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Old 02-18-2012, 11:24 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
Get The Great Sushi and Sashimi Cookbook (641.5952 G7865 at the library) which is part of an editorial series (no author to cite). (Amazon link)

I just wanted to repeat that I went through dozens of sushi cookbooks and the one I recommended above was far better than the rest of them. It covers virtually every form of sushi. This is the one best book to get and it's the only sushi book you'll need. Also note price is about $11, a deal!

Then go online and get some tempura recipes. The tempura dipping sauce has only about 4 ingredients and is easy to make. Fry up some shrimp, onions, zucchini, sweet potato slices and a few other vegetables, heat up some saki, and you've got yourself a nice sushi and tempura dinner. For the sushi, spicy tuna rolls are a good place to start, or California rolls if you don't want to tackle raw fish right at start.
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:28 PM   #22
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A Fan of Japanese

@ Greg G.

Nice foto ... thanx for posting.

I enjoy the way in which this cuisine is served and am quite a fan of Sashimi and wasabi ... I do not care much for the various Asian cuisines here in Spain, Except for Japanese ...

I also like Teriyaki chicken too, sushi ( depending on how it is filled ) and Sukiyaki steak --- I sometimes make it for the Vet ( the gent ) ...

Thanx for posting and the poster who recommended the book too.
Margi.
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:58 PM   #23
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Actually I think it's G. Greg but you can call me anything you like as long as you don't call me late for dinner!

I isolated down my choice for the best sushi/sashimi cookbook by visiting my public library (as you can imagine, we have a very large well stocked public library in Los Angeles) and checked out about 15-18 of what appeared to be the best ones. (I did this over a period of time, not all at once.) After reading selections out of all the books and preparing some of the recipes, I decided that the cookbook I recommended above had the best presentation and explanations, and furthermore that the other books didn't have anything significant to add that wasn't already covered in the recommended book. Even if somebody wants more volumes on the subject IMO this would be the best place to start.

I'm not an expert at this, in fact more of a novice. I know that with just this one book I'll probably never need another book because it wold take me the rest of my life and then some to follow up and prepare all the different types of sushi covered in the book. Anybody who is more enthusiastic or passionate than I can always augment their sushi cookbook collection with more books.

And just so as to not confuse or mislead anybody, this book does not cover the many other aspects of Japanese cuisine such as teriyaki, tempura or anything else. You'll need a different cookbook for that. I've found that trying dishes in our Los Angeles Japanese restaurants (we have a large Asian population and lots of Asian restaurants) helps me discover which Japanese dishes I like, and I've been able to do well enough finding "how to" recipes on the Internet without buying a general purpose Japanese cookbook. Sushi is a bit more complicated and it really helped me to have it all presented in just one physical book.
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:27 PM   #24
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To get one's hands wet for homemade sushi, I often recommend chirashi (trash, or scattered) zushi, for several good reasons. It's basic, simple, accessible. It can be a lunch bowl, or treated as a side salad, with no pressure to create culinary masterpieces. It's inexpensive, because the rice is tossed/mixed with whatever trash ingredients you have in the frig. The mix will give you tastes of what types of food complement the sushi rice. As most people discover, sushi is the seasoned rice. It's not the raw fish, crazy rolls and long knives. Chirashi zushi doesn't involve any of that, and so stays focused on cooking and seasoning the rice to your perfect preference. Finish it with a topping of shredded nori seaweed, and serve with tableside of soy sauce. The sushi that is served at a restaurant counter is more craft than cooking, fun to learn but an entirely different set of skills.

Incidentally, it's possible to luck out on a restaurant's best trimmings of the day's sashimi by ordering a bowl of chirashi.
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:36 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by spork View Post
To get one's hands wet for homemade sushi, I often recommend chirashi (trash, or scattered) zushi, for several good reasons. It's basic, simple, accessible. It can be a lunch bowl, or treated as a side salad, with no pressure to create culinary masterpieces. It's inexpensive, because the rice is tossed/mixed with whatever trash ingredients you have in the frig. The mix will give you tastes of what types of food complement the sushi rice. As most people discover, sushi is the seasoned rice. It's not the raw fish, crazy rolls and long knives. Chirashi zushi doesn't involve any of that, and so stays focused on cooking and seasoning the rice to your perfect preference. Finish it with a topping of shredded nori seaweed, and serve with tableside of soy sauce. The sushi that is served at a restaurant counter is more craft than cooking, fun to learn but an entirely different set of skills.

Incidentally, it's possible to luck out on a restaurant's best trimmings of the day's sashimi by ordering a bowl of chirashi.
Nice to know, thanks Spork! I'll try that next time I go.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:56 PM   #26
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To get one's hands wet for homemade sushi, I often recommend chirashi (trash, or scattered) zushi, for several good reasons. It's basic, simple, accessible. It can be a lunch bowl, or treated as a side salad, with no pressure to create culinary masterpieces....
I don't mean to take anything away from your comments because I agree that chirashi is certainly easy to make. However my personal experience is that rolls are so easy to make as to be one of the easiest techniques I've learned, even with the first couple of rolls I ever made, perhaps not artistic masterpieces but certainly fully edible and tasted as good as any rolls I've ever eaten in Japanese restaurants.

(ETA: You will need a good sushi rice recipe irrespective of whether you make chirashi or rolls.)

The most important thing is to get the bamboo mat. They sell them in supermarkets in L.A. and I presume over most of US, and mats are almost disposable at their insignificant cost, or discardable after several uses if they get worn or dirty. Perhaps $3 at the market.

The most important part of the technique involves positioning the nori at the bottom edge of the mat, spreading the rice at the bottom of the nori and leaving a margin at the top (to overlap), and judging how much rice to use (how thick to spread it). Additional, add some wasabi spread over part of the rice. Then make a California roll (cooked crab or imitation crab, sliver cut cucumber, and long thin slices of avocado) or for those who tolerate raw fish spicy tuna roll (chopped tuna, mayonnaise, sriracha sauce), and roll it up and seal it (perhaps with your fingers dipped in the same liquid seasoning you used for your sushi rice). Then cut it into slices with a very sharp, wet chef's knife or similar big honkin' very sharp knife. Using a wet knife is not a technique I've seen explained often, and maybe I'm the only one who does that.

Perhaps experiences of others differ but I've had a very easy time of making really good sushi rolls, particularly my spicy tuna and California rolls.

Step off the deep end and when you make your California rolls make some tempura too, and tempura fry some California roll slices. I can imagine Japanese traditional cuisine enthusiasts screaming as I type this! Dip your tempura fried California roll in your tempura sauce. It's good!

(I don't make any allusions about being a traditional chef.)
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:08 PM   #27
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Greg, my very brief foray into sushi revealed that a) a Leatherman blade sharpened on the bottom of a coffee cup turns out NOT to be a fine instrument and b) it was much easier to slice through the roll when said crappy blade was wet.

Otherwise, the sushi mixture just stuck to the blade and literally dragged everything along with it.
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:17 PM   #28
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You need a very sharp knife to make any sushi or sashimi, and I'm pretty sure that I read the wet knife technique in the sushi cookbook I recommended, although I'm pretty sure that is widely discussed knowledge. I sharpen my knives on the rod thing (I'm sure there's a better term) before making sushi rolls, and I run water over my chef knife or santoku before slicing rolls into pieces.

I've made my comments because I think making sushi rolls is really easy to do, and I doubt I have any particular cheffing skills that make my abilities or experiences any easier than anybody else. I found this stuff really easy to do.

I found the other kind of sushi is much harder. I'm tired and can't remember the term and too tired to google it. That stuff is harder. Rolls are easy to make. Easy for novice chefs like me. (I'm a novice chef in Japanese cuisine. I'll admit to not being a novice in other areas and in other cuisines.)
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:27 PM   #29
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"I've made my comments because I think making sushi rolls is really easy to do, and I doubt I have any particular cheffing skills that make my abilities or experiences any easier than anybody else. I found this stuff really easy to do."

I agree. It's also a very healthy way to go, which is also a lifestyle change that I sorely need! I also appreciate the different palette of flavors.

I like me a cheeseburger but not every day.
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:27 PM   #30
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When we had my mother, who is Japanese, living with us for a while we ate well as she loved to cook. Lots of traditional Japanese dishes most of which I had no idea how to prepare were just down right healthy for the most part.
There are a couple of Japanese restaurants that we frequent here in town that serve the traditional home style meals. Not surprising, most patrons that frequent these establishments happen to be Japanese.
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