It’s almost Buddha’s birthday! Buddha’s birthday is celebrated on the eighth day of the fourth month of the Chinese lunar calendar in nearly all east-Asian countries. This year it falls on Friday, May 17th in the Western calendar. Because it is customary to eat rice on Buddha’s birthday, we developed this heavily spiced vegetarian biryani to honor the Buddha and many of the exotic lands from which our spices come. Our Continental Curry is the perfect blend for this occasion, as it combines the best elements of several varieties of yellow curry. While we can’t promise a permanent Nirvana as a result of this dish, we guarantee at least a transient one!
Songkran (สงกรานต์) is the traditional Thai New Year water festival which starts on April 13 every year. Traditionally, the throwing of water is said to be a symbol of luck to bring good rain for the crops. Well, we are swimming in good luck with a bountiful asparagus harvest this year and a brand new spice blend, Rooster Spice! We designed this spicy chili powder drawing inspiration from Indonesian sambal, Thai nam phrik, and Vietnamese tuong ot toi. Rooster Spice has limitless possibilities but here we combine the seasonality of asparagus with the celebration of Thai New Year. Enjoy!
Tender carrots are surprisingly sweet when baked in a brown sugar-y syrup, especially when united with perfect Washington apples and plump little raisin gems. The fresh ginger is such a classic pairing with the carrot, and is highlighted perfectly by the Star Anise in our Chinese Five Spice. The all-butter crust recipe I’ve included is a long-time standby of mine, and produces some of the flakiest and best pastry I’ve ever tasted. It will definitely be making an appearance at my Thanksgiving table this year!
We’re excited to announce we have a new blend! We’ve reformulated our Pacific Seafood blend, using bright notes of citrus and lemongrass; this Pacific Seafood blend incorporates flavors from the Pacific Northwest all the way to Thailand. Using a delicious process of trial-and-error, while taking into account staff and customer feedback, our fearless leader and accomplished blend artist Amanda created this blend for a wide variety of seafood. We all agree that using it as a rub for seared scallops is where it really shines. The versatility of the Pacific Seafood blend lets these scallops be the shinning star of a huge number of varying meals. Start with the recipe below and see where your culinary creativity takes you!
The best part of being a spice merchant is the taste-testing process… We’re pretty serious about only putting our name on things we love, so every now and again we’ll make a really over-the-top staff meal, mostly test out new blends and spices, but also not-so-secretly because we’re all gluttons. Our one spice merchant with a seafood allergy is off today, so of course, it was the day for homemade SUSHI with Real Wasabi®!
Real Wasabi® is a new offering for us. Wasabi is notoriously difficult to cultivate. This special product is grown in the traditional Japanese “Sawa” method, using constantly circulating spring water. This manner makes the rhizomes take longer until they’re mature enough to harvest- up to two or three years- but produces the cleanest, purest taste. When fresh, wasabi can be grated with ceramic or shark-skin graters to produce a paste, or sold dried as we carry it, and rehydrated in equal parts with water.
The flavor is grassy and vegetal; milder in heat than “faux” wasabi (the mix of horseradish, mustard, and food coloring that you know so well), and without the tear-inducing burn, either. The dried form is closer to army green than the neon-hued stuff you’re used to, and creamier in texture as well. Letting the paste stand covered for at least ten minutes allows the flavors to develop, so be sure to give it some time.
We enjoyed it as a condiment on these spicy tuna and scallop rolls, veggie rolls, black cod hand rolls, seared ahi and ahi sushi, Japanese barbequed black cod, flash-salt-cured and seared diver scallops, and yes, even some on this mango we salt cured on a Himalayan Salt Plate! We mixed a little in with some Japanese mayonnaise, too, and used it as a dipping sauce for those sugar peas. We might have to roll home from the shop today…
This recipe is Eric Rivera’s creation, and he says that it is his first with our spices. We’re honored — not to mention lovin’ the taste! You’ll also want to try others at Eric Rivera’s Cooking Blog. Since we’re in the Pacific Northwest, it’s no surprise that we love our salmon, and this is a perfect example of simple spicing and spectacular flavor. Try it on the grill or in your oven today!