Japanese Potato Maki
(Chef Myrna Segismundo)

Originally posted on June 29, 2012

Chef Myrna Segismundo's Japanese Potato MakiTIME was when I thought the frozen potatoes sold in supermarkets were only for French fries and hash-browns and nothing more. Their applications were rather limited, and there was not much that you could do with them, although, as French fries, they have evolved from being mere straight-cuts into crinkle-cuts, twists and wedges, and hash-browns now come in ovals and triangles. But the more I work with the United States Potato Board (USPB), as represented in the Philippines by Synergy Asia, in shoots and event coverages, the more I realize that U.S. frozen potatoes can be a very versatile product, not just as starch substitute for rice but also as an important ingredient in appetizers, soups, main dishes and, yes, even desserts.

Up in Taal Vista Hotel in Tagaytay City last June with the Synergy people led by Evelyn Mercurio plus a group of chefs from different establishments for the two-day USPB Chefs’ Seminar, I’ve just learned eight new recipes that successfully make use of U.S. frozen potatoes (which are now readily available in different shapes and sizes in major supermarkets) in Chinese, Thai, Japanese and Mexican dishes. Presentors were food consultant and recipe developer Edith Singian for Chinese cuisine, Chef Supavadee ‘Tum’ Luangtip of Jatujak Thai Restaurant and her son Dusadee ‘Sandy’ Luangtip for Thai cuisine, and Restaurant 9501’s award-winning chef Myrna Segismundo for both Japanese and Mexican cuisines.

Chef Myrna Segismundo conducting a Japanese potato demo-workshop for USPB at the Magnolia Function Room of Taal Vista Hotel in Tagaytay City last June

The Chinese and Thai cooking demo-presentations took place yesterday, while the Japanese and Mexican presentations were done today. All eight frozen potato-based dishes were interesting, but one recipe that really caught my attention was Chef Myrna’s Japanese Potato Maki with Assorted Fillings when she did the Japanese recipe presentations. In place of the usual sushi rice, she used crumbled hash-browns, which I thought was an ingenious idea that obviously worked since I got to taste the Potato Maki afterwards.

Her reasons for using crumbled hash-bowns instead of the usual sushi rice is that U.S. frozen potatoes are less expensive than Japanese short-grain rice so you get to save on food cost; they are more convenient because when you buy them frozen potatoes they are already cooked and ready to use, thus saving on preparation time and effort; they are of consistent quality so you get a consistent product all the time; and they’re unique.

So, if you’re curious and you want to try your hand at making this unique Japanese Potato Maki, here’s Chef Myrna’s recipe. After trying it once or twice, start experimenting on your own variants by using your favorite fillings.

2 to 3 cups sushi potato*
1 pack nori wrapper (seaweed paper)

*THE SUSHI POTATO:
5 pcs. boiled U.S. hash-browns, crumbled
1/3 cup Japanese rice vinegar
3 tbsps. white sugar

1. In a bowl, combine crumbled hash-browns, rice vinegar and sugar.
2. Stir well to integrate. Refrigerate until ready to use.

VARIANT 1: TUNA SUSHI:
30 grams fresh tuna strips
1/2 tsp. wasabi paste

1. On a sushi mat, place a sheet of nori and top with sushi potato. Lightly press down to make it adhere to the nori.
2. Lightly brush with wasabi paste.
3. Line one edge of the sushi potato with fresh tuna strips.
4. With the help of the sushi mat, roll tightly into a tube. Slice.

VARIANT 2: SALMON SUSHI:
30 grams fresh salmon strips
1 tsp. wasabi paste

1. On a sushi mat, place a sheet of nori and top with sushi potato. Lightly press down to make it adhere to the nori.
2. Lightly brush with wasabi paste.
3. Line one edge of the sushi potato with fresh salmon strips.
4. With the sushi mat, roll tightly into a tube. Slice.

VARIANT 3: MANGO-KANI MAKI:
2 pcs. kani sticks (crabsticks)
ripe mango strips
10 grams shredded lettuce
1 tsp. Japanese mayonnaise

1. On a sushi mat, place a sheet of nori, and top with sushi potato. Lightly press down to make it adhere to the nori.
2. Line with kani, mango strips and shredded lettuce. Pipe with Japanese mayonnaise, and, with the help of the sushi mat, roll the stuffed nori tightly into a tube. Slice.

THE CONDIMENTS:
1 cup Kikkoman Sauce
1/2 cup wasabi paste
1 pc. lemon, cut into wedges

1. Pour Kikkoman Sauce into condiments bowl.
2. Serve sushi/maki with Kikkoman Sauce, wasabi paste and lemon wedges.

Serves 4.

Category(s): Appetizers, Recipes
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