Salmon Sushi With Cilantro Pesto

I was at Ono testing new food ideas and I came across a sauce in the reach in. Bright green, pesto like, with cilantro flavor and subtle lemon undertones. It was so delicious that I immediately made myself a Salmon Nigiri because I thought they would go well together. Delicious.

So I cooked all day and when James showed up I asked him about the sauce, he said “that is Marc’s baby”. Marc Cnossen that is. Marc’s been working at Ono Sushi forever, and he is one of the few sushi chefs that has solid experience as a line cook. He arrived at Ono and started doing sushi as a young chef with an extensive food background. The sauce made perfect sense.

It is just a classic variation on a Basil pesto. The lightness of it compared to a traditional pesto is what, in my opinion, makes it perfectly suited for sushi.

Cilantro, often referred to as Chinese Parsley, has a very pungent odor yet a mild fresh taste, and is widely used in Mexican, Caribbean and Asian cooking. All parts of the plant are edible, but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are commonly used in cooking. The seeds are known as Coriander, a completely different spice.

Here is the recipe I tried to duplicate today. It is not Marcs recipe although I assume they are very similar. I just haven’t had time to talk to Marc about the ingredients.

Cilantro Pesto Ingredients:
1 bunch Cilantro
2oz rice (or other light) vinegar
sm pinch garlic
sm pinch green onion
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Jalapeno with the stem, seeds, and core removed
Olive oil
Assemble all ingredients except oil in a food processor. Puree on high. Slowly add oil until a pesto like texture is achieved. It should have a smooth sheen. Add enough oil so if it is left on a plate, the oil will slowly start to seperate from the other ingredients.

One Response to “Salmon Sushi With Cilantro Pesto”
  1. [...] to be shooting the food for the web site. My thinking on this dish was that the oiliness of the Cilantro Pesto would go well with the almost pure vinegar in the sunomono [...]

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