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Ziki Japanese Steakhouse

Dec 14, 2011 11:22PM ● Published by Anonymous

Kelly Lam manages the restaurant, which specializes in hibachi and sushi, while her husband, Ken, creates the artistic sushi behind the bar. Kelly’s brother, Jimmy Mei, runs the kitchen, and her other brother manages the Gaitherburg location. Kelly knows that patrons might be new to sushi, so the staff always asks customers what they like don’t like, giving recommendations on the menu. The most popular sushi rolls include the Maryland Roll, a mixture of fried soft shell crab and avocado; the Ocean City roll, filled with crab stick, avocado, cucumber, and cream cheese, and topped with salmon; and the Volcano Roll, which Ken shows us how to make below.


How did your culinary career begin?
My brother and I started training at age 14 to be sushi chefs in our family restaurant in Hong Kong. 

What’s the history behind Ziki?
Our parents opened the first Ziki in Gaithersburg seven years ago. A lot of our regular customers would travel from Annapolis to eat at the restaurant, so we decided to open another one in Annapolis in October 2009. 

What’s more important to you: local or organic or neither?
Both are important for social sustainability. 

What is the most essential kitchen utensil to you?
Actually, we could not go without all the necessary kitchen tools. Missing any one of the components would alter the way we make the dishes. 

What do you like most about your job at Ziki?
I enjoy exceeding our customers’ expectations, and making sure each customer is having a positive experience. I also like the fact that I can display my creativity to arrange the sushi pieces artistically on the plate. 

Are there any special considerations to making this sushi roll?
The fish in sushi must be fresh and chilled to a specific temperature to ensure it tastes perfect. 

What beverage do you suggest with this sushi roll?
I would suggest sake or a hot tea. 


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Volcano Roll

Serves 1


1 piece Nori (sushi seaweed wrapping, available now at most major grocery stores) 
Sushi Rice (Recipe below) 
2 pieces of shrimp, 21-25 size
Tempura Batter (Recipe below)
Panko Breadcrumbs
1 ounce smoked eel
2 scallops
1 tablespoon flying fish roe
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
Wasabi, for garnish
Fresh ginger, for garnish
Soy Sauce, for dipping
Oil, for frying

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Dip the raw shrimp in panko breadcrumbs and then into the Tempura batter, and fry until golden brown. Heat the smoked eel in a pan over medium heat.

Place the nori on flat surface and cover with sushi rice, pressing firmly to cover the nori. Flip it over so the rice is on the bottom. Arrange the shrimp and eel on top of the nori. Using a bamboo mat, tightly roll the sushi. Roll it in Panko breadcrumbs, and cut it into eight pieces.

Dice the scallops into small chunks and toss with the mayonnaise. Place it on the grill and sear quickly until the mayo is browned. Arrange the sushi pieces on a plate and cover them with the scallops. Garnish with flying fish roe and serve with wasabi, fresh ginger, and soy sauce.

Sushi Rice
2 cups medium-grain white rice
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
Soak the rice in cold water for 30–45 minutes. The rice will become pearl-like in. color. Drain the rice. Cover the rice again with cold water, stir, and drain. Repeat four to five times until the water runs clear. Cook in an electric rice cooker per the manufacturer’s specs.

When finished cooking, turn it out into a large, flat, nonmetal container. Toss the rice with seasoned rice vinegar to taste. Allow to cool until just above room temperature. Store in an airtight container for up to two hours at room temperature.

Tempura Batter
1 egg
1 cup ice water
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

Beat egg in a bowl. Add ice water to the bowl (the colder the batter, the crispier the tempura will be). Add sifted flour to the bowl and mix lightly, being careful not to overmix the batter.

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