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Rumake is a delicious appetizer for any Asian-inspired meal. The ingredients are not expensive, and it goes together quickly. You can prep the skewers a day ahead, so all you have left to do is grill the skewers until the bacon is crisp and brown. When that happens, everything else will be cooked to perfection. Serve with our Chinese Mustard and Wasabi Dipping Sauce on the side. Garnish with black or white sesame seeds. Makes about 25 pieces.


1 lb chicken livers, cleaned and halved OR 1 lb baby bella mushroms, cleaned and dried

1 can whole water chestnuts, drained and halved

5- 6 jalapeno peppers, cleaned, seeds removed and sliced into skewerable pieces

1 lb bacon, slices cut in half

toothpicks or skewers

The goal is to produce finger food - bite sized morsels that fit in your mouth. Clean the livers and separate the halves - if they are still very large, cut them in half again. Place water chestnut half and jalapeno slice on a piece of liver, wrap with half-bacon slice and secure with toothpicks individually, or skewer several. If you twist the skewer slightly when it meets the waterchestnut, it will go through without breaking it.


2 Tbs hoisin sauce

2 Tbs Oyster sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

1/4 tsp 5-spice powder

1 Tbs brown sugar

dash of siracha or other hot sauce

2 Tbs soy sauce

2 Tbs lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Let it rest about 5 mins to allow the flavors to meld and the sugar to dissolve. Pour over the skewers and allow to rest in the fridge for an hour.

Grill the skewers over a medium-high fire, turning every one or two mins. When the bacon is brown and crispy, the rest of the ingredients will be cooked as well.

Finishing Sauce:

3 Tbs dried Chinese mustard

3 Tbs dry Wasabi powder

1 tsp white table sugar

1 Tbs rice wine vinegar

1 tsp lime or lemon juice

water to make a paste

Combine the mustard, wasabi and sugar and mix well, making sure all the lumps are broken up. Add the vinegar and lemon juice and stir in well. Add water to the mixture until a paste forms - it should not be too thick because it won't coat the rumake pieces and will be too hot. Make this up ahead of time and let it rest in the fridge until ready to serve - it will smooth out the consistency and allow the sugar to dissolve. Ouch, this stuff's hot!

Rumake is an Asian-inspired appetizer that starts with chicken liver and raises the bar by adding water chestunts and bacon. Of course, the GOG always has to add the peppers - here, we use jalapenos. If you don't like chicken livers, use baby bella mushrooms and love the accolades you get from your guests. From left: jalapenos, mushrooms, baby bella rumake, and chicken liver rumake.
Halved chicken livers (or whole baby bellas) are paired with half a water chestnut and a piece of jalapeno pepper, wrapped in bacon, and soaked in our GirlsonaGrill Rumake Marinade. Then, they're grilled until the bacon is crisp and brown, and served with our Chinese Mustard and Wasabi Dipping Sauce. Ouch!
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