SUSHI

THE DELIGHT OF GLOBAL GASTRONOMY
Compiled By: SHIVAM MEHRA

AIM
I have taken up this topic to explore the major culinary revolution that has hit Indian shores recently and also to be aware about its popularity in the world.

INTRODUCTION
Japan is an island nation, its surrounding seas warmed by Kuroshio, the plankton rich Japan current and abundant with an astonishing variety of fish & shellfish. The island themselves are mountaineous and what little arable land exists is terraced & carefully cultivated to coax rice and few other crops from the earth. Japan has always fed its dense population from the sea and the rice fields, its cuisine emphasizing what nature provides. Sushi, the combination of raw fish and seasoned rice that seems so exotic to foriegners is a supremely logical food in Japan.

ORIGIN
Sushi originated in the South-East Asia and China before traveling to Japan.

WHAT IS SUSHI ?
Technically, the word “SUSHI” refers to the rice, but colloquially, the term is used to describe a finger-size piece of raw fish or shellfish on a bed of vinegared rice. This can be beaten as is, or often dipped into Shoyu (Japanese Soya sauce) and then eaten. Often much care is put into the creation of the dish and the many methods of preparing the food indicate the importance of appearance to the educated consumer.

WHAT IS SASHIMI ?

Sashimi is a Japanese delicacy primarily consisting of very fresh sea foods, thinly sliced and served with only a dipping sauce (like soy sauce with wasabi, or ponzu sauce), and a simple garnish like shiso and shredded daikon radish. Some sashimi ingredients, like octopus, are served cooked, but most fish, like tuna, are served raw. Less common, but not unusual, sashimi ingredients are vegetarian items such as yuba (bean curd skin) and raw red meats, such as beef or horse. The name sashimi may have come from the practice of sticking the tail of the fish on the slices, to let it be known which fish one was eating.

WHAT IS SASHIMI ?

Sashimi is often the first course in a formal Japanese meal. Many people believe that sashimi, traditionally considered the finest dish in Japanese cuisine, should be eaten before other strong flavours affect the palate. Sashimi is sometimes served with sushi. Japanese people often mix wasabi directly into soy sauce when preparing dipping sauces for sashimi, which is generally not done when eating sushi. However, some purists denounce the practice of mixing wasabi into soy sauce, saying that this dilutes the sharp flavour of wasabi

MAIN CONSTITUENTS
Rice Nori Omelets Toppings & Fillings Fish Seafood Vegetables Red Meat Condiments Presentation Utensils for preparing Sushi

SUSHI : THRU AGES
Beginning as a method of preserving fish centuries ago, sushi has evolved into an artful, unique dining experience. In its earliest form, dried fish was placed between two pieces of vinegared rice as a way of making it last. The Nori (Seaweed) was added later as a way to keep ones fingers from getting sticky.

TYPES OF SUSHI
Sashimi Futo-Maki Maki-zushi or Norimaki Temaki-zushi Hosomaki Nigiri-zushi Oshi-zushi Inari-zushi Saiku-zushi Chirashi-zushi Chakn-zushi Uramaki California Roll Temari-zushi Gunkanmaki

TYPES OF FISH USED IN PRODUCTION OF SUSHI
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Maguro, Tuna Toro, Fatty Tuna Belly Shiro Maguro, Albacore Himachi, Yellowtail Katsuo, Bomito Kohada, Japanese salad Saba, Mackerel Sake, Salmon Tai, Porgy ; Red Snapper Hirame, Halibut Suzuki, Sea Bass Unagi, Sea Eel Anage, Sea Eel

TYPES OF FISH USED IN PRODUCTION OF SUSHI
Tako, Octopus Ika, Squid Awabi, Abalone Mirugai, Geoduck Clam Torigai, Japanese Cockle Aoyagi, Japanese Red Clam Akagai, Pepitona Clam Kobashira, Small Scallops Kaibashira, Large Scallops Kami, Crab Ebi, Cooked Prawn Amaebi, Raw Prawn Uni, Sea Urchin Roe Tobiko, Flying Fish Roe Masago, Capelin Roe Tamage, Hen’s Egg Omelette

EQUIPMENTS REQUIRED

A very sharp knife or sushi knife called Bento knife made of razor sharp carbon steel with a Ho wood handle. Bamboo mat or hot pad called a Sushimaki Sudare a Maksin used to roll the sushi. Wooden spoon or Shamoji to spread the rice as it is sticky. A pair of metal chopsticks.

FOODSTUFFS REQUIRED
Nori (Toasted Seaweed Sheets) Wasabi (Japanese Horseradish mustard) Gari or Shoga (Sliced Ginger) Daikon Radish Su or Awaze-zu (Sushi vinegar) Kappa (Cucumber) Avocado Sakura Denbu (Shredded Cold fish) Har Hari Zuke (Pickled radish and ginger) Ao Shisonomi (Beef steak plant seeds) Shiso Sakura (Pickled Japanese Gourd) Nametake Chazuke (Prepared Mushrooms)

DINNING & ETIQUETTE

How to eat SUSHI – Never and Must
Traditionally, sake is not drunk with sushi; tea, beer, wne, or water. Sake may be drunk with sashimi, one does not pour one’s sake, either. Ginger, for cleansing the palate, is eaten between types of fish & not with it. When dipping in shoyu, dip fish side in, not rice. That way the rice does not soak up the shoyu, which can overpower the fish,

DINNING & ETIQUETTE
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Also, your dish won’t be filled with rice particles. Never pass food using chopsticks. Pass the plate instead. If you take food from a shared plate, use the reverse ends of your chopsticks. Never bite into a piece of food and then replace the other half on your plate. Don’t ask for knives. This would imply the food is so tough, it can’t be eaten without them. Don’t make a wasabi soup with your soy sauce. Wasabi will hide the subtle flavours.

GARI

Fresh

Old

Fresh

Old

THe PURPOSE
To refreshen your mouth palate any or each time after tasting many kinds and variety tastes of sushi, such as from oily ‘toro’ or sweaty ‘anago’ (conger eel) to rich ‘uni’ (sea urchin) to delicate and good textured ‘awabi’ (abalone) and much more. A good sushi restaurant also carefully prepares own ‘gari’ with own recipe.

WASABI

Wasabi is the most important spice, condiment and seasoning for sushi definitely, as well as Gari (seasoned ginger) and Sho'oyu/Nikiri (soy sauce.)

RESTAURANTS SERVING SUSHI
There are a total 3989 restaurants in 1098 cities serving Sushi. SAKURA at THE METROPOLITAN HOTEL NIKKO. ENOKI at THE GRAND, NEW DELHI. 19 – ORIENTAL AVENUE at SHANGRI-LA HOTEL. THREE SIXTY DEGREES at THE OBEROI,NEW DELHI PAN ASIA at THE MARRIOT WELCOME HOTEL,NEW DELHI TK’s – THE ORIENTAL GRILL at HYATT REGENCY. SPICE ROUTE at THE IMPERIAL. WASABI at TAJ MAHAL HOTEL,MUMBAI.

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SHARI : SUSHI RICE RECIPE
How to cook and prepare sushi rice

The most important technique in the preparation of sushi is how to make sushi rice, called 'shari,' 'sushi-meshi' or 'su-meshi' (vinegar[ed]-[cooked] rice) in the best condition, that means how to mix rice and vinegar deliciously. The taste of the sushi depends on the taste of sushi rice as much as by 60%, according to many sushi chefs opinions. The key factor is the 'shari' itself, as well as fish quality. There are some certain and easy know-hows in preparation of the sushi rice (shari) at home.

HOW TO SELECT RICE
It does not depend on the quality of rice, such as 'Koshi-hikari', the best and most expensive species/brand or 'Sasanishiki', usually the second and expensive, which are ideal for usual daily diet, but they are sometimes said to be less suitable as the sushi rice, because of their much sticky characteristics.

HOW TO SELECT RICE

The most important factor in selecting a short-grain (japonica subspecies) white rice is how much that brand is capable of absorbing the water in nature, which corresponds to how much the vinegar is to be soaked into the cooked rice, because the degree of the penetration of the vinegar into the rice plays a greater part of the taste of shari, and sushi itself consequently. By this reason, it is not always necessary to use a new rice ('shin-mai') which is relatively abundant in water content, but an old, long-stored rice ('ko-mai,' i.e. one year old) is rather suitable for 'shari' due to less water content. Many sushi restaurants use their own mixture of the two kinds with a ratio of more than 50% of 'komai.'

HOW TO COOK RICE

Washing (Polishing): At first, flush with abundant water and stir to wash out dust and dirt or offals 2-3 times. Roughly drain the water off and wash (polish) the rice surfaces by scrubbing the grains each other gently, and rinse. Repeat this about three times. Pre-immersion: Add and adjust the water with less than the normal measuring for the daily cooking (1 : 1.2 - 1.3 vol.,) i.e. to around 1 : 1.1 by the volume of rice, because an adequate 'awase-zu' liquid is added (as much as 10%) to the cooked rice afterward. Keep for a half an hour in summer (26 °C / 79 °F water) to one and half an hours in winter (5 °C / 41 °F water), for the absorption of the water.

HOW TO COOK RICE
Heating (cooking): By an electric rice cooker is the most recommendable way today. After the heating is completed, let the rice leave in the pot and steam for a while (ca. 10 - 15 minutes) without opening the lid. This waiting time is very important for a delicious cooked rice.

How to vinegar the cooked rice:

Do not wait a minute after the cook. Rice vinegar ('yonezu') mixture ('awase-zu') should be prepared 30 minutes before the use for good dissolving of the ingredients, with the following Basic Recipe (with 'kombu' preferably, and/or either a little of sake or mirin - sweet rice wine.) Add salt to vinegar first and warm it up for a better dissolving and secondly sugar.

SUSHI HISTORY

When most people hear the word, “Sushi”, they immediately think of raw fish. In truth, dishes made with raw fish are called “Sashimi”. What defines Sushi is any dish made with vinegar rice, which may or may not include raw fish. Most often, Sushi will consist of various types of shellfish such as crab or lobster, or cooked fish along with other fresh ingredients wrapped tightly inside the sticky vinegar rice. Although in today’s society you will find Sushi served most often in a Japanese restaurant, it actually dates back to 7th Century China. As a way of preserving fish, the Chinese people started making Sushi but without modern day refrigerators, they used the natural process of fermentation. To complete the Sushi-making process, only rice and salt were needed. The result was delicious fish, causing Sushi to grow in popularity.

POPULARITY OF SUSHI IN INDIA

After a dramatic debut on elite dining tables last year, Japanese delicacy sushi has now taken over India's taste buds by catering to its yen for edible global exotica. Like bonsai and ikebana, sushi is typically Japanese and a gastronomic revolution by itself, vouch the Indian gourmets. The Japanese dish that took the US palates by storm in the 1980s satisfies culinary cravings along with the new penchant for a healthy diet. From tofu to lettuce leaves and a host of other combinations, the 'sushi vegan' is a new avatar in India, taking the Japanese culinary invasion a step further.

JAPANESE INVASION
This is one conquest Delhi seems to have willingly surrendered itself to. Long before it was fashionable in Bombay, Delhi mirrored international trends by voting for slice after slithering slice of kachi machi. With over a dozen restaurants of Japanese and Korean food to boast of, some of them world-class, kukkad-crazy Delhi has taken to Sushi and Sashimi with the same ease as... er... a fish takes to water! Kaiseki, Yakitori, Teppanyaki, Terriyaki... this is familiar territory in the Capital today. Goshu Mori, Ginmitsu Saikyaki, Tukune-Terini, Tempura... expensive stuff, but Delhi can’t seem to get enough of it!

STEP 1
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Prepare the followings: Sliced fish, sushi toppings (Sushidane) Sushi rice (Shari) Grated Wasabi Diluted vinegar solution (Tezu)

Others have to be set up in advance:
Wooden serving board/plate (Geta) Pickled ginger slices (Gari) Soy sauce (Sho'oyu/Nikiri) Chop sticks (Hashi) Hot green tea (Agari)

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STEP 2
1. 2.

Moist your both hands with 'Tezu.' Take about one ounce (ca. 20-25 g) of Shari in your right hand and make a rice ball in egg-shaped within the palm. Pick up a piece of sliced fish by your two fingers, thumb and index only, and hold on.

Preferably the temperatures of Shari and hands should be the same. Shari tends to stick to cold hands. Te-zu (hand-vinegar) is prepared by diluting rice vinegar with water by about 1:3.

STEP 3

Holding the shaped sushi rice, scoop up a minimum of grated wasabi with the right index finger. Now rest the fish between the second  Avoid to warm up the and third joints of your left hand fingers. fish by your hand as

much as possible

STEP 4

Put the wasabi on the center of the fish.

Wasabi is not necessary to spread out, because it prevents a good cohesion of the fish and rice.

STEP 5

Place the rice on the fish and wasabi. Press the center of the rice a bit with the thumb to introduce some air  To letting in the air is the most important into the rice.
point in making the sushi delicious.

STEP 6

Hold and close the nigiri by the four fingers and press with one or two right fingers. Push the tip side of the nigiri by the left thumb at the same time.

Do not press too firm but the fish must adhere to the rice.

STEP 7 & 8

Transfer the sushi (nigiri) held in the left palm over to the right.

Turn round your right hand to show your palm.

This successive processes (6 - 8) are called 'Te-gaeshi' (handturning.)

STEP 9

By turning each hand again in reverse, return the nigiri to left palm. Now it has been rotated horizontally by 180°.  The other tip side Again press and is pushed by the push in the same thumb. way above.

STEP 10

By rolling the nigiri (with a help of right index finger,) make it upside down and fish side is up. With right hand,  Skillful sushi chef place to the proper does not do this with position on the left a help of a finger but a swift motion of the palm. palm.

STEP 11

Do not press too much. The critical point is that the outer side of the nigiri is firm enough but inside is loose.

Again press and push in the same way above.

STEP 12

Pick up the nigiri and rotate horizontally by 180°. Again press and push in the same way above. Repeat this once or twice more.

Here does not do Tegaeshi because the sides of fish may peal off from the rice.

STEP 13
1.

Make a final make-up and adjustment on both sides, if necessary, with thumb and index or middle fingers, then press once more.

Nigiri of 'Funazoko' (ship-bottom) shape is completed.

THANKYOU

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