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Sushi and Sashimi

Eating Out

I just found two interesting sushi moblogs (mobile phone picture logs ...) - puts my sushi rolls to shame, but then again, I'm just an ordinary Aussie mum and home taught re sushi ...:-)

  • Bento Moblog
  • News Flash: Our new favoritist japanese restaurant is Shira Nui at 247 Springvale Road, Glen Waverley, ph 9886 7755. More to come, but it is ACE !!!

    We love to eat sashimi and our favourite Japanese restaurants at the moment are:

    • Hanabishi's on King Street (bring your credit card - it isn't cheap)
    • Kenzan at Collins Place (also not cheap), and to my mind not quite as good as Shira Nui or Hanabishi's but still very very yum
    • Teppanyaki at K-Mart Plaza, East Burwood Ph: 9886 6085 - prices are reasonable, service is friendly, and it is the only place I have ever seen waitresses running to serve people !
    • Shima, 12 Waverly Place, New York - great food, great atmosphere, good prices and huge servings ... but sadly, far far away from Melbourne (and rumoured to now be closed).

    However eating out is not the most financially-responsible decision one can make with sashimi-devouring young children, so now we make our own at home. We have found that we get to eat more, eat more comfortably, and we all enjoy the ritual surrounding food preparation, and best of all, it is not very expensive - a huge feed of sushi/sashimi for around $12:00 per person.

    Making sushi and sashimi at home

    For an excellent sushi and sashimi web-site, visit the Sushi Page. What follows on this page is really just an outline of our weekly sushi ritual. Suppliers mentioned here are in the South East area of Melbourne, Australia.

    Buying fish

    We buy our fish from Ocean World at Chadstone Shopping Centre. They always have excellent salmon and tuna, and there is usually a white fish suitable for sashimi (i.e., freshly caught, not frozen). The white fish is usually orange roughy (sea perch). We usually get some king prawns to put in California Roll, because we like them better than seafood stick, and prawns are easier to handle than crabs.

    We tend to buy our fish from Ocean World because they make their own sushi and are aware of the importance of freshness for sashimi. We always bring an esky or cool-bag with ice, or ask them to pack the fish with ice because the fish will be eaten raw. They also sell sheets of nori (roasted seaweed), wasabi in a tube and sometimes, Japanese mustard. The sushi bar outside Myers sells all sorts of Japanese products including mayonnaise.

    OTHER INGREDIENTS

    Along with fish, we also need to have:

    • nori sheets - we use 2 packets of 10 for 3 adults and 2 (incredibly greedy!) children
    • wasabi - we buy the tins of powder which is mixed with water to form the wasabi paste
    • avocado for the California roll
    • Rice - we used to buy Nishiki sushi rice which always works better than the long-grain rice we normally eat, but Calrose medium is much cheaper and works beautifully
    • Japanese rice vinegar for the sushi rice
    • soya sauce
    • leaves to put in rolls - usually these come from my herb garden, but if the pickings are slim, we usually at least buy rocket/arugula or basil, and spring onions for the salmon-and-spring-onion rolls. We also enjoy garlic chives (instead of spring onions), sorrel, shiso leaf (I found a plant once, but sadly it is an annual, and I haven't found it again), vietnamese mint and baby spinnach.

    Most of the ingredients are available at big supermarkets, but are cheaper and fresher at Asian Supermarkets. We often buy things at the Asian Grocery Store at Monash University, Clayton Campus in the Union Building.

    The preparation for our family meal involves

    • Preparing the rice
      • We use 2.5 cups of rice and just under 3 cups of water. We don't rinse the rice but let it soak in the water for about 20 mins before cooking. We microwave the rice for 18 minutes on high and then let it stand for 5 mins.
      • Meanwhile we prepare 5 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar mixed with 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of salt, heated until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
      • We spread the rice in a shallow baking dish (bamboo is better ...) and coerce a child into fanning the rice while we fold the vinegar mixture through the rice. We start at one end working the rice into a pile, and then turn the dish around and gradually work the pile to the other end.
      • The rice is then covered with a damp cloth. This description is our ideal - in fact, we sometimes don't fan and don't meticulously work the vinegar through, but the finished product always reflects the amount of preparation.
    • Preparing the seaweed - we generally break the seaweed sheets into quarters so that each person can make their own mini hand rolls to their own individual taste. If the seaweed is not superbly fresh and crisp, we freshen it by lightly toasting it over a gas jet on the stovetop.
    • Preparing the fish - I usually wear gloves when handling the fish, and prepare the work area meticulously between each fish type
      • I trim the (skinned) salmon fillets into a rectangular block which should yield lovely rectangular slices of sashimi.
      • I use all the trimmings (and more) to make a salmon and garlic-chives mixture. I chop a bunch of chives into small pieces, squeeze lemon juice on the salmon, then chop the salmon and chives in together. This mixture is one of my all-time favourite sushi roll fillings.
      • I prepare a block of tuna from which to cut sashimi. The preparation involves finding the section of tuna which melts and offers no resistance to a knife. The sections that have thicker membranes through it, I put aside for spicy tuna mix.
      • I use the sharp edge of a chopping knife to scrape the flesh from the membranes into a sort of fish paste with small lumps. To this I add Japanese mayonnaise, Japanese mustard (or French mustard), a small amount of crushed garlic, some chilli paste (Sambal Oelek), and some wasabi. I mix it all up into a scrumptious filling which varies in flavour depending on the mix. It is delicious with added rocket or vietnamese mint or sorrel.
      • I chop the prawns into small pieces and mix them with avocado, lemon juice and Japanese mayonnaise.
    • The fish and leaves are then arranged on a huge black platter with the seaweed piled in the centre. John is going to build a Lazy Susan to allow equal access to all fish from anywhere at the table !!! The rice is served separately, and we have little bottles of soya sauce at each end of the table.
    • We make our own sushi hand rolls on wooden boards, and each have a plate of rice, a pile of seaweed, some soya sauce and wasabi and pickled ginger for those who want it.
    • We all make our own rolls, adding cucumber or leaves or avocado to the various fish. Basil goes particularly well with white fish, but we usually stick to our family favourites of tuna and salmon. We always eat all the fish on the day it was bought, and in the rare case of leftovers, they are cooked into an omelette or spaghetti sauce.

    This is our family favourite meal, and although there are many other delicious Japanese treats, a number of which we have made at home, we seem to have settled on the above as the best of everything.