June 18th is International Sushi Day, and that gives us an idea for a Father’s Day gift (as well as for lunch).
If Dad likes sushi, how about a set of sushi knives for Father’s Day…and a copy of Sushi: The Beginner’s Guide?
Sushi chefs use different knives, and some are quite specialized:
Deba bocho, a kitchen cleaver specifically for fish
Maguro bocho, a very long knife to fillet tuna (a very large fish)
Nakiri bocho, a vegetable knife that looks like a cleaver
Sashimi bocho, a sashimi slicer
Unagisaki hocho, an eel knife
There are also specialty knives for soba (soba kiri), udon (udon kiri), vegetables (nakiri bocho and usuba bocho) and perhaps the best-known to Westerners, the all-purpose Western-style knife, the santoku, used for fish, meat and vegetables (santoko means “three virtues”).
Sushi knives. Photo courtesy Good Cooking.
You can purchase individual knives, or this three-knife set from Good Cooking that includes nakiri, santoku and sashimi knives (photo at right).
The knives are:
Razor sharp for perfect slicing
Rust- and stain-proof
Chirashi sushi: fish and other ingredients atop a large bed of rice. Photo courtesy
HOW TO START MAKING SUSHI AT HOME
The easiest sushi to make at home is chirashi sushi. Simply arrange the sliced ingredients on top of a bed of sushi rice.
The next step up the ladder to making sushi is to make rolls. The hardest is nigiri sushi, strips of fish on pads of rice. It takes a practice to form the pads of rice.
If you want to roll your own, here are tips from Chef Steven Ferdinand, Executive Chef of Culinary Operations at Haru Sushi Tips for perfectly rolling your own sushi include:
Quality Ingredients are everything. Buy the freshest sushi grade fish available. This is essential for taste as well as for safety.
Sharp Knives are a must, but splurging isn’t necessary. While specialty sushi knives are great tools, they are not always necessary for cutting maki at home. A sharp knife kept barely wet will do the job just fine, allowing for a clean cut without crushing the roll.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with flavors! At Haru, trendy spins on classic dishes are created by working them into a roll. Examples from Haru’s menu:
The Oscar Roll, combining snow crab, asparagus, beef tataki and lemon dressing for a Surf and Turf inspired maki.
Strawberry Finn Roll, a sweet and spicy roll made with crunchy spicy yellowtail, jalapeños and mango, topped with scallops, wasabi tobiko and fresh strawberries.
Gramercy Park Roll, made with crunchy spicy albacore tuna and jalapeños; wrapped with tuna, yellowtail, and salmon; and topped with lemon, cilantro, tobiko and yuzu miso sauce.
10 NON-TRADITIONAL INGREDIENTS TO COMBINE WITH RAW FISH
Sushi means “vinegar rice,” not “raw fish.” So as long as you use sushi rice, you can combine any ingredients, cooked or raw. The classic salmon skin roll is grilled, for example.
You can combine raw fish with cooked items like beef, chicken, fish, lamb, pork or tofu. Consider adding:
Berry: blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, strawberry
Grapefruit or mandarin
Herbs: basil, cilantro, mint, shiso (beefsteak plant)
Just about anything else
Last night we went fusion. For a first course we created a melon, prosciutto and salmon roll. Not conventional, but delicious. And fun!