I’ve an ambivalent angle to sushi. It has turn out to be, on the one hand, one of many favoured meals of the joyless ‘clear consuming’ and perpetually-dieting brigade. On the opposite, sushi is as scrumptious as it’s wholesome; filling however not heavy; dainty however not pretentious. No must really feel abashed then about being a sushi fan: simply get your suggestions from an itamae (sushi chef) slightly than Gwyneth Paltrow.
Making sushi at dwelling makes a whole lot of sense. A sushi dinner for the household is abruptly a extra reasonably priced proposition, and it’s surprisingly straightforward. It can be a kind of meals that’s primarily the identical effort whether or not you’re serving one particular person or a dozen: excellent celebration meals then, should you’re getting along with buddies to observe the most recent Olympics motion from Tokyo.
Cooking the Rice
- Place your sushi rice (e.g. koshihikari) in a sieve. Rinse beneath chilly operating water, to take away any extra starch, till the water runs clear. Place two elements rice to a few elements chilly water in a big saucepan and go away to soak for half an hour or so. To serve 4 you’ll want about 500g of rice, or about two mugs full (to a few mugs of water).
- Next, deliver the rice to the boil over a excessive warmth, then cowl, cut back the warmth to low and cook dinner for 10-12 minutes or till the water has all been absorbed. Set apart to chill barely.
Seasoning the Rice
- Stir via rice vinegar (about 125 ml), sugar (two tablespoons) and salt (half a teaspoon), mixing them collectively beforehand to dissolve (you’ll be able to heat gently in a saucepan if want be, leaving to chill earlier than utilizing). Use a wood spatula to interrupt up rice lumps as you combine it in.
- Then correctly cool the seasoned rice down by spreading it thinly onto a tray and protecting with a moist tea towel. Avoid placing it within the fridge as it’s going to dry the rice out. It will hold advantageous for as much as a day, with the sushi-su(vinegar combination) serving to to protect it.
Preparing the fillings
- Choose your fillings. You might want to supply super-fresh, sushi-grade fish. You’ll discover it at good fishmongers like Moxon’s in Clapham, Meek & Wild in Highbury, Notting Hill Fish Shop or on-line at The Fish Society. Salmon and tuna are the apparent decisions however half the enjoyable of doing sushi at house is getting experimental with the likes of sea bass and the sustainable mackerel. Also slice up some avocado (with a tiny squeeze of lime to keep away from discolouration) and cucumber for a little bit of selection. Everything must be thinly sliced.
- When making sushi at dwelling for the primary time give attention to easy maki rolls, and nigiri – oblongs of rice on which you’ll be able to elegantly drape your fish.
- For the maki rolls, place a sushi mat (out there cheaply from oriental shops) in your work floor with the slats operating horizontally. Place a nori sheet, shiny-side down, on the mat. Using moist palms to stop sticking, take a handful of rice and unfold evenly on the sheet, leaving the highest third of the sheet uncovered.
- Place a skinny row of your filling throughout the center of the rice. Lift the close to fringe of the mat, and roll away from you, to encase the filling. Then dampen the highest border with some water to seal. Wrap your roll tightly in cling movie and chill till agency.
- When able to serve, brush your knife with a bit rice vinegar to stop sticking and reduce the roll into inch-thick rounds.
- Making nigiri rolls is even simpler. Just scoop up some rice in your hand and press into an oval form in your palm. Take a bit of fish, a ¼ inch thick, and three inches lengthy, and drape over. You may even attempt utilizing smoked salmon for an inauthentic however completely scrumptious twist (you gained’t want any soy sauce to dip as it is going to be salty sufficient).
- Place on a platter with little aspect bowls and plates for the accompaniments – soy sauce, picked ginger and wasabi. They are what makes it. Don’t hassle attempting to make the wafer-thin ginger at dwelling, you’ll discover it in Japanese shops or simply nip into your native Itsu and ask properly. Wasabi is much more vital. I admit to being surprisingly hooked on the nose-burning burst of fiery warmth it brings – poor man’s cocaine. As a lot as I adore it, what we’re used to is the truth is the knock-off horseradish and mustard flour paste which is served in 95 per cent of sushi retailers, versus the true factor. Real wasabi is kind of arduous to search out however is price looking for out for its extra fragrant style. You can buy it on-line, in contemporary items and even as a grow-your-own plant.
Or should you actually can’t be bothered…
From the seven-seater Sushi Tetsu in Clerkenwell (essentially the most troublesome restaurant reservation within the nation) to the people-watching palaces of Nobu and Zuma, London has no scarcity of nice sushi eating places. The fish at Mayfair’s Umu exhibits off the bounty from Cornish waters. You may go even higher-end, to The Araki, the place the set menu will set you again £310 pp however at the least consists of loads of uncommon caviar from albino sturgeons. Or head to Japanese expat epicentres in Ealing and West Acton for better-value fare on the likes of Kiraku or Atariya.