Two years after opening Chinoise Sushi Bar & Asian Grill Issaquah at Grand Ridge Plaza, Chef Thoa Nguyen has expanded to nearby Bothell. Her new Chinoise location opened in March at Bothell’s Beardslee Crossing development. Known as Sushi Chinoise – Asian Grill & Sushi Bar, it features many of the Pan-Asian dishes that made the Grand Ridge Plaza restaurant a success.
Chef Nguyen, who gained national recognition on the Beat Bobby Flay Food Network show when she beat the star chef, is known for her menus that range from sushi to pho and from wok dishes to summer salad rolls. On any given night, you can find her cooking at Grand Ridge Plaza, where she perfected her winning dish – a Korean rice bowl she named the “Beat Bobby Flay Bi Bim Bap.”
Since opening at Grand Ridge Plaza, Chinoise has become a local favorite for authentic Asian cuisine and its casual, family-friendly ambiance. The sushi bar is one of the busiest on the Eastside, with fast service for anyone heading next door to Regal Cinemas for a movie.
Both restaurants share the same menu and interior decor theme that is light, bright and open. Chef Nguyen chose the Bothell location in part due to its similarities to Grand Ridge Plaza, including the close-knit neighborhood feeling.
“One of the aspects that I enjoy most about Grand Ridge Plaza is its welcoming setting that’s community-oriented,” explains Nguyen. “People are friendly and proud to support local businesses. That’s one of the intangible aspects of the location, and something we sought out when developing the concept for another restaurant.”
Sushi Chinoise Bothell is Chef Nguyen’s seventh restaurant since her first location opened in 1996 on Queen Anne in Seattle. You can enjoy her “Beat Bobby Flay Bi Bim Bap” in both Issaquah and Bothell, or make your own at home. Here’s her recipe:
Chef Thoa Nguyen’s Ahi Poke Bi Bim Bap
To get started, you’ll need cooked rice. We recommend that you start your rice first.
To Cook Rice:
Cook 2 cups of uncooked short grain rice. This will yield 6 cups of cooked rice.
To Make Ahi Poke:
3 lbs. ahi
¼ cup sesame seed oil
1 ½ tbsp. black sesame seeds
1 ½ tbsp. minced garlic
¾ tsp minced ginger
1 cup soy sauce
¼ cup sugar
Toss all ingredients in a mixing bowl; set aside.
To Make Lettuce Cucumber Radish Sprouts Slaw:
2 English cucumbers (thinly sliced)
1 package of kaware radish sprouts
1 head of red leaf lettuce shredded
1 white daikon thinly shredded
1 hand full wakame (soak in warm water for 5 mins, drained)
Toss all salad in a mixing bowl; set aside.
To Make Sweet Egg Omelet:
¼ cup mirin
½ cup of water
3 teaspoons soy sauce
3 teaspoons sugar
Pinch of salt and pepper
Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper, mirin, soy sauce, and sugar. Beat well with a fork. Put a small frying pan on low heat and let it get hot. Add a small amount of oil. Ladle some of the egg mixture and move the pan around to spread it out evenly. When the omelet turns golden brown, flip it onto the plate. Then, thinly slice the egg omelets into strips. Set aside.
To Make Radish Kimchi:
1 whole Asian radish (daikon), thinly shredded
2 tbsp. vinegar
1 tsp minced garlic
Dash of chili peppers
Salt & sugar, to taste
Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl; set aside.
To Make Onigiri (Pan-Fried Seasoned Rice):
In a mixing bowl, add the cooked rice. Add 3 cups of bonito flakes, salt, and ¼ cup of sliced green onions. Form in a ball, pan-fried on heated, greased pan. Remove when crispy on both sides, set aside.
To Make the Spicy Sauce:
1 cup gochujang (Korean spicy soybean paste)
½ cup sugar
1 cup pineapple juice
3 tbsp. sesame oil
3 tbsp. minced garlic
4 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tsp sesame seeds
Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
To Make the Garnish:
4 oz. of tobiko – flying fish roe (orange)
1/4 cup white sesame seeds (toasted)
To Make the Fried Green Onions:
1 bunch of fresh green onions, shredded thinly
Drop the green onions into a hot fryer at 350 degrees. When the green onions float, whisk out of hot oil to let the oil drain. Add ¼ cup white sesame seeds, toasted.
Place the lettuce cucumber radish sprouts slaw at the bottom of shallow bowls. Place 1 seasoned onigiri rice ball on top, do this 5 more times. Place ahi poke tuna and radish kimchi around the rice. Ladle in 3 tbsp. of the spicy sauce on the plate to form a circle shape. On rice, arrange egg mixture, tobiko, fried onions and sesame seeds.