three of the most i-could-eat-you-any-time-in-any-form-and-am-totally-head-over-heels-obsessed-with-you foods in my world of edibility: 1. bacon. 2. avocado. 3. sushi.
add them all together. toss in some deep frying action. squiggle on some bacon mayonnaise. OH HOLY CRAP!!!!!
RAOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWR. inspired by kwame’s trio of pork fat nigiri from the bacon iron chef competition, i decided to make bacon maki for bacon camp on saturday. it was a bit of a last minute decision, mostly cause i wasn’t happy with the bacon hot pocket crust but was too lazy to experiment more. bacon camp was scheduled for the morning (yes, 1pm is basically the morning) after our PANDAMONIUM! party, so clearly i wasn’t in a state to be testing multiple dough recipes before noon.
inspired by the fried avocado taco from torchy’s tacos in austin last week, i decided to do a panko-encrusted avocado for the roll. obviously avocado is awesome, obviously deep fried avocado is TRIPLE AWESOME!!! man, nothing like bacon avocado sushi to spur me into extreme exclamation overuse and unnecessary capitalization mode. WHOOPS!!!!
anyways, here’s how you panko encrustifry avocados (that’s my made-up word of the day). you could pretty much do this to any remotely edible item and it would taste f*cking delicious, although you should probably experiment with length of deep frying time before serving to people. avocados obviously don’t need to be cooked, they just get become a warm and mooshy flavor explosion inside a crunchy coating. but if you’re trying to encrustifry chicken or something, you may need to cook it a little first so you don’t end up with a delicious crispy outside and a raw pink inside. mmm, salmonella.
the encrustifrying process, broken down in a clockwise manner:
1. begin on the top left with perfectly ripe avocados or whatever tasty item you would like battered, fried in hot oil, and placed in your mouth.
2. dredge the avocados in flour.
3. dip the floury avocados into an whisked mixture of one egg, 2-3 tbsps water, and 1/2 tsp salt.
4. place the soggy, eggy, goopy pieces into the panko flakes (they’re basically japanese bread crumbs).
5. drop the freaking mess into a pot of boiling oil. you’ll want an oil without a lot of flavor like peanut or canola oil. i used a small saucepan with about an inch of oil and let it get hot enough to brown a flake of panko pretty quickly when dropped in. btw, it’s helpful to be near a sink during this process because your fingers will get caked with a batter-y mess and you won’t be able to do another round without washing your hands first.
6. let the encrustifrication process occur in the saucepan, then use a slotted spoon to fish out the avocados and put onto a paper towel to let some of the oil drain off.
7. start squealing with excitement when you find yourself in possession of this plate of fried spectacular:
jesus. encrustifrying is like plastic surgery for food – whether it’s a boob job or a thin layer of crispy crunchetiness, everything is suddenly more extreme and in your face. this can be good or bad depending on your opinion of fake tits and deep frying.
okay, let’s say you’ve now made your bacon and done some encrustifying. in order to roll with the homies, hopefully you will already have made some sushi rice and acquired sheets of nori (seaweed). here’s a crappy photo of the necessary ingredients:
i used to own a bamboo mat for sushi rolling, but have discovered that you don’t actually need one to roll pretty decent sushi logs. here’s my quick, easy, and totally untraditional m.o. for making rolls. if you don’t like it, do some googling of your own, you ungrateful wretch.
1. set up a bowl of lukewarm water to help seal the rolls and for assistance getting sticky rice off your hands
2. take one sheet of nori and a handful of sushi rice. press a thin layer (maybe 1/2 centimeter thick) of sushi rice all over the nori, leaving about half an inch uncovered on one end. this will be the sealing point of the roll.
3. on the opposite side of the nori from the uncovered strip, place your sushi innards in a line down the roll, parallel to the strip. for the bacon, i made a thin layer of bacon covering half the nori. however, for most other sushi you can create a thick line of all the ingredients.
4. using both hands, carefully pry up the side of the nori with all the ingredients and fold over the edge. continue rolling bit by bit, stopping every so often to squeeze the roll together. you may find ingredients splooshing out the ends like a tube of toothpaste, in which case you can do your best to shove them back in. next time don’t pile the ingredients so high or don’t squeeze so tight.
5. once you’ve reached the uncovered strip at the end, use a finger to wet the nori and then press the strip down on the roll to seal. now you are in possession of a delicious log of sushi!
i recommend using a sharp serrated knife to cut the sushi roll so everything doesn’t spill out all over the place. sushi rolling is a really fun dinner party activity – you can prep a bunch of ingredients by cutting them into long thin strips and make sushi rice beforehand. when everyone arrives, they can grab a sheet of nori and the sushi innards of their choice and make their own roll! this is also super easy and cheap to do all vegetarian by just buying whatever vegetables you like and cooking them as necessary. cucumber, avocado, and sweet potato are pretty classic, but i’ve also done red peppers, eggplant, carrots, and other tasty veggie combos. here’s a cross-section of the sushi roll:
not the most attractive photo ever, but i wouldn’t kick it out of my mouth. however, i felt like the sushi needed a last bit of oomph. thus spawned the wasabi bacon mayonnaise action. i used this recipe from the fat cookbook (which i bought my bacon lover friend lauren for christmas along with a bacon air freshener) via the bittman blog as an inspiration, and added some wasabi powder and horseradish. it wasn’t tasting right so i added another egg yolk to thicken and then some water to thin. a little salt and pepper. i kept mixing it up in my immersion blender and adding more stuff until it tasted okay. those are my oh-so-helpful recipe instructions for wasabi bacon mayonnaise. to add some visuals, here’s a relatively unappealing photo of the lemon, wasabi powder, egg yolk, and bowl of bacon fat used to make the sauce:
once i was satisfied with all the pieces, i loaded up all the food and headed downtown to bacon camp. more on that coming up. i’ll leave you with a final teaser shot of the finished product…