Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rambling about sushi...

Salmon, grilled salmon skin, avocado, cucumber and green onion
I don't even know where to start. 
I had my first bite around 12 years ago and it turned into a love affair. This was a whole different world of yumminess I had just discovered. I am still puzzled at how something so simple can be so good... and yet, so tricky.
Everything is important. 
The rice should be cooked just right, otherwise, it will form an unpleasant mass when shaped... if undercooked, it won't hold together. Please, I beg, stay away from brown rice... just keep it for something else, anything else, but not sushi. Don't get me wrong, I like brown rice, but the texture is wrong, it doesn't adhere correctly and the taste competes with all the other delicate ingredients you are about to fill your sushi with.
Finding extremely fresh salmon is harder than you might think. At the best of times, when a fish is caught, particularly Atlantic salmon, chances are, it will have probably already travelled a long way and by the time you buy it, it's already a couple of days old. At best. 
In my case, buying high quality frozen norvegian salmon (whole fillet) is the closest to fresh salmon, since it frozen immediately after being caught. 
Some purists (I am one in many aspects)  might say frozen is the least desirable option. Well, I say your senses will usually give you the answer. It should not smell fishy in any shape or way... only a crisp, fresh ocean's aroma will be detectable. Yes, you heard right, it should smell like the ocean.
When raw, the flesh is firm, plump and fatty. The taste should be slightly fruity and buttery in the mouth. If it feels very oily, the fish was probably exposed to too much heat and the fat (which should remain in the flesh) migrated to the outside. That is not a good thing.
The vegetables, if adding any, are up to you dear reader. 
In sushi, as said before, everything is important. 
Proportion to me, are also something too important to ignore. If making a big roll (futomaki), try to keep the rice between 150 to 200 g for the whole seaweed sheet. More than this and you will probably end up with a mouthful of rice... and not much else. The salmon should always be the star, so don't be cheap. A nice 1cm wide strip of salmon is just right in my opinion. Add your vegetables, be sensible. You just can't cram everything in there! 
me: Of course I can! Watch... ermm... eeee...there... almost.
[cucumber flies like a bullet sideways, avocado whirls out like a wet bar of soap]
Roni:I told ya, now you can't close the darn thing. Nice.


  1. lol!
    they taste great when you stuff them with unreasonable amounts of salmon... (even when you don't, actually)

    nice picture! I bet Anan tried to claim the credit for it.. :)

  2. Dan here bud,
    the trick us locals use for sushi rice is called 'sushi no ko' or 'child of sushi' I'll send you know who back with some.
    If you ask nice, I can be pushed into a corner and find the actual recipie for sushi no ko (ex's uncle owns a sushi shop ^^ )

  3. I'm suddenly having a flash back! Many years ago, when I was in California, I saw that powder and didn't really figure out what it was for. I used to add it to the rice instead of the vinegar/sugar mix, but it wasn't always easy to find, so I went back to just making the mix myself. I wasn't very experienced at the time, so I don't think I made the best use out of it. Would love to try that again!