When I first tried an Israeli couscous, I thought that this is perfect “mochimochi” texture! Mochimochi is the onomatopoeia used as describing a soft and chewy texture such as mochi (rice cake), breads, noodles, and many other foods. There are many products sold with a catch phrase “mochimochi”. People love this texture without doubt.
When I was in the culinary school, I made gnocchi. My classmates loved it, but my instructor said it is too chewy for gnocchi. Then I realized that the gnocchi I have eaten before in Japan had more texture and chewier than the one authentically done. I guess the gnocchi was arranged into mochimochi version—Japanese beloved texture.
I wrote this recipe for many “mochimochi” lovers. This Israeli couscous recipe uses Asian seasoning and tuna, and it is Otsumami style. Otsumami is the light snack along with alcoholic beverages. It is perfect with sake or shochu. This is popular home party dish at my home too. For a home party, I just made bigger batch of the recipe and serve it on a big glass platter. It is really right and refreshing, and you can make it in advance too.
- 4 oz tuna, sashimi grade
- salt and pepper, to season tuna
- coriander seed, ground, to season tuna
- 1 table spoon canola oil
- 3 oz Israeli couscous
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- ¼ ea cucumber, diced into ¼” cubes
- 4 ea shiso leaves, finely shred
- 1 ea green onion, finely chopped
- salt, to taste
- radish sprout, to garnish
- Season the tuna with salt, pepper, and coriander seeds. Heat the canola oil in a skillet. When it comes hot, put the seasoned tuna and sear each side quickly. The surface of tuna should have lightly brown spots and crispy, but the inside remains rare.
- Bring 5 cups of water to boil and add 1 table spoon of salt. Cook the Israeli couscous to the desired texture. Drain well and toss with sesame oil. Cool the couscous in a refrigerator.
- Put the chilled couscous in a bowl and add the cucumber, shiso, green onion (reserve some for garnish on top), and sesame oil. Mix and adjust seasoning with salt.
- Slice the tuna and serve on the couscous topped with green onion and radish sprout.