Jump to Featured Recipe: Sushi Cakes

MG’s first core Value is “Create Menus with WOW!” This value speaks to the essential importance of variety when creating menus. Our chefs always look for exciting food trends to share with our communities. At our boarding schools and colleges, many of our guests eat every meal with us, so it’s crucial to maintain a balance of comfort and variety. Food Entertainment is another way we bring excitement and curiosity into dining experiences and elevate meals to an experience that delights. From unexpected fusions to fiery condiments that add a kick to any meal, let’s explore some delicious trends that have us excited!

Our Vice President of Culinary and Brand, Cate Smith, said it best, “Infusing customer favorites with a new twist is a great way to bring different, exciting flavors to the table. Items like black sesame cookies, ube hot chocolate, curry, or aleppo pepper popcorn, butter chicken, kimchi & bacon fried rice all mix the familiar with the new, expanding our understanding of different cultures and cuisines and our neighbors.”

 

Fusion Flavors: Sushi Cakes and Birria 

 

Sushi Cake captures the essence of sushi, reshaping it into a cake-style dish that seamlessly combines traditional sushi elements with the communal spirit of a shared meal. Providing accompaniments like eel sauce, soy sauce, or wasabi for individual cakes allows for a more custom flavor experience, which we’re all about. Another unconventional but delicious example is Birria. Birra is a traditional Mexican stew of meat marinated in adobo made of vinegar, dried chiles, garlic, and herbs and spices. This well-loved favorite is being reimagined on innovative platforms such as crispy eggrolls or savory pizza crusts. These creative fusions provide fresh takes on traditional flavors while also inviting culinary exploration, offering new experiences that challenge the norms of traditional cuisine.

“Infusing customer favorites with a new twist is a great way to bring different, exciting flavors to the table.”
– Cate Smith, VP of Culinary and Brand

 
Spicing Things Up: Hot Sauce and Chili Crisp Oil

 

Daring challenges like the internet show Hot Ones have inspired interest in unique and flavorful spicy condiments. Truff Sauce, which you might have noticed hitting the shelves in your local grocery store, excites with it’s complex flavors. Truffles, a hard to find premium mushroom brings an earthy richnessto the spice experience of ripe chili peppers & savory spices.
A variety of Asian-inspired dishes are daily fan favorites at many of our operations, often including house-made Chili Crisp Oil. Originating from Chinese Cuisine, Chili crisp oil is gaining popularity in the States as a versatile condiment. It easily adds a traditional and bold kick to a variety of dishes, offering not only spiciness but also rich, umami flavor profiles to dumplings, noodles but also soups, dips, roasted vegetables, and even scrambled eggs.

 

 

Mixing It Up: Flavorful Mocktails

 

Flavorful and colorful beverages that enhance the dining experience are not only for adults. In our lower schools, we focus on crafting fun age-appropriate and interesting drinks. However, even at our business accounts and pubs mocktails fill a roll for those wanting to celebrate but avoid alcohol. Growing popularity of “Dry January,” a movement encouraging individuals to refrain from alcohol for the month, also emphasizing the exploration of flavor combinations without the booze.

Our MG “Mockologists” understand the importance of offering alternatives to traditional cocktails, ensuring that all guests can enjoy memorable experiences. We are always experimenting with ingredients that add depth and complexity to a . We embrace the challenge by incorporating unexpected elements like Parmigiano Reggiano, charred corn husks, and wakame (edible seaweed) in mocktails as part of exciting “Drinks for Dinner” spreads.

 

 

We are always seeking ways to explore flavors and experiences that redefine traditional dining to keep things fresh for our guests. At MG, we’re committed to continually pushing the boundaries of culinary innovation to ensure our guests enjoy an unforgettable dining experience, one that’s always evolving and filled with delightful surprises.

Sushi Cakes

Serves 8

Ingredients:

3 ½ tbsp rice vinegar
1 ⅓ tsp kosher salt
2 ⅔ tsp granulated sugar
1 ⅔ c water
1 ⅓ c sushi rice
2 ⅔ tsp mayonnaise
1 tsp chives, finely chopped
2 ⅔ tsp wasabi powder, mixed with equal amount of water
½ tsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp black ground pepper
1 ⅓ tsp ginger puree
¼ cucumber, seeded, finely diced julienned strips
½ whole carrot, peeled, finely diced julienned strips
3 ½ tbsp red bell pepper, finely diced julienned strips
1 radish, thinly sliced
1 ⅓ tsp pickled ginger, finely diced
2 sheets nori seaweed
1oz pickled ginger, finely shredded for garnish
½ tsp white toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Procedure:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, salt, and sugar; set aside.
  2. Place the water and rice in a large saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. Reduce heat to low, simmer, covered, until rice has absorbed all water, about 15 minutes.
  4. Transfer rice to a large bowl. Stirring constantly, slowly add reserved vinegar mixture until fully incorporated. Let cool completely, stirring occasionally.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, chives, wasabi mixture, and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Let stand 10 minutes at room temperature. Transfer to a nonreactive bowl and ginger puree.
  6. Mix all your vegetables together with first quantity of pickled ginger.
  7. Toast nori sheet to enhance their flavor: Using tongs, wave each sheet over a gas burner or Sterno flame, flipping and turning until crisp and darkened in color, 30 to 60 seconds; both changes are subtle, so watch carefully.
  8. Assemble cake: Place a nori sheet, shiny side down, on a dry work surface, and cover, using moistened fingers, with half of your rice. Cover with plastic wrap, level with rolling pin (remove plastic wrap), and brush with wasabi mixture. Place nori sheet on top, spread with remaining rice. Level with a rolling pin, and brush rice with wasabi mixture. Arrange veggie mixture evenly on top; sprinkle with remaining tablespoon ginger. Trim edges, using a wet and sharp knife, and transfer cake to plate. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least two hours or overnight.
  9. To serve, slice cake crosswise into three equal pieces, and then each of these pieces into eight equal pieces. Garnish with pickled ginger and toasted sesame seeds. Serve with wasabi mayonnaise.