Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Venison Tenderloin Sashimi

Last year we were cooking up some of our asian favorites and The Hub had the idea to try a version of sashimi with rare cooked venison. It turned out extremely delicious and our friends that were sharing with us enjoyed it as much as we did. This was one of the first recipes we enjoyed this year after hunting season.

Sashimi is very much about texture. It is important to cook sushi grade rice so that it is sticky. This will enable you to create small oval shaped balls of the rice that will serve as a bed for the protein of your choice. Sashimi is commonly served with raw tuna or salmon with wasabi, pickled ginger, and a soy dipping sauce.

There are four very important elements to making good venison sashimi:
1. Use the freshest meat possible (If frozen use immediately upon thawing.)
2. Use a tenderloin cut to to ensure the meat is tender
3. Flash grill the meat quickly to cook the tenderloin rare while getting some grill marks on the outside.
4. Sticky sushi grade rice

Venison Tenderloin Sashimi
Tenderloin Marinade
1 pound of venison tenderloin
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 clove of garlic

Sticky Rice
1 1/2 cup sushi grade rice
3 cups of water
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp sugar

wasabi paste
pickled ginger
soy sauce or other asian dipping sauce

In a microwave, warm the vinegar for about 30 seconds and add the sugar to dissolve.

The rice in this dish is served cold so cook it in advance. Bring the water to bowl in a pan. Once the water is boiling add the rice and salt. Stir. Bring the heat down to low and cook the rice until you can see little holes on the top of the rice. The holes are created from the steam of the cooking rice - about 10 minutes. If you aren't used to cooking rice watch it careful to not burn it. I prefer to not stir the rice while it cooking because I think you lose the integrity of the texture. If you are unsure of whether or not it is done use a spoon to move the rice away so that you check the moisture level on the bottom of the pan. Once there is just a little moisture, stir in the vinegar/sugar mixture, stirring as little as possible and put the lid on. Let sit for about 15 minutes. Place in the refrigerator to finish cooling, about an hour.

Marinate the tenderloin for 15-30 minutes.

On a hot grill, flash grill each side of the tenderloin - one minute per side, maximum. Remove from the grill and let rest for at least five minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.

Once the rice is cool, remove from the refrigerator and create small oval balls of rice using your hands to compact.
It helps to moisten your hands with water to avoid the rice from sticking to much.

Once you've made the balls with the rice, slice the tenderloin in thin slices and place a slice on each rice ball.

Serve with condiments of wasabi paste, pickled ginger, and soy dipping sauce.

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