Category Archives: Did You Know?

Gunkan Sushi: The Battleship Roll in Lynnwood

Delicious Little Boats of Sushi

“Gunkan” means “Mothership” and consists of a small ball of rice wrapped in a thin band of dry seaweed and topped with various ingredients. Looking like a warship, gunkan can be served as gunkan sushi or sometimes also called gunkan maki.

Nonetheless, it is a popular form of Japanese cuisine consisting of the basic ingredients – rice and nori seaweed accompanied by small pieces of salmon, sea urchin or flying fish roe as the ingredients. Sushi Gunkan is usually served as 2 pieces per package. The filling of the gunkan is not always seafood. It can also be vegetables such as corn, cucumber and carrots.

To make gunkan sushi, the nori or seaweed dried into a paper-like sheet is wrapped around a base of rice to form an oval shaped cup. It makes for a nice sturdy base on which to rest fish roe. The roe are deliciously salty and adds color to the sushi. The eggs of the flying fish (or tobiko) have an unexpectedly crunchy texture, with a mild smoky or salty taste. The larger salmon roe (or ikura) are more like caviar. While fish roe is a common topping for gunkan sushi, it can also be finished with oysters or quail eggs.

How do you eat gunkan sushi? It’s a simple matter, thanks to the design of the vessel which holds the fish eggs or other ingredients in place. Soy sauce is the perfect accompaniment to gunkan sushi, dipping the rice end first. Eat with chopsticks, a little ginger and just a little wasabi so as not to overpower the subtle flavours of the roe.

Gunkan sushi is extremely nutritious. The raw roe has high vitamin and protein content complemented by a favourable ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. The roe also contains a relatively high amount of cholesterol. However, as there is typically no more than a tablespoon size serving of roe on each piece of gunkan sushi, it can still form part of a healthy, balanced meal.

Celebrating Gunkan Sushi in Lynnwood

When you are craving for just simply prepared yet delicious sushi, quickly served and yet appetizing, go for Wild Wasabi’s Gunkan Sushi. We have many selections to offer, either spicy or lightly with spice. Enjoy our enticing battleship rolls at great prices.

Takoyaki: From Street Food to Restaurant Fare

Takoyaki: Tasty Street Food

Takoyaki first appeared in Osaka in 1935 by a street vendor who created it. It was inspired by akashiyaki, a small round dumpling from the city of Akashi, made of egg batter and octopus. It was comfort food for the people of Osaka that spread to other regions and now is available throughout Japan. It has long been associated with street food especially during local religious festivals. The dish is easily and cheaply made provided the preparations are right and teppan plates for takoyaki are available.

Takoyaki are ball-shaped snacks, basically of wheat flour-based batter cooked in a special moulded pan with half ping-pong sized depressions. Flour is dissolved in a specially mixed soupy stock and poured individually over the half moulds. Then minced or diced octopus are added, called tako, also leeks, pickled ginger, and tempura scraps.

The dish is cooked in an evenly heated pan, made of cast iron. As one side of the takoyaki gets cooked, each is turned to the other side with a pick to get cooked in turn. The balls are brushed later with takoyaki sauce, mayonnaise is added, then green aonori and shavings of dried bonito are sprinkled over. Takoyaki makes for great, delicious snacks.

If octopus is not used in takoyaki, it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be called takoyaki anymore. Anything can actually be put inside takoyaki. In the absence of octopus, cheese or sausage can be used. Shrimp pieces or even chopped vegetables, like cabbage make for delicious takoyaki. Everybody seems to love it. They’re bite-sized and easy to eat even by children.

There are many individually operated traditional takoyaki stores, especially in Osaka. Big companies have gone into franchising their takoyaki versions since the 1990s and since then been competing in the fast food market within and outside of Japan. The hot dish has evolved into high quality snacks with attention to ingredients, toppings and degrees of cooking. In the US, one can find takoyaki stalls in malls and supermarkets and other commercial areas. Many Japanese restaurants also serve this favorite snack.

Comfort Food in Lynnwood

At Wild Wasabi, enjoy hot takoyaki straight out of our kitchen to your plate. It is not just your regular street food fare, but our tasty octopus balls, steamed or fried, are balls of fun.

Snow Crabs: Japan’s Winter Delicacy

Tis The Season for Japan’s Tastiest Crab

Japan’s love of crab is unlike anywhere else in the world. Crab is Japan’s winter seafood and its consumption is one of the world’s highest. The snow crab is the most familiar to the Japanese though there are many different types and that’s because its flesh is delicately sweet and uniquely flavored. Though expensive, it is widely loved in Japan.

Snow Crabs

Snow crabs are crustaceans with a flat body and five pairs of spider-like legs, the front pair being claws. As they grow, the hard outer shell is periodically shed in molting, after which they have a soft-shell for a period of time and are called soft-shell crab or white crab.

Snow crabs are found in the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans. In the North Atlantic, they are found from Greenland in the northeast Atlantic and from southern Labrador to the Gulf of Maine in the northwest Atlantic. They prefer deep, cold-water conditions. Canada is the world’s largest producer of snow crab, exporting two-thirds of the global supply to the US, China and Japan. In Japan, though, snow crabs are also abundant.

The snow crab is found in the deepest and coldest waters in the Sea of Japan. Fishing for snow crab is allowed only for 4 months in a year. Fishing male crab is permitted for the period from November 6 to March 20, while female crab only from November 6 to January 10. Bigger in size, male snow crab is widely traded all around Japan, smaller female snow crab is locally enjoyed. Some people prefer female crab meat because of its richer and more concentration of flavour with variety of textures, meat and egg.

A particularly popular variety is the Zuwai-gani snow crab. Slimmer than the other crabs, the Zuwai-gani snow crab is loaded with concentrated “umami” (savory taste) that crab-lovers crave, and appeals to the palate with a distinctly sweet flavor. This crab dwells primarily on the west coast of Japan, in the Sea of Japan, as far north as Hokkaido, and as far south as Tottori Prefecture, where fishing season for the snow crab opens around November, and harvesting continues until around March. In some regions of Japan, the Zuwai-gani snow crab is referred to by its local place of origin, such as “Matsuba-gani” and “Echizen-gani”. Some of these local varieties are recognized as luxury seafood brands.

Loving Snow Crab Sashimi in Lynnwood

Experience why the Japanese so love their snow crab. We serve delicious snow crab meat at Wild Wasabi. Be one of our many crab lovers enjoying Zuwai Snow Crab nigiri and sashimi. Also try our delicious Snow Crab soup.

Everybody’s Loving Raw Fish Salad in Lynnwood

Poke: Amazing Salad of Raw Fish and Non-Fish

Raw fish salad is an Hawaiian origin, becoming a popular appetizer among American palates across the mainland since 2012. Now, with the mushrooming of Hawaiian restaurants, the number has so far doubled. Its strong flavors are really awakening appetites

Called Poke, which is Hawaiian for “to section” or also ‘chunk’, the dish is not only an appetizer but can be considered main dish. Traditional poke (pronounced poh-KAY and rhymes with okay) is oily tuna and octopus. Poke was typically any meat or seafood cut into small chunks and marinated. Nowadays, it is generally seafood. Marinated seafood has long been consumed by locals, especially those living close to the sea.

The traditional Hawaiian poke consists of fish that has been gutted, skinned, and deboned. It is sliced across the backbone as fillet, then served with condiments such as sea salt, candlenut, seaweed, and algae. Considered traditional also are raw pieces of tuna cut into cubes, then marinated with soy sauce and sesame oil and mixed with onion.

There are now many variations of the style. Poke doesn’t necessarily have to be tuna or even seafood, does not have to be raw or cubed or scraped. It can also be cooked or raw. It doesn’t even have to be fish or seafood. Poke can be made using octopus, poke that is dressed with a creamy mayonnaise and poke garnished with kimchi or wasabi. These have resulted from the strong influences of Japanese and Korean cuisines.

Asian cuisines have captivated the American palate dramatically over the last couple decades. Westerners love firstly Chinese and Japanese; now Thai, Korean and Filipino are gaining. It’s quite natural that Hawaiian cuisine, which is directly influenced by many of these cultures, would slowly gain in popularity.

Awakening Appetites in Lynnwood

Experience Hawaiian-style, appetizing poke at Sushi In Joy here in Lynnwood. Giving our tuna poke and salmon poke that Japanese twist is a throwback from where the traditional poke took influence. Come by and have poke before the sushi and sashimi.

The Japanese Ceviche and Its South American Origins

Ceviche and The Japanese Influence

That spicy, raw fish salad that has salt, garlic, chopped onions, and hot Peruvian peppers like aji or amarillo, mixed and marinated in lime is called ceviche. The fish is chemically cooked by the citric acids making it tender, hence it is no longer raw fish. You might think that ceviche is native to Mexico because the dish has been part of traditional Mexican cuisine for centuries. No, it is not Mexican in origin.

Birthplace of Ceviche

Peru is the birthplace of ceviche, dating back to when Spaniards first imported citrus to the new world. It was said that the first versions were brought to Peru by Moorish women from Granada in Spanish colonial times.

Today’s ceviche is the national dish of Peru. It has its own national holiday. Many restaurants in the country are solely dedicated to ceviche, called cevicherias, especially in Lima where there are 20,000. While there are generally just 5 ingredients in ceviche – fish, salt, onion lime and chili – there are many variations. In Peru there’s ceviche with a touch of milk, passion fruit, orange juice, celery, among others. It is garnished with lettuce leaves, corn kernels and sweet potato.

Did you know that the traditional ceviche used to be marinated for 12 hours? Then the Japanese came. The Nikkeis people, of Japanese ancestry, first emigrated to South America in 1899 to work in the cotton and sugarcane fields. Japanese ingredients and way of cooking were not at first understood by Peruvians, but slowly soy sauce and ginger became part of Peruvian cuisine. Equal lovers of fish, the Japanese eventually began opening cevicherias. The merging of Peruvian and Japanese techniques became known as the Nikkei cuisine. The Japanese influence enabled a shorter marinating time for the famous ceviche.

Then, in the 1970s, a classically trained Japanese sushi chef, Nobu Matsuhisa, came to Lima, age 24, to open a sushi restaurant. Limited by the range of ingredients available, he adapted and improvised using Peruvian ingredients. This is now known as the Nobu style, eventually turning into a global restaurant empire. Meanwhile, the traditional ceviche has spread around the world, adapting to the country and culture where you find it.

Peruvian and Japanese: Together in Lynnwood

You can always have ceviche as a great alternative to sushi – especially if you are not a fan of raw fish. Experience our Japanese ceviche at Wild Wasabi in Lynnwood and bring to mind the Japanese influence on Peru’s national dish.

The Wonders of Matcha Tea

Discover Matcha Tea

Did you know that matcha powdered green tea has 137 times more antioxidants than regularly green tea? This should make it the healthiest tea in the world. Antioxidants are the compounds that delay the aging process and prevent chronic diseases. Today’s varieties of fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants, as gojiberries, pomegranate and blueberries, matcha tea beats them all together for antioxidants. Even include broccoli and spinach, just one gram of matcha tea is packed with exponentially more antioxidants according to the latest in antioxidant research. Hence, the more you drink of this tea, the better you are at fighting the effects of aging and the onslaught of illnesses.

Antioxidants in Matcha

Why is matcha tea so potent? It’s because the tea contains a unique class of antioxidants not found in other foods, called catechins. One of these catechins is the potent EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate) which has cancer-fighting properties. They counter the effects of UV rays, pollution, and other harmful free radicals. Over 60% of matcha tea is EGCg, so you can just imagine how it helps the body’s well-being.

Matcha tea is also in itself a weight loss program. With almost zero calories, drinking this tea burns fats and boosts metabolism. It doesn’t increase heart rate or raise blood pressure. It does not stress the body as it burns calories, merely increasing your burning rate, hence, making it a better and safer alternative to pharmaceutical preparations.

The tea also keeps you alert, yet calm. The rich but rare L-Theanine, an amino acid in matcha tea, actually promotes a state of relaxation and well-being by acting upon brain function. It creates alpha waves, not beta waves, to produce relaxed alertness. The amino acid also may help memory, concentration and learning abilities without the side effects of caffeine, which is also present in matcha.

The leaves of the matcha plant are richer in chlorophyll as they are shade-grown. This chemical provides the vibrant color green of green tea plants and other plants and is a powerful detoxifier. One can eliminate toxins and other harmful chemicals from the body with this daily detox regimen. In addition, matcha tea gives a boost of daily energy, prolonging your endurance by as much as 24%. A study even thought that maybe it is due to the caffeine content. Actually, it was the tea’s overall natural components that produce this effect.

Scallops: One of the World’s Healthiest Foods

Amazing Benefits of Eating Scallops

Belonging to the family of mollusks, which also includes snails, sea slugs, clams, mussels, octopuses and squid, scallops are bivalves, sea animals that develop inside two hinged shells. Their colored, fan-shaped shells with ridges are easily recognizable. They feed on plankton by filtering them out of the water and reproduce by spawning. Unlike other bivalves, scallops are free-swimming, opening and closing their shells as they go, using their powerful adductor muscle. That’s the round, fleshy muscle you are eating when you order scallops in a restaurant. Whether grilled, baked, deep fried, broiled, or pan seared, the delicious scallop is a delightful dish. Do you know that they are also one of the world’s healthiest foods?

Scallops pack a lot of beneficial nutrients that are essential for cardiovascular health. Do you know that the magnesium and potassium in scallops normalize blood pressure? They are also a rich source of vitamin B12, which converts a harmful chemical that can directly damage blood vessel walls, associated with an increased risk for atherosclerosis, diabetic heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. If your diet is high in vitamin B12, you can have low risks for these diseases. Scallops are also rich in omega-3 fats that increase heart rate variability, a protective function that reduces risks for arrhythmia and/or sudden death.

According to a study, eating scallops that are broiled or baked, but not fried, may reduce risk of atrial fibrillation, the most common type of heart arrhythmia. The condition is an irregular heartbeat that can be life-threatening, leading to blood clots, stroke, and heart failure.

There’s more. A scallop diet (or a fish diet for that matter), says another study, offers protection against three types of cancer: leukemia, multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma due to its vitamin B12. The omega-3 fats in scallops greatly reduce risk of colorectal cancer, according to another. In a brain cell research, it was found that the DHA in scallops boosts production of a protein which destroys the plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease. What’s not to love about scallops?

Eat Scallops for Long Life in Lynnwood

Have a healthy plate of scallops every week at least at Wild Wasabi and get protected in many ways. One of the world’s healthiest foods is served at your Japanese restaurant in Lynnwood.

How Nutritious are Fish Eggs?

Amazing Benefits and Moderate Consumption

To love dining on fish eggs is to have acquired a taste for their unique flavor and taste. Not everyone has a daring, adventurous palate for these slimy little delicacy. From the more common and affordable salmon roe to the insanely expensive beluga caviar, fish eggs can be a powerhouse of nutrition. However, they are also rich in cholesterol and high in sodium. So what gives?

Fish eggs come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors, and can come from all different kinds of fish, most notably the beluga, other types of sturgeons, salmon and carp. All fish roe are very nutritious. Fish eggs have a common benefit with fish oil supplements – that’s their high component of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats. Better than supplements, fish eggs are natural sources, hence, there is less risk of oxidizing during processing. Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for proper brain function and heart health, and help reduce inflammation in the body that can lead to chronic disease.

Fish eggs are also one of the few sources of fat-soluble vitamin D which works together with omega-3 fats. The vitamin helps healthy fats get absorbed and used by the body. Vitamin B12 is another nutrient present in fish roe for mental health and brain function and helps metabolize food for energy. Selenium, magnesium, iron and some calcium add to the impressive lineup of nutrients already in fish roe.

However, fish eggs are also high in cholesterol. Just one ounce of black caviar contains more than half of the daily limit of 300 mg recommended for healthy adults. We all know the risk for heart disease we face with a diet high in cholesterol. Also, the natural high sodium component of fish roe plus additional salt soaking during processing drives up the saltiness of this otherwise healthy food. More than the daily minimum requirement of 2,399 mg, eating too much of this can lead to higher risks of elevated blood pressure, stroke and heart disease.

For health reasons, indulging in fish roe becomes a risk-carrier due to the presence of its high cholesterol and sodium levels. Nonetheless, its other healthy components are good for one’s diet. Moderation is the key to enjoying this delicacy as with other whole foods.

A Taste for Fish Eggs in Lynnwood

Love our many selections of fish roe at Wild Wasabi prepared in many exciting ways. Once in a while treat yourself to a nutritious dinner of one of marine life’s delicious offerings.

Sushi Grade Fish in Lynnwood

What is Sushi Grade Fish?

So you are an aspiring sushi chef and you want to make sure that your first sushi dinner with friends at home will turn out no less than spectacular. While it can be expensive you just want to be sure it’s safe to eat raw. So how are you going about it? Can you tell?

You might find fish labeled sushi grade. What does it mean? It means that the fish is of high quality and that it can be confidently eaten raw. For example, tuna. If inspected and graded as Grade 1, it is the best and can be sold as sushi grade fish. Salmon also can be sushi grade fish if it is flash frozen on the boat at the time of catch, preserving its freshness and texture.

Here are a few things to know when buying your sushi grade fish. Even Japanese chefs go by these guidelines.

Be sure you’re in the right place. Seek out a reputable fishmonger or fish market. They must have a high turnover for fish, meaning you always get fresh or newly arrived stocks. They must also have regular shipments, again ensuring freshness. It is helpful that their staff know their fish well.

Make sustainable choices. Be updated and have regional information about supply in your area. Being a responsible consumer helps contribute to healthy oceans.

Ask your seller the right questions. Where did the fish come from? How was the fish handled, was it processed at the store itself? How long has the fish been at the store? Is their equipment sanitized to prevent cross-contamination from fish that are not sushi grade?

Remember that it should be flash-frozen while still at sea which prevents the breakdown of the meat and kills any parasite present. This practise meets the regulatory standard for food safety of fish to be consumed raw.

Use your touch and smell senses. Fresh fish should smell like the ocean. Its flesh should not be soft or flaky. Its color must be vibrant and appealing to the eye. Look for small rectangular saw-cut pieces of the best part of the fish, ideally still almost solidly frozen. There should be no fat, bones or connective tissue in the block of the sawed fish. If you have any doubt of the fish’s quality, take a pass.

Only Sushi Grade Sushi in Lynnwood

Enjoy fresh and tasty sushi at Wild Wasabi in Lynnwood. Be assured that when you eat sushi here, it’s all about quality and freshness because we only serve sushi grade sushi.