By Request

Betty Shimabukuro

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Dynamite dish explodes
with flavorful fish

They call this dish Dynamite, not for reasons of spicy explosiveness, but more in the sense of the yum factor, as in, "Wow, that was dynamite!"

The Japanese dish by this name typically involves bite-sized bits of seafood tossed with a mayonnaise-based sauce that is browned on top. Some restaurants add avocado as well.

Cheryl Tang wants to make the dish, which she says is her mother's favorite. Mom was looking forward to having some at a seafood buffet on Mother's Day, Tang says, but took ill and couldn't go.

D.K. Kodama of Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar says the dish developed in restaurants as a way to use up leftover fish. Zucchini and mushrooms were often mixed in because those veggies were normally close at hand.

Over time, though, the dish has gone upscale, to include all types of seafood -- scallops, shrimp, crab, even lobster. A signature Sansei dish is Rock Shrimp Dynamite, with the shrimp battered and fried before it gets its mayo bath. The mixture is served over a bed of greens.

Kodama says the easiest way to do this at home is to mix a few cups of your favorite seafood (precooked) and add a dollop of mayonnaise. "You can put anything you want in there."

The amount of mayonnaise, likewise, is up to you. The results should be creamy, something like a macaroni salad, but not overwhelmingly mayo-ed. Spread the mixture in a baking pan and broil.

To boost the flavor, Kodama likes to add garlic and masago (smelt roe), plus a garnish of green onion.

The recipe that follows is based on the Masago Aioli that Kodama uses in his Rock Shrimp Dynamite. Start with this, but feel free to adjust the proportions of seafood and vegetables to suit your taste.

As for Tang, here's hoping a taste will help your mom feel better.

Seafood Dynamite

2 cups crab meat
1/2 cup cooked shrimp, in bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup thickly sliced fresh mushrooms (see note)
Chopped green onions, for garnish
Sesame seeds, for garnish

>> Masago Aioli:
2 cups mayonnaise
6 tablespoons masago (smelt roe)
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic

Toss together crab meat, shrimp and mushrooms.

Stir together aioli ingredients. Add gradually to seafood mixture and combine well. (If you don't feel you need all the aioli, the remainder will keep refrigerated for a month. Use as a garnish for seafood or sushi.)

Spread mixture in a baking pan no more than 3/4-inch deep. Broil until top is brown.

Note: Button mushrooms are fine, or splurge with fresh shiitake. Other vegetables such as zucchini and asparagus also may be used. Slice about 1-1/2 inches long.

Approximate nutritional analysis, per 1/2 cup serving: 375 calories, 38 g total fat, 6 g saturated fat, 125 mg cholesterol, 480 mg sodium, 2 g. carbohydrate, 10 g protein. Using half the aioli: 200 calories, 19 g total fat, 3 g saturated fat, 80 mg cholesterol, 280 mg sodium, 1 g carbohydrate, 8 g protein.


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Asterisk (*) after nutritional analyses in the
Body & Soul section indicates calculations by Joannie Dobbs of Exploring New Concepts,
a nutritional consulting firm.

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