Wednesday, February 17, 2016

California Roll Nachos

 In December 2015, I was surfing the internet came upon a lift of recipes. It was the best cheese recipes from each of the fifty states in the U.S.A. I was really intrigued by the California entry, California Roll Nachos. A few years ago I appeared on the In One Day Radio Podcast. They asked me their 5 questions, one of those questions was did I prefer pizza or nachos. For me that is a no-brainer, nachos. California Roll Nachos consists of crab meat (fresh lump or imitation preferred), kewpie mayo, sliced green onions, salt, freshly ground pepper, tortilla chips, cheddar cheese, avocado, nori (seaweed) strips, and sriracha. 

I have eaten seafood nachos before. La Casuela is a defunct restaurant that existed in Newberg, Oregon. One of their signature dishes was Nachos Casuela, which was bay shrimp with Monterrey Jack cheese. California Roll Nachos hits my sweet spot of merging two of my favorite cuisines, Mexican and Japanese. I saw ways to make this more Mexican and more Japanese. More Japanese would be replacing tortilla chips with thin rice chips, no cheese, adding sesame seeds, adding some pickled cucumber, and on the side pickled ginger and wasabi. In order to be more Mexican replace the cheddar with Mexican blend, or Monterrey Jack, or with some Mexican cheeses, replace the mayo with Mexican crema (sour or regular), no nori, and replacing the sriracha with a Mexican style hot sauce.


The California Roll is one of my favorite sushi dishes. I was first introduced to sushi at a Japanese all you can eat buffet in Oxnard, California on Channel Islands Boulevard. I do not believe it is there anymore. The last time I was there was 30 years ago. As a kid I never was afraid of trying anything new. I was told if I did not like it to not eat it again. However, I was also taught you had to finish what you ate, even if you did not like it. Since going to that buffet I have a love of Japanese food, there are holes in that knowledge. I have not had true ramen or udon. I have had ramen in the brick or cup of noodle formats, but to me that is not real ramen. Like a frozen convenience store burrito is not a true burrito. I by no means consider myself an authority of any of the cuisines I love. 

I made my first batch on January 7, 2016. I added sesame seeds and replaced cheddar with a Mexican cheese blend. I took the picture before remembering to add the sriracha. I forgot to put the half the green onions on top and forgot the avocados completely. I still loved the flavors. On January 8, 2016, I made my second batch. This time I did not miss anything. The flavors on this were perfect. Both times I used imitation crab. It was what I could afford at the time. The crab and it fishiness worked well with the brininess of the nori. The creaminess of the avocados offset the heat from the sriracha. I was pleased with this dish and will make it again.

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