Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sushi Saturday

Sat 12 Jan 2008

I bought Alex a santoku for Christmas and I'd been itching to try it out, so I slyly suggested sushi for our dinner on Saturday.

Shel fell for my ruse, so we went to Leeds indoor market to buy some fish and then Wing Lee Hong for the other ingredients. We bought prawns and salmon from one of the many fishmongers at the market. No tuna, as the only piece of sushi grade was enormous (and £15/kilo).

Wing Lee Hong's chinese supermarket furnished us with rice, nori, wasabi, rice vinegar and mirin and we already had soy sauce an pickled ginger, so we were all set.

We'd been to a sushi making class about eighteen months ago and I had tried to make sushi once since then, which had been a complete disaster because I didn't get the rice right. This time I had the ever-faithful Cooking Japanese book which contains an entry on "Perfect Sushi Rice".

The recipe is pretty simple - cook a cup of short-grain rice with a cup of boiling water and a tablespoon of rice vinegar. When it's done, put it into a large, flat tray to cool and mix up 1.5 teaspoons of caster sugar, 30ml of mirin and a dash of rice vinegar. Mix this into the rice with short stabbing motions. I don't know why short stabbing motions are needed, but they helped me feel authentic.

There are loads of guides to making sushi on the web (including lots of video) so I won't add my methods here but I was pleased with the results: salmon nigiri, shrimp nigiri, salmon maki and salmon and cucumber maki.

I didn't get the shrimp to flatten out properly so there's still plenty to learn but I'll definitely be on the lookout for quality pieces of fish from now on - if Alex lets me borrow her knife again.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


Really interesting post. I love sushi, especially sashimi and have been wanting to try to make my own for a while. Which stall at Leeds Market did you get your fish from? Did you specifically ask for sushi-grade fish?

12:43 am  
Blogger Andy said...

Thanks for the comment Jess. I can't remember the name of the stall - 2nd fishmonger from the top of the row.

They usually have some sushi grade tuna advertised, but like I said, the piece they had was too big. We'd still have been eating sashimi a fortnight later.

For the salmon, we just picked a really fresh looking piece and everything was OK. It's easy to try a small piece when you get your fish home and if it tastes 'old' you can just cook your salmon later.

Good luck with your own sushi making efforts.

1:26 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi i've just moved to leeds and want to go on a course on how to make sushi could you let me know where you went on your course

8:55 am  
Blogger Alex said...

We were lucky enough to participate in an evening sushi making session at Chino Latino. But this was organised by a now defunct company.

Your best bet would be to give places like Chino Latino or, probably even better, Little Tokyo, a call and see if they have any suggestions ...

1:51 pm  

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