Sushi’s simple, you just don’t cook it, right? No clue why it takes them years in sushi school to become masters of the craft. So, I’m going to take you through many of the fine points of sushi creating, fusion sushi, serving (formally, not just take-out where anything already goes).
First, you make the rice. Any ole rice will do. If you are using, say, wild-caught salmon, you want to use wild rice, of course. For true fusion dishes, use a good blend of rices, as below:
You’ll need to be able to form it into small balls or patties upon which to place your fish. If the rice you choose doesn’t act amenable to patty-formation, amend it with a little beaten egg, and nuke it until it just begins to set.
Now for the fish. Here’s some ama-ebi on white rice, along side a piece of ama-ebi sashimi. (The crunchy, high-calcium version).
Here’s another example, ginger sushi. It’s catching on in all the ritziest places.
And, for those who are just not eating grains any more, being creative for the base of the fish is essential:
And then there’s sashimi, which is the fish without the rice or other base. You want to be artful in your presentations.
In the above example, we have a sardine with a salmon egg (ikura) in its mouth. Reminiscent of the suckling pig with the apple stuffed into the gullet.
One doesn’t even have to stick with fish. Sushi and sashimi can be made with omelettes, Japanese pickles, asparagus, avocado, cheese and goat tartare.
I think we can all agree that a knife and fork aren’t going to cut it, except literally. Notice the artful use of Chinese chopsticks in some of these photos.
Make lots of slurpy sounds. This lets your hosts know you enjoy.
Metallica makes excellent background music for sushi dining. (Don’t laugh, they came on the sound system at one sushi spot I dined at. Another played Mexican tunes.)
Know the difference between saki and sake. Or you will be eating salmon when you want to drink rice wine, or vice versa. At any rate, with the increased appetite of Americans, the serving of sake is going away from the serving set on the left to the new style on the right.
A FEW TYPES OF SUSHI:
(Toro/Tuna Belly) Often, this is from bluefin tuna, in danger of extinction. You can gain some notority by helping to eat the last of these massive fishes. They’ll get you in return: they’re mercury accumulators.
(Ama-Ebi/Sweet Shrimp) They’re a whole lot cheaper when they’re called Maine shrimp.
(Ebi/Sour Shrimp) No doubt sour and feeling put upon, because of being over-farmed, or over-BP’d.
(Unagi/Eel) Them things on the way to the Saragasso Sea.
(Striped Bass) You can tell which these are because of the prison stripes.
(Bisphenol A) Those green strips of plastic.
Have a happy sushi-party, and note that no food was wasted in the capture of these photos.