use the rice at the temperature of your hands. Make the rice balls in your right hand. Take the fish in the left hand and dip into the wasabi paste to smear a little onto the fish. Place the fish and rice together.

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By Yoshihiko Kousaka

Executive Chef at Jewel Bako, NYC

I was born and raised in Japan. After high school, I worked at Azuma Sushi in Aichi, Japan. In 1985, I moved to New York and I started to work at Kuruma Sushi. A short time later, I owned Daimatu restaurant in New Jersey. After almost 6 years, I was hired by Megu 2003. I got hired by Jewel Bako, which is a beautifully designed hidden treasure in the East Village of Manhattan. I have been working as an executive chef since 2004. I also served The James Beard Foundation Dinner in 2009 introducing modern sushi Japanese cuisine. I always believe that the fish and rice balance as the most important components in my sushi work which is of the Japanese traditional Edomae style.  As you may imagine, I can’t separate myself from rice in my 27 years sushi career. It seems as though my life rotates around rice. When my friend EunYoung was growing rice and offered me to participate the rice event at Randall’s Island, I could not believe that they were growing rice in New York City. I am really excited and honored that I will be a part of the program. I can’t wait to be at the garden and to meet the children. Let’s make rice balls and have some fun!

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