Back at Miya's Sushi
, this time at chef Bun Lai's invitation. He put out a spread for us and a few other friends, who quickly became our friends, too.
Started with invasive Japanese knotweed three ways - sake, quick-pickled on rice, and tempura.
Then traditional 'ball' sushi with mugwort, and quick pickled dandelion leaf wrapped on another. And of course the rice is super-healthy brown rice mixed with other grains, tastier than regular sushi rice by far.
In the foreground is venison, yes venison sushi, with wild ramp sauce, and the wild ramps themselves in the background.
Jonah crab claws and invasive snails that we cracked with real Native American tools and dipped in a honey vinegar ginger sauce.
Tilapia dipped in beets, salted, and served nearly frozen, "Inuit style."
Bun is serving us fermented kelp, which is not ready yet...but still tasted surprisingly good. Salty and seaweedy, like a powerful super-dashi.
This is Bun's "Persian roll" with spices and ingredients from the Middle East.
And this is a sweet potato roll (you can eat all vegetarian at Miya's if you like) with a homemade wasabi.
This is the famous invasive Asian shore crab on a potato roll with a creamy dill dressing that is absolutely one of the best things I've ever tasted.
And this is pressure-cooked and then baked salmon bones (use the whole animal!) and broccoli. None of these really needed to be dipped in soy sauce, by the way. All were perfect as is.
And this is a twist on fried chicken...amaranth peas and soy, with curry dip. We also had his chocolate and ice cream sushi at the end, but I missed getting a photo because we all ate them too quickly. All this was spaced over about four hours, with plenty of firecracker sake, beer, and conversation. A fantastic meal, a fantastic gift. We are proud to call Bun Lai a friend - he is one of the geniuses making food better for the rest of us, and one of Connecticut's true revolutionaries.