Sushi Samba has managed to outlast its trendy reputation and become a New York City institution. I am sure this has something to do with Corporate Chef Fernando Navas. Chef Navas, an Argentina native, has graced some of the world’s most prestigious kitchens, including that of Ferran Adria’s El Bulli. At Sushi Samba, Navas creates dishes that embody Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine. I was especially excited to see what Chef Navas would offer us as an iconic summer recipe. He selected his eel and avocado quinoa hand roll. When asked why he selected this dish, he responded: “simplicity is one of the hardest things to achieve brilliantly. You must have a respect and understanding for each ingredient – and allow these ingredients to speak through the whole”. What are you waiting for? Get to the store and test this recipe out!
Eel and Avocado Quinoa Hand Roll Recipe
2 slices freshwater eel, cooked (approximately 1.4 oz.)
0.2 oz. eel sauce
2 slices avocado, ripe/freshly sliced (approximately 0.7 oz.)
1.2 oz. red quinoa, cooked
1 piece soy paper (half cut)
Eel sauce ingredients
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup mirin (Japanese sweet wine)
2 tbsp. cornstarch
Method: Heat soy sauce, sugar and mirin in a small saucepan over medium. Stir
until liquid is reduced to about 3/4 cup, add cornstarch until sauce thickens and
*Eel sauce, Unagi, and frozen Kabayaki roasted eel can be purchased at a
Japanese or oriental market.
1 cup red quinoa (100% organic)
2 cups water
Method: Heat water with quinoa in a medium sized pan. Cover and keep heat on
high until water is boiling, then turn heat to medium until water is absorbed. Total
boiling time is roughly 15 minutes.
Step 1: Prepare to cut eel
Defrost the eel in its vacuum pack. Cut the eel in half lengthwise. Cut the
cucumber into a piece that measures 1/8 ” ¼ inch wide (sushi style).
Step 2: Prepare avocado
Cut the avocado in half lengthwise and twist the two halves until they separate.
Cut the half into quarters. Cut off the ends, remove the skin and slice lengthwise
into ¼ inch slices. Set the slices aside.
Tip: You can include whatever vegetables you likescallion, carrot, zucchini,
radish”to customize your temaki to your own personal taste.
Step 3: Prepare the soy paper
Tear or cut the soy paper sheets in half. Hold a ½ sheet of soy paper with one
side down in the palm of one hand.
Step 4: Press quinoa into soy paper
Moisten your other hand with a little water and ball up the 1.2 oz. of prepared
quinoa. Press it into the left side of the soy paper.
Step 5: Add filling
Lay vegetable filling alongside quinoa.
Step 6: Wrap into cone
Tightly wrap the opposite right-hand edge around, using a folding and tucking
method to create a cone shape with the filling on the inside.
Step 7: Secure edge
Use a dab of quinoa on the corner to secure the inside edge of the soy paper to
the outside of the cone.
Step 8: Place on plate & garnish
To taste Chef Navas’ cuisine, head to one of Sushi Samba’s NYC locations:
SUSHISAMBA park — 245 park avenue south new york, ny 10003
SUSHISAMBA 7 – 87 seventh avenue south new york, ny 10014