Wednesday, May 17, 2006

How to make sushi - in London

Last Friday I made sushi for my mum, my sister and my girlfriend. It came out very well. It always comes comes out well. That is because sushi is piss easy to make.

Now that I have done it a few times I think it is time for me to pass some of the knowledge on because that is the way of the world.

NUMBER ONE

This is the GOLDEN RULE - BUY GOOD QUALITY FRESH FISH FROM A PROPER FISHMONGER THAT KNOWS WHAT SUSHI GRADE FISH IS.


If you want to learn about bacteria and parasites and what they do to the human digestive tract then I invite you to break this GOLDEN RULE at your leisure.

But if you want to be smart then I recommend STEVE HATTS FISHMONGER in Islington.

Steve Hatts Fishmonger
88-90 Essex Road
Islington
London, N1 8LU

Tel: 020 7226 3963
(like most decent fishmongers they are closed on Mondays - I get off at Angel Tube and walk)

They are very helpful and knowledgable - all you need to do is tell them that you are making sushi and ask them what's fresh from that morning. You can also tell them that I sent you... describe me by my physical appearance and tell them that I was the guy who was paranoid about dying... but who keeps coming back.

Anyway, I recommend (for beginners)

1. SALMON ( ask them to scale and fillet it)
2. TUNA (ask them to cut into a decent sized steak)

For Advanced Badboys (don't try and be flash and do this on your first time making sushi)

3. Sea Bass (scaled and filleted - ALL bones taken out) Use this for Sashimi only (serve with thin slices of lemon)
4. Halibut (Very expensive - be warned!)


If you want to amaze your dinner guests then I would suggest buying a small jar of Lumpfish Roe (about a fiver I think, but very tasty when used in moderation). You can use the larger Salmon eggs but they are expensive and they taste quite fishy.

NUMBER TWO

Buy the rest of your ingredients from the Japanese Centre near Piccadilly.

Get:

SUSHI RICE (other types of race are not acceptable)
SUSHI SEASONING
WASABI PASTE/POWDER
PICKLED GINGER
SEAWEED
SUSHI ROLLING MAT
GOOD SOY SAUCE

Expensive does not mean the best - ask the people in the shop what Japanese people buy.

You will also need:

CHOP STICKS
DIPPING BOWLS

and the SHARPEST KNIFE YOU HAVE - if you are rich then buy a sashimi knife... but you don't have to do this straight away.

Also buy AVOCADOS and CUCUMBER



NUMBER THREE

B
uy a book on how to make sushi/or do a search on google.
I know I said I would tell you how to make sushi, and I AM. The hardest part is finding a decent place to buy the fish - I have done that for you.

With the Tuna and Salmon you bought, it should be quite easy to have a go at cutting Sashimi pieces. Just copy the style and shape that you have seen in your favourite sushi places.

Eat these with plain sushi rice that has been seasoned with toastes sesame seeds.

Use CUCUMBER and AVOCADO as other fillings and then make MAKI rolls (filling, rice wrapped in sea-weed) It's messy but very fun.


RANDOM ADVICE:

KEEP THE FISH CHILLED AND EAT ON THE DAY OF PURCHASE

I USUALLY CLEAN IT WITH SALT AND WATER

SUSHI RICE STICK TO ANYTHING IT TOUCHES.
(You will need a bowl of water with a tablespoon of sushi vinegar added nearby. Dip your hand into this every time you grab some rice.)

TRY AND PLAY SOME JAPANESE MEDITATION MUSIC whilst doing all of this- SUSHI is as much a state of mind than anything else. Have fun. It TAKES HOURS when you first do it.



There is much more to it than this - but nothing substitutes for experience and I've given you more info that I had when I started... so have a go and we'll compare notes another time... and then I'll give you some more advanced recipes.

Good luck

doom
x

8 Comments:

Blogger london cokehead said...

Chef Doom's Wasabi sushi club-o-rama!

Today the world, tomorrow...Fugu tiger liver pate!

5/17/2006 11:30 pm  
Anonymous tilda said...

... HMM, good advice (the fish place in angel)

People closer to the west end should try the Japan Center in Piccadilly, you can't go wrong there.

5/18/2006 6:05 am  
Blogger Doom/Blondie said...

TILDA - yeah - but they don't sell fish in picadilly....

LCH - This is SUSHI CLUB. The first rule of Sushi club is...

5/18/2006 10:28 am  
Blogger El Diablo De Verde said...

I hate the salmon but I love hamachi, toro, o-toro, chu-toro, ika, maguro, uni, unagi, ama ebi, ebi, etc..

Here in the depths of Los Angeles is a place where the sushi is flown in from Japan as chefs prepare the meal on the plane.

5/18/2006 11:08 am  
Anonymous tilda said...

el diablo de verde... HA HA really??

Doom, you're right, was thinking about ingredients, have never been to fish shop you're talking about... usually go to La maree cos it's convenient.. They are pretty awesome too.
There's another amazing place in Notting hill, think it's called chalmers and gray.. not sure though.

5/18/2006 3:39 pm  
Blogger Doom/Blondie said...

MAGGOT - you confuse me by using the Japanese names.

MAGURO = normal tuna, yeah you can buy that here in the fishmongers... I don;t like it much.

CHO-TORO = half fatty tuna - never seen it on sale in a fishmonger, but you can get it in GOOD sushi bars... never had it yet.

TORO = Fatty tuna - they sell it in very small fillets in Selfridges on oxford street... fucking expensive, apparently good but I never had it yet. I want to. But it is a lot and I want to learn as much as I can before I do this one.

HAMACHI - I've had it - it was average. Salmon is better. Never seen it selling anywhere in a fishmonger

EBI - japaneae prawns - I cannot be arsed to cook them.

UNI - sea urchin... hmmm - not sure if I've had this one. but i'll have a look

5/19/2006 1:11 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cool

6/04/2006 5:06 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi
i live in london and my website is http://pipichan.info

4/21/2009 3:48 am  

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