Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sushi notes

Source: Shawn Dempsey, sushi chef at Chiso, Seattle

Sashimi knife- yanagi- for fish only, made of carbon steel, rusts so dry it quickly, 1-sided so you cut something and it falls away
Make sure everything's dry- wet seaweed is bad news
Peeling a cucumber- use a thing that peels it into sushi-sized chunks, or just peel the whole cucumber into a big sheet like a champ
Avocado: halve, pit, scoop out with spoon, slice
Kaiware: daikon sprouts
When buying nori, don't buy top shelf (too fragile, too fancy) or bottom shelf (cheap and thick). Make sure it's roasted. JFC is a good brand.

To make a temaki (hand roll): put rice on left half (of a wide rectangle), put stuff diagonal from top left to bottom center, bring lower left corner to top center, roll up
Uramaki (like a california roll): put rice on nori, add sesame, turn over, add tobiko (fish eggs) in a divot, avocado, cucumber, crab, shape it with saran-wrapped sushi mat
Futomaki (fat roll)
Hosomaki (thin roll)
Obi: little ribbon around nigiri
Gunkan: "battleship" full of fish eggs or whatever
Cut rolls with a knife that has a little water on the blade
Cut fish across the grain so you don't get a big grain in your fish
Cut unagi (eel) at 45 degree angles

Buying fish:
Tuna, salmon, albacore are easy to get
Yellowtail oxidizes so you can't buy it really
Salmon eggs, tobiko, sea urchin all good
Cooked shrimp/eel, no problem
Whitefish: hard to fillet
Scallops: generally safe
Types of tuna: Bluefin (otoro) is most expensive (and overfished), Bigeye (chutoro, orotoro?) is next, then Yellowfin (maguro?) I think the grades don't exactly match up with the types
"Fresh" tuna not actually good- rigor mortis sets in. Flash frozen is the best.

Spicy tuna: scrape tuna into little bits with a spoon, chop up, add sriracha or sambal

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