Cooking at OKKU

Viva editor and self-confessed terrible cook Jo Upcraft tries her hand at making Japanese Fattoush Tuna Maki
Thursday , 15 March 2012
Jo gets started
Jo gets started
Jo shows Ryan how it’s done
Jo shows Ryan how it’s done
Chopsticks at the ready
Chopsticks at the ready

In the kitchen: Head sushi chef Ryan Lim and terrible cook and VIVA editor Jo Upcraft.

On the menu: A light nibble of Japanese Fattoush sushi with soy truffle reduction and yellow bell pepper aioli.

At the table: Dark, sophisticated and with a sprinkle of super-cool, OKKU is the place where the glam-pack fill their plates with exquisite Japanese delicacies; think beautifully presented sushi and sashimi along with hot high-class noodles, rice, meat and seafood dishes.

In our tummies: How can you not love sushi? It’s cute and pretty, it tastes delicious and you can eat it without it slopping down your top. Moreover, it fills you up but is famously low in fat, which makes it the perfect food for ladies who love to munch but don’t relish that post blow-out food-baby feeling.

OKKU is at The Monarch Hotel, Mezzanine Level, One Sheikh Zayed Road. Contact (04) 501 8777 for bookings,

Serves 6
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes


10g finely chopped cucumber
7g pomegranate seeds
2.5ml olive oil
10g peeled and minced plum tomatoes
8g finely minced red onion
0.5g lemon zest, Maldon sea salt and mint leaf
15ml yuzu juice
5ml lemon juice
Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate an hour earlier


30ml soy sauce
15g granulated sugar
3ml black truffle oil
Heat soy and sugar in a pan, cool in an ice bowl, mix in the truffle oil


25g roasted and deseeded yellow bell pepper
15g mayonnaise
0.5g salt and pepper
Wash and peel off the pepper skin, blend until smooth, add the mayonnaise, salt and pepper


70g sushi rice
1g black and white sesame seeds
10g each of blanched beetroot, carrot, cucumber, asparagus
30g minced tuna
1 finely chopped chive

Step 1: Spread sushi rice evenly on sushi seaweed, sprinkle with black and white sesame seeds.
Step 2: Place the blanched vegetables onto the rice and roll tight - but not too tight!
Step 3: Cut into 6 pieces.
Step 4: Toss the tuna with the soy truffle reduction and chives and place on top of each roll.
Step 5: Add the Japanese Fattoush on top of the tuna and finish with a dash of bell pepper aioli.

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