Just when I thought I’d seen everything on sushi menus and had this whole thing figured out, I went to Hiko Sushi and saw the Golden Roll:
It has banana, crab, lettuce, and fish eggs. Maybe I just haven’t been paying attention, but I don’t recall usually seeing bananas on sushi menus, ever. Of course, since my friend Sarah and I are curious folks, we ordered it. And then surprisingly, we really liked it.
They’d taken a whole banana, deep-fried it in tempura batter, and rolled it in seaweed and rice with the other ingredients. When dipped in soy sauce, it was a sweet/salty/crunchy wonder, though that wonder that was very difficult to eat.
Each piece was huge and thinly sliced, and eating them became an epic game of who-can-get-a-bit-of-everything-successfully-into-her-mouth-at-one-time. Neither of us won. Still, it was fun to taste something different, and if you have the chance to eat a sushi roll with banana, go for it.
We also ordered the seaweed and cucumber sunomono (we asked for gomaae but they were out), the avocado roll, veggie gyoza, and the kimchi okonomyaki. We’d also wanted the chicken teriyaki burger with yam fries (IN IT), but they were out of that too! Oh well, can’t win ‘em all. At least we got the banana.
Our bill came to $23.
The okonomyaki was really well-seasoned and flavoured, but far too thick. Usually they’re about half as ‘tall’ as this one, which was rather dense. The savoury sauce on top was awesome, however, and I like the idea of using kimchi in okonomyaki.
The service at Hiko was a little scattered and the restaurant itself is very small, so it’s probably a good place to go for takeout. They do decent sushi, the prices are reasonable, and if you have a hankering for deep-fried banana + rice, you’re alllll set.
Within minutes of trying the sweet Golden Roll, I wanted banana bread. Fittingly, my local corner store had ripe bananas on sale for half price this morning, so I grabbed a bunch, stocked up on butter and buttermilk, and made myself a loaf.
There are many, many versions of b-bread in the world, and many, many of them claim to be the best. I try to avoid superlatives, so this version shall be called My Favourite. It’s yet another recipe from camp, where I used to bake dozens of loaves of it for planters. They liked it so much, they used to collect uneaten bananas from their lunches and return them to the kitchen, just to build up on the overripe stock.
The original recipe made 11 loaves, but my friend Rachel kindly scaled it back to a more manageable “1 loaf + a few muffins” size. It’s incredibly simple to make, and you can add whatever else you desire – I like dark chocolate, chopped candied ginger, and/or toasted walnuts. Also, here’s my first not-so-secret banana bread trick:
Always add a little less flour than the recipe calls for, and a little more mashed banana. You might have to bake it a wee bit longer, but you’ll end up with a crazy good – almost-caramelized – moist loaf.
Here’s my second not-so-secret banana bread trick:
If you don’t want to make your own, head down to Rocanini coffee shop in Steveston, where they now carry Erin Ireland’s signature To Die For Banana Bread. One of her loaves even has bacon in it. What? Yes. Maybe I’ll soon have a new favourite….
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted 1 1/4 cups mashed bananas (the riper the better)
1/3 cup buttermilk 2 cups flour (I used half white, half whole wheat)
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 cup toasted nuts
1/2 cup chocolate chips (or more, go crazy)
Chopped candied ginger, joy, love, etc.
Preheat oven to 350. Thoroughly mix brown sugar, butter, bananas, and egg. Mix in milk.
Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nuts, and chocolate chips in separate bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, and mix until combined. Grease a loaf pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cash and cards accepted
Vegetarian and vegan options available
They also do bubble tea!