Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sushi & Sashimi

Before we start some serious sushi talk, look at these funny party costumes for babies :)

I think we'd better do what we are so good at...

This time, we found some interesting facts about Sushi and Sashimi, very nicely written by Sally Oulton (All credits Seamedia.com.au):

First of all, many of you may wonder what the difference is between sushi and sashimi. Sushi is raw fish with rice. Sashimi is just sliced raw fish. Sushi is made with strips of fish served with vinegar-flavoured rice. It is either wrapped in sheets of nori (seaweed) with the rice, or the rice is pressed in a mould in your hand with the raw fish placed on top.

Sashimi is thinly sliced fish. It is traditionally served on its own as a Japanese entrée along with a glass of sake. Sashimi is a great way to enjoy the fish. The true essence of the fish comes through and with just a dab of soy sauce it enhances the flavour and is delicious. Salmon and tuna take well to being served this way. Both sushi and sashimi are made with other seafood as well, including eel, octopus, squid, clams, abalone, scallops, prawns, crab, salmon roe and sea urchin roe.

So what types of fish can you use? All types of fish can be prepared for sushi and sashimi. However the stronger-tasting oily fish are best. Tuna would be the most popular as it makes excellent sushi and sashimi. Salmon, wahoo, mackerel and coral trout are also delicious and together combined they make a colourful presentation.

Fish that you can try as sushi and sashimi include: sea bass, wahoo, garfish, coral trout, red
snapper, kingfish, mackerel, albacore, salmon, tuna and bonito to name a few. The tuna belly is the highest grade of tuna and fetches exorbitant prices at the Japanese fish markets.


Things you need to make sushi include a bamboo mat, nori sheets, sushi vinegar, wasabi, pickled ginger and sushi rice. It is getting the rice right that makes good sushi. The reason to use sushi rice (or short-grain rice) is that it has the right balance of starches to allow the rice to stick together and keep it intact. Simply follow the instructions on the package of sushi rice. It will explain how to cook it and then how much vinegar and sugar to sprinkle over it while it is warm.

Then you will need to assemble.
  • Place the nori sheet shiny side down on your bamboo sushi mat.
  • Position nori sheet about 2.5 cm from edge of mat closest to you, and leave some space on each side of nori sheet.
  • Wet your hands and spread vinegared rice evenly over the nori sheet, leaving 3cm on far side uncovered.
  • Take a dab of wasabi on your finger and wipe across the rice. See photo.
  • Place strips of your fish over the wasabi. You can add any other fillings that you desire here too, such as strips of cucumber or avocado.
  • Starting from the end with the fish lift the sushi mat and roll into a cylinder. Dampen the end of the nori and apply gentle pressure to join.
  • Use your fingers to make sure roll is properly closed.
  • Roll the entire roll once more, exerting gentle pressure.
  • Wet knife and slice roll in half and cut twice to give six equal-sized pieces. Repeat with remaining nori and rice.
I enjoy my sushi with tuna, a little wasabi, some sliced avocado and toasted sesame seeds sprinkled throughout. Dip it into a little soy sauce, wasabi and put a little piece of picked ginger on top. If youʼre not sure about raw fish, try it with some cooked fish and experiment with other vegetables. And how about smoked salmon with some cream cheese?


Remember it doesnʼt have to be perfect. You can make it any shape you want. The way you see it in restaurants is mainly for presentation. At home, who cares? Generally speaking, fish that can be cut into steaks are well suited for sashimi as they are easily cut into the rectangles people see as sashimi. When it comes to cutting your fish, there are several basic techniques you need to know.

When you fillet your fish look closely and remove any bones. If you have an oily fish such as tuna or mackerel, hold the knife at a 90- degree angle to the fish, and cleanly slice through. This is called the straight cut. If you have a less oily fish such as sea bass or snapper, turn your knife on a slight angle and slice it as smoked salmon is sliced. This is called the slant cut. Always cut the fish across the grain of the fish and cut your fish into thin slices – about 3mm thick.

Alternately, cut it into how thick you would like to eat it. Cutting across the grain ensures the resulting slice is tender and has an attractive crosscut grain pattern. Draw the blade across the fish in one long stroke to complete the slice. If you do not complete the slice in one stroke, lift the knife out of the cut and carefully repeat the slicing motion in the same direction. Avoid using a sawing motion as this could damage the fish. If you were one to indulge in this type of cuisine regularly I would invest in a sashimi knife that is long, thin and sharp as a razor. If you canʼt find a sashimi knife, try a boning or filleting knife. Before slicing, sharpen your knife on a whetstone or steel to ensure that you can slice your fish easily.

Arrange slices on a platter with grated white radish, some pickled ginger, soy sauce and wasabi. Wasabi is a hot green Japanese horseradish that gives you that lovely fiery rush through the nose and sometimes makes your eyes water if you have too much. So only try a little to begin with. Wasabi can be purchased as a tube of paste or in a powder form that you mix with a little

I like to enjoy my sushi and sashimi with a little warm sake. So sit back relax and as they say in
Japanese ʻMeshi agare!ʼ

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