Red Snapper Ceviche & Ota Ika

The summer is coming. It’s time to update our menus with easy-made refreshing dishes as good for light dinner for two as for a big pool party. Cocktails, beer, and all that jazz.

Why is a Latin American fish salad next to a French Polynesian one combined in one recipe?

Ceviche is made with cubed raw fish marinated in citrus juice, strained, combined with sliced and chopped vegetables (most commonly avocado, tomato, onion, green onion, cilantro, chili peppers), and served cold.

Ota Ika is made the same way, but with the addition of coconut milk or creme. Some of the vegetables mixed with fish are the same, and some are different (most commonly cucumber, tomato, onion, green onion, and spicy peppers). Coconut milk softens the acidity of the initial marinade and makes the dish somewhat tropical holiday dreamy and elegant.

May 26, 2021
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Salsa de Pina y Mango | Fresh Pineapple and Mango Salsa

This salsa is one of my favorite. I like seafood, and it’s perfect with many seafood dishes as a side. It’s beautiful! Bright, sunny colors of fresh tropical fruit. It tastes like vacation in Hawaii, if, of course, you come across excellent ripe golden pineapples and Ataulfo mango. This salsa is easy to make — all its ingredients are raw, but you have to know smart ways to cut, slice, and dice pineapple and mango to enjoy the process of making it. When you do, you can make this salsa quickly and impress your guests with a presentation.

March 26, 2017
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Experimenting with Kvass in Texas

“What’s more absurd than a novel about salmon fishing in Yemen?” Kvass Madness 2016 It’s time to summarize my 2016 kvass quest. Last Sunday, my kvass-craving guests came to Lyukum Cooking Lab to celebrate kvass! I had 5+ batches of kvass and three traditional Russian cold kvass-based summer kinds of soup to taste. Everybody was…

May 31, 2016
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Cold Summer Soups: Vegan Okroshka

The best vegan okroshka is made with salted mushrooms (L.deliciosus/Ryzhik and L.resimus/Gruzd’), fermented apples, and malossol cucumbers with ice cold kvass, green onions, and fresh dill. In hot climate of Central Texas, we have to be careful when playing with long-term fermentation at home. I was wondering how pickled ingredients would work here…

May 31, 2016
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Kvass Batch 3 [Rye Malt Liquid Extract]

This recipe is based on Rye Liquid Malt Extract by Briess and rye sourdough starter. Makes pretty decent highly carbonated but light every-day drink.

May 20, 2016
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Cold Summer Soups: Botvin’ya

This season I returned to making real kvass, which resulted in rediscovering some traditional kvass-based Slavic cold soups — Russian botvin’ya, Belorussian haladnik or bats’vinne, Ukrainian cold borsch, etc.

May 19, 2016
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Cold Summer Soups: Okroshka

Okroshka is one of the most popular cold summer soup in Slavic culture. The name suggests that ingredients are diced or chopped. Some of them are fresh and crunchy (cucumbers, radishes, scallions, herbs), some are cooked and soft (lean meat/poultry/fish, eggs, neutral tasting vegetables), all of them are lean. To make Okroshka, these ingredients are traditionally mixed with kvass and sometimes dressed with a dollop of sour cream just before serving. It’s a salad-like soup, light, refreshing, and filling at the same time. Every spoon of Okroshka is an entertainment for those who have an appreciation for diverse flavors and textures!

June 14, 2015
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