JAPAN

SUSHI RICE

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Cooking sushi rice can be somewhat challenging, the starch needs to be rinsed away to avoid the rice sticking together. The grains should be cooked just enough to still have a textural bite to them without being chewy or crunchy. Much easier to prepare in a rice cooker but still totally achievable on the stove top wiht a little more attention.

For the rice:

2 cups short grain sushi rice

2.4 cups water

Rinse your rice thoroughly under water until the water runs completely clear (it’s extremely important to wash away all the excessive starch). Place your rice into a shallow pot and pour in your water. Cook on high heat stirring occasionally until the liquid boils. Turn the heat down to low and cover with a lid. Cook for 10-12. Turn off the heat and keep the lid on. Let sit for 20 min and remove lid. Mix gently to make sure you don’t break the grains. Season and let cool at room temperature.

For the seasoning:

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp white sugar

Bring the ingredients to a boil and pour over the sushi rice. Mix gently. Best used within 2 days.

PICKLED GINGER

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Pickled ginger is a great accompaniment for most types of fresh fish. Plenty of great store bought options are available but as always we made our own. Really easy and keeps in the fridge indefinitely.

4 knobs ginger

2 cups rice vinegar

1 cup white sugar

pinch of salt

Peel the ginger and slice thinly on the mandolin (watch your fingers). Bring a pot of water to a boil and dop your ginger in for about 20 seconds. Strain out the ginger and reserve, this process helps make the ginger too fibrous when it’s pickled. Bring the other ingredients to a boil and pour over the ginger. Store in an airtight container indefinitely.

CHŪTORO NIGIRI

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Nigiri is a Japanese dish consisting of rice and fresh fish. The literal translation means “two fingers” which refers to the technique used to shape the sushi. The Chūtoro is a cut of bluefin tuna that comes from the belly, known to be the fattiest part of the fish. This cut comes from the middle section of the belly which has less marbling that the ōtoro (lower belly) but more than akami (filet) which is more widely available. When served at room temperature the fish has an incredibly delicate texture and flavour. Paired with nicely season sushi rice, pickled ginger and fresh wasabi this is one of the freshest bites on the planet. This isn’t so much a recipe as a technique. There are plenty of instructional videos on how to shape nigiri online if you find yourself struggling to get started.

400g chūtoro

10 - 50g balls seasoned sushi rice

For this preparation a sharp knife is imperative. Slice the tuna into 1cm slices and reserve. If you don’t have a scale to measure the sushi rice just eyeball the amount, you don’t want a mouthful of rice with a tiny bit of fish so use your better judgement. When working with sushi rice you’ll want a bowl of cold water to dip your hands in to avoid the rice sticking to you (don’t soak your hands of the nigiri will be wet…). Place the sliced fish flat in over the base of your fingers in your non dominant hand, place a ball of sushi rice gently overtop. Close your fingers gently overtop to cradle the roll and press down firmly overtop with the two fingers on your other hand. Don’t squeeze too hard, the rice should be somewhat loose. Repeat this until desired shape is achieved. This is very hard to describe so best to watch a video. We will post one soon…

Serve with fresh wasabi and pickled ginger.

YOSHI NO GAWA "GOKU-JO" GINJO SAKÉ

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This month’s drink pairing is a light and floral saké from Nagaoka, Japan. This brewery has been producing some of the best saké in Japan since 1548. Best served chilled and makes a great accompaniment for fresh fish. At $35.00 a bottle we feel the value is massive, 10/10 would drink again. Enjoy this with our Chūtoro nigiri.