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Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee: Shokudo Japanese Restaurant & Bar

Restaurant Insider

March 17, 2019

Story By: Anne Lee |

Manager Ryan Ko, Anne Lee, and chef de cuisine Christopher Murakami present the Sumo Roll ($38.95) and Milk & Cereal Honey Toast ($13).

ANNE LEE Speaks with chef de cuisine CHRIS MURAKAMI

Local foodies went crazy when Shokudo Japanese Restaurant & Bar introduced its towering Honey Toast in 2005. More than a decade later, the glorious, picture-perfect dessert remains a hit among Hawaii’s residents and visitors.

Though the sweet treat is indisputably one of the restaurant’s most popular items, there are numerous other oishii creations customers have fallen in love with. A few of the many captivating possibilities diners can dig into are Sushi Pizza, Rainbow Roll, Teriyaki Chicken Quesadilla, and an assortment of sizzling hot stone bowls filled with either shrimp, pork, unagi (eel) or beef.

“Our company mission is to ‘create an enjoyable dining scene’ through warm welcoming smiles and hospitality, great tasting innovative and fun food, and a casual but chic ambiance,” says chef de cuisine Chris Murakami.

A closer look at Milk & Cereal Honey Toast

AL: Shokudo is celebrating its 14th anniversary this year. What is the restaurant doing to commemorate this milestone? CM: If you follow Shokudo, you know that we do something innovative and fun every year for our anniversary. This year is no different, as we are giving away a trip for two to anywhere in Japan, trip for two to Las Vegas, in addition to 100 Shokudo gift cards. To enter the raffle drawing, (customers must order) a specialty Sumo Roll ($38.95), which is a gigantic sushi roll weighing in at over 3 pounds!

AL: What is in this gigantic 3-pound sushi roll, and how did you come up with such a crazy idea? CM: The idea simply came from constructing a roll that had all of my favorite sushi ingredients, but obviously I got a little carried away. The final product — although much larger than I originally imagined — came out amazing and I wanted to offer it to the rest of Hawaii. The roll consists of local big eye tuna, salmon, shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, dynamite crab, tobiko, ikura and much more.

AL: There are a lot of great dishes to try at Shokudo, but the restaurant is still most known for its famous Honey Toast. Do you ever create new flavors for this amazing dessert?

CM: Yes! Our Honey Toast is definitely what we are most known for. Every anniversary month (March) we introduce a new Limited Edition Anniversary Toast that is only featured for the month and will never be served again. So, a lot of our loyal followers wait religiously for this new flavor to be released every year. This year we are doing a Milk & Cereal Honey Toast.

AL: Besides the restaurant’s amazing anniversary promotion, are there any ongoing promotions that are running? CM: We always have something fun and exciting going on. The best way to keep up to date with everything is to follow us on our social media @shokudojapanese. But to answer your question, we have a great happy hour that we offer daily from 4 to 6 p.m. and an all-you-can-eat late night happy hour with temaki rolls, donburis, and much more for just $24. This late night happy hour is Sunday-Thursday 10 p.m. to midnight.

Sumo Roll

Filling:

• 40g maguro
• 40g salmon
• 60g tamago
• 1/4 of a cucumber
• 1/4 of an avocado
• 25g kaiware sprouts
• 40g takuwan
• 80g spicy tuna mix
• 2 pieces of shrimp tempura

Garnish:

• 3 imitation crab sticks
• 30g dynamite sauce
• 3 pieces of chicken karaage
• 50g ikura (salmon roe)
• 12g red tobiko
• 12g orange tobiko
• 5g green onions
• 5g tempura flakes
• 30g unagi sauce
• 30g shredded tamago

Additional ingredients:

• 400g sushi rice
• 2 full sheets of nori

Directions:

Grab the three pieces of imitation crab sticks and break it into strips, then grab some dynamite sauce and mix it together. Place it into an oven at around 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about five minutes or until a nice sear is present. Then, while it’s in the oven you can start making the roll.

“Glue” the two full nori sheets together by wetting the top and the bottom with a brush of water. Now that your nori sheets are bonded together, start adding the rice. Grab 400g of sushi rice and spread it evenly across — leave about 1-2 inches of empty, free space on the end of the sheet.

Once you are done spreading the rice, place the sheet rice side facing down. After flipping, you now add all your fillings about an inch away from the free flap. You can have fun with this part and build it however you would like. However, when you place the shrimp tempura inside, you should put the tail sides outward so it’s sticking out on each side.

Then with the empty nori space, pull it over the filling and pull it back, tightening the filling. After you’ve tightened it, finish it off by rolling it over (away from you) to close up the roll. Finally, shape it with the sushi mat by wrapping it around and tightening it with your hands.

Cut the roll into eight pieces and begin plating, starting from the top of the plate. Place the two end cuts with the tail side up at the top of the plate, then start placing each piece on top of each other going around the plate from left to right.

Put the three pieces of chicken karaage in the hole in the middle of the roll to fill up the space, and then place the dynamite crab on top of it.

Garnish the roll by sprinkling the shredded tamago, tempura flakes and green onions all over, and topping the roll with unagi sauce. Finally, finish it off by adding the red and orange tobiko, and ikura.

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