How do you relish sushi in all its glory? Well, Star Wars sushi is one way of doing it. Sushi chef Okitsugu Kado has been creating sculptures based on your favourite Star Wars characters out of vegetables and making delicious sushi platters out of them, and it looks too good to eat. We don’t know if a plate of sushi will tempt Anakin Skywalker to the dark side, but it’s definitely one of the most popular Japanese food preparations served across the globe. In fact, June 18 is celebrated as International Sushi Day the world over. Here’s all you wanted to know about it.
How international Sushi Day came into being?
Farrokh Khambata, owner of Joss and Umame says, “International Sushi Day was celebrated to encourage and educate people around the world to eat more sushi. Southeast Asians developed the original form of sushi. Sushi has nothing to do with raw fish, in fact, modern and international sushi involves vinegared rice rather than soured.” Prashanth Puttaswamy, executive chef at Fatty Bao, adds, “Many people have pre-conceived ideas that eating sushi means eating raw fish. That’s not the case. In fact, the word sushi itself means sour. As sushi has evolved, people have started using different cooking techniques to prepare it. These include fried, steamed and poached preparations and also using a blow torch in some cases.”
The evolution of sushi is believed to have began in Japan around the 15th century. As patience gave way, many found it hard to wait for months on end for the sushi to mature. As a result they started eating the fish after the rice had pickled, the former becoming slightly acidic. During the Edo period (1603-1867), the practice of acidifying the rice, by mixing it with vinegar, became common. Sushi gradually became a dish to be prepared immediately before eating, rather than as a preserved food. As a result, it led to the creation of variations prepared using fish, vegetables, tofu and seaweed. Most of the sushi served in sushi bars both in Japan and across the globe can be categorised into two types — nigiri-zushi, a slice of raw fish or other ingredient dabbed with wasabi (a Japanese horseradish) and placed atop a bite-sized wedge of sushi rice shaped by hand, while the other is maki-zushi, sushi rice spread with raw fish and fresh or cooked vegetables, then rolled up in paper-thin dried nori seaweed. While maki-zushi is simple to make and is frequently prepared at home, nigiri-zushi is usually made only by professional sushi chefs as it requires years of experience to attain the proper technique.
Types of sushi
Nigiri (fish on a ball of sushi rice)
Maki (seaweed roll of rice and toppings)
Uramaki (rice on the outside with the filling inside)
Temaki (sushi hand-rolled into a cone shape)
Inarizushi or inari sushi (sushi rice stuffed in seasoned Aburaage tofu pouches)
DIY sushi recipe
Rock Shrimp Sushi
1 cup sushi rice
2 cups water
135 ml vinegar approx
1 sheet nori paper
2 cups Prawns
50 gms Mayonnaise
10gms Chilli Paste
First cook the sushi rice in water in the ratio of one part rice to two parts water. After cooking, vinegar the rice with sushi vinegar enough to have flavour. Allow the rice to cool. In the meanwhile, take little mayonnaise and mix it with a little chili paste to make a spicy mayo.
For the filling take two prawns and flatten them. Dust in tempura flour, which is readily available in markets and dip in the tempura batter. Fry in hot oil till prawns are cooked and golden brown in colour. Take a cucumber, peel the skin and remove the seeds. Cut the flesh into thin batons. Take a nori paper and apply a thin and even layer of rice on it. Turn the nori upside down so that the nori is on top and rice at the bottom. Place this on a sushi mat.
Take the prawns and cucumber and place a little below the center of the nori. Roll the sushi using the mat to get a even round roll. Cut the sushi into pieces and drizzle the spicy mayo on top. Serve along with ginger, wasabi and soya.
Recipe courtesy Chef Marzbaan Amroliwala of Umame
Feast your eyes on a doughnut sushi
You have had sushi as a roll, on top with a slice of fish and even in a bowl or in a pouch. However, Instagram user Sam has given sushi a completely different avatar. Sam is the person behind So Beautifully Raw, which makes delicious vegan food creations that make for a pretty pictures. Her food is beautiful to look at — case in point- her doughnut-shaped sushi. Tiny, round, and perfect. While the art of sushi has been around since the eighth century in Japan, making them look like tiny doughnuts is something that had probably not crossed anyone’s mind until now. Luckily, Sam was able to use her creativity to mould cooled wet white rice using small doughnut moulds. The moulds are readily available online! To make them, all you have to do is simply grease a donut mould with coconut oil, mould in cooled sushi rice and then gently remove by lifting the pan upside down. The best part — you can decorate it the way you like with black sesame, ginger, wasabi, cashew mayo and even avocado.
Did you know?
Sushi chef Michelle at Ruka says, the knife used by a sushi chef is the direct descendant of samurai swords and the blade should be sharpened daily. Typically, sushi is served with gari a pickled ginger that acts as a palate cleanser and wasabi. Traditionally, sushi is eaten by applying a bit of the wasabi on the meat, and then dipping it in soya sauce. However, if you want to cut the pungency you can mix a bit of the wasabi in the soya sauce and then dip the sushi in it.
Tips you can use
Farrokh suggests, dipping your hands in water before handling the rice and to cling wrap the sushi mat to achieve a nice finish on the sushi roll. Don’t use a blunt knife, don’t leave raw meats outside the refrigerator for too long.