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Old 10-10-2006, 07:29 AM   #61
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I know a few people who went to Franklin Pierce.

I went to UMass for a couple years for Mechanical Engineering, but got impatient and accepted a job at the company I was working for part-time (to pay for my tuition/books). I'll be a grandpa starting back as a sophomore/junior at 24...

I haven't hit the Worcester restaurant scene much. Is there anything you would recommened? It's about a 45min-1hr drive from where I live (depending on traffic), but I plan on making a few flights there this upcoming year (only 10min or so by air) and would love to try some of your local favorites!
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Old 10-10-2006, 07:38 AM   #62
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We actually do not get into Worcester for dinner all that much as we are usually in the Framingham/Natick area for dinner more often than not, but there are a couple of places I can think of off the top of my head that we really enjoy.

The first is a Middle Eastern restaurant called El Basha. They have two locations, both in Worcester. The food is fantastic. We have never had a bad experience there.

The other is The Sole Proprietor. We have only been there once, but had an amazing time. We celebrated this past Valentines day there, although we celebrated a week after everyone else. The place gets very busy and the qait can be quite a while, but the bar is great so we had a few interesting drinks and did not mind the wait one bit. The food was outstanding as was the service. I keep saying I need to get back there and get some oysters for lunch one of these days, but so far I have not been back.
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Old 10-10-2006, 07:55 AM   #63
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El Basha looks good. Lamb Ka-Bobs sound awful good right now...
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Old 10-10-2006, 05:57 PM   #64
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I finally found a local fisherman in my area. He says he gets yellow fin tuna every friday fresh sushi grade. He is aware about the parasites, but he has been a fisherman for about 25 years and knows what the parasites look like. He only cuts the good parts of the tuna and salmon. He also recommended that after i purchase the tuna and salmon, that i put in the freezer (or the fridge?! i forget) for about 30 min. That further kills the bacteria. He is a really nice guy. The tuna is a bit expensive $21 a pound, but the salmon is about $14 a pound. However its not wild salmon, its some native alaskan salmon, i forgot which one. There is also this other fish place,..its called supreme lobster. I saw fresh tuna and salmon there. I asked him how fresh the tuna was, and he said it was pretty fresh. The tuna looked ok, but i am a bit hesitant purchasing over there. I dont get how when i see sushi chefs cut tuna, their tuna chunks/slices are so perfect in appearence and clean looking.

Here is the info of the places i mentioned:

The first place:
MCCOWANS SEAFOOD MARKET (the fisherman who told me to put tuna/salmon in freezer for 20-30min)
462 Park Boulevard
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
630-469-0776

The second place (with the ok looking tuna)
SUPREME LOBSTER
220 E North Ave
Villa Park, IL 60181
630-834-3474
www.supremelobster.com

Anyone in the illinois area?
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Old 10-11-2006, 08:49 AM   #65
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I'd ask him to define "pretty fresh".

Remember to smell the fish. If it smells like "Fish" don't buy it. If it smells like a crisp cool ocean-breeze it's usually good quality. If it's packed in a foam tray and covered with plastic wrap skip it. I always ask for a fresh cut off the loin. If they are unwilling or don't have a whole loin to begin with I go somplace else.

Cooking takes practice, especially so called "simple" cooking like most of the Japanese cuisine. The less ingredients there are, the more important ingredient freshness and technique become. I must have spent three months and gone through 50lbs of rice 4 or 5 years ago trying to make a good batch of sushi.

I also stand corrected. There is a good use for pre-frozen tuna... new cooks to Japanese cuisine! Eat rice for a week and use the money you save to buy a crapload of nasty frozen tuna loin. Get a good book (or look up techniques on the net) and practice your slicing skills! Be sure to feed the cats and dogs in your neighborhood with the nasty fish.
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Old 10-11-2006, 09:43 AM   #66
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I did buy a book called "sushi for wimps"
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Old 10-11-2006, 01:00 PM   #67
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Here are my three Japanese cuisine bibles...

1. Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art by Shizuo Tsuji
The foundations. Read it cover to cover!

2. Sushi: Taste and Technique by Kimiko Barber & Hiroki Takemura
Sushi foundations with amazing photography.

3. D.K.'s Sushi Chronicles from Hawaii by Dave Kodama
Contemporary East/West Japanese Cuisine.

I still have to really work at properly fileting a whole large fish. I order whole Haddock quite often for stock and filets (I use the heads and spine for stock). It's dirt cheap ($3-$4/lb or so) and provides excellent practice.

Good Luck!
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Old 10-11-2006, 01:08 PM   #68
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The big thing with Japanese food is ingredient quality. Eat fresh whenever possible, or preserved via salt when not. Once you develop some skills and don't limit yourself just to "Tuna or Salmon" it's incredibly easy to eat fresh every day. Whenever I cook I almost always look for whats on sale and is fresh, and then plan my menu around that (as opposed to coming up with what I want to eat at home, and then paying an arm and a leg at the market). I start with the grocer's flyer in my Friday paper. It has sale items for the upcoming week. My local market is on the way home from work, so I usually stop everyday and get fresh vegetables and meats. This is a common practice for food-lovers of almost every cuisine on earth. Once you get in the habit it actually takes no more time than spending a couple hours at the grocery store getting massive carts of food, hours repackaging/freezing stuff, thawing, etc. Just eat whats fresh and on sale - usually seasonal items that the store gets too much of at dirt cheap prices.

For example, this week whole chickens were on sale for $0.59/lb. I bought five 4lb birds for less than $12. This week I'm trying out a bunch of chicken recipes and making some brown chicken stock. You get the idea.
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Old 10-11-2006, 01:26 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholas Mosher
2. Sushi: Taste and Technique by Kimiko Barber & Hiroki Takemura
excellent book and a great value!!! pictures are beautiful too.
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Old 10-12-2006, 10:41 AM   #70
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So after u buy the salmon and tuna, you are suppose to WASH it right? with water?
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Old 10-12-2006, 10:50 AM   #71
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My mother is from Villa Park.

Just remember that your "local fisherman" is not catching these fish. Tuna and Salmon don't swim in Lake Michigan so they will by definition either be days old (many days from boat to Villa Park) or previously frozen.

If they say "pretty fresh," RUN.

Like NM says -- ALWAYS, ALWAYS smell the fish. If you are going to eat it raw it should not smell the least bit "fishy."
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Old 10-12-2006, 10:53 AM   #72
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Like NM says -- ALWAYS, ALWAYS smell the fish. If you are going to eat it raw it should not smell the least bit "fishy."[/quote]


Actually, whether you are going to eat the fish raw or cook it, fish should never smell "fishy." If it does, it's on its way out.
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Old 11-04-2006, 09:08 PM   #73
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OK i tried it with short grain brown rice and it totally sucked.
Also, how much of the sushi vinegar are u suppose to add to the rice?
And after you boil the rice, then u soak it in water to make it sticky and then u add the vinegar?
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Old 11-04-2006, 09:13 PM   #74
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I am not sure it would ever work with brown rice. When using white sushi rice you do not ever soak it. You rinse it first before cooking, to wash off some of the starch and then you cook it. No soaking, and especially not after cooking.
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Old 11-05-2006, 09:45 AM   #75
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Good sushi rice is the most difficult thing to make. It really does take practice to even approach what a good sushi bar dishes out. Perfectly cooked throughout, just enough stickiness to stay together, perfect sugar and vinegar seasoning, a slightly chewy texture.

Get good sushi rice. Common American types would be californian calrose.

The rice must be washed to remove the powder which is usually a mixture of ground rice, grinding compound, and minerals if it's "enriched". Usually requires 6-8 rinsings in my kitchen (takes about 15min).

Get a rice cooker. Walmart has them with nonstick bowls for about $15. That will save you a lot of grief when first starting out. Otherwise you have to be careful not to stir and guess when all the water has been evaporated/absorbed along with heat settings and rest periods.

Different amounts of rice require different levels of water do to surface area and evaporation within the cooker. The age of the rice also plays a role. Old rice is drier, and requires more liquid. It will take some experimentation to figure out the perfect ratio.

I let the rice sit in the pot/cooker with the water for 1/2hr. This allows the rice a chance to "open up" or "flower". It prevents the common hard center mushy exterior rice problem and reduces the amount of required water down to almost 1:1. After cooking, I let the rice rest in the pot for 5-10min off the heat just to help reduce the temperature a bit which stabilizes the rice somewhat.

Next, it's tossed in a wooden bowl/tub with the vinegar/sugar mixture. Be sure that it's unfinished wood, as you want to absorb any excess moisture. This helps with that perfect texture. Most sushi bars skip this step because it requires cleaning the Hangari every batch of rice. You know a good sushi bar when you see the chef (or his helper) using a hangari with a table fan set up to cool the rice. Good rice looks like glossy pearls, but the gloss is not moisture - it's a smooth exterior that has dried slightly.

I sometimes just make a few balls of this sushi and eat it plain with some miso soup and pickles.

For you, I'd recommend the following.

1. Ditch the brown rice idea.
2. Get a rice cooker.
3. Practice, practice, practice, practice, practice...
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Old 11-05-2006, 10:08 AM   #76
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Here is an interesting take on sushi that might help with speed and ease.

Sushi Pizza


1 cup sushi rice
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
Half avocado, thinly sliced
Half sheet roasted nori (pressed seaweed)
3/4 cup flaked imitation crabmeat (surimi) or thinly sliced smoked salmon
1/2 cup very thinly sliced English cucumber
2 tablespoon pickled ginger
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon wasabi powder

In saucepan, combine rice and 1 1/4 cups (300 mL) water; bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat to low; cook for 25 minutes or until rice is tender. With fork, stir in rice vinegar and sesame seeds.

Meanwhile, line 8-inch ( 1.2L ) round or 8-inch square cake pan with plastic wrap. With spatula, press rice firmly and evenly into pan. Let cool completely. Turn out onto flat serving plate.

Top with layer of avocado slices. Using scissors, cut nori into thin strips; sprinkle over avocado.

Arrange crabmeat, cucumber and ginger over top.

Stir together mayonnaise, milk and wasabi powder; drizzle over top.

Cut into wedges to serve.

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Old 11-05-2006, 12:54 PM   #77
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Sushi rice is no different than any other rice to make - you just follow the directions.

For the vinegar/sugar mixture - For 2 cups of raw rice, use 1/4 cup of rice vinegar, 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar and about a teaspoon of salt. Heat gently, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Set aside until rice is done.

Cook rice according to directions on the package - when done turn out into a large wooden or porcelain bowl (just not aluminum) and sprinkle the mixture over the rice, fold in the mixture and fan the rice to cool at the same time. The best is a flatter, larger type container so you don't squish the rice, fold gently with a wooden rice paddle.

Gretchen - have you ever made Martha Stewart's Sushi Cake? Dang it's good! It's nice for parties because people can try it and everything is cooked. Makes a nice presentation. PM me if you want the recipe.
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Old 11-05-2006, 01:50 PM   #78
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Yes, I want the recipe!!!! Can you post it here for everyone--I'm sure many would enjoy it.
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Old 11-05-2006, 04:59 PM   #79
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I sent it via PM - I don't want Martha after me! If anyone else wants it just PM me.
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Old 11-12-2006, 11:40 PM   #80
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Ok, i got a sushi kit from borders books and music with a dvd. it helped me out tremendously, in some of the techniques in making hoso-maki (thin sushi rolls). I have yet to find sushi rice. Im suprisded that it was not available in the asian super market that i went to. But I did purchase the nori sheets, and i found vinegar specifically for sushi. I also bought wasabi paste. They have pre-cut fresh salmon available also.

I got all those ingrediants, and i Just cooked some plain white rice ( I didnt care if it was not suhi rice)

Tasted the salmon raw (i couldnt beleive i was eating it raw ! lol)
Boiled the rice, let it cool down. Added the vinegar mixture.

Then I clumped some rice together, added a lil bit of wasabi paste, and put a strip of salmon on top and **** did it taste good!

If i were to grade myself on sushi technique and ingrediants, this is what I would give myself:

Ingrediants: D
Technique: D-

Here is whats holding me back....
-Didnt buy sushi rice.
-I just boiled the rice, didnt care about boiling technique
-Didnt buy the rice cooker from walmart yet
-I have dull knives. I noticed that cutting technique is critical.
-Didnt buy kombu yet for adding to sushi

Here is what I need to do:
-Buy sushi rice
-Buy Rice cooker
-Buy kombu
-Buy sushi chef knives

Keep in mind that the reason why its so difficuilt for me to just go out their and buy the ingrediants, is because i am a full time grad student with limited income. So i buy a little bit at a time, and just experiment a little (making mistakes is part of the process)

Once i buy the things i need to do, i will keep u updated on how it went. However i am EXTREMELY dissapointed how brown rice just tasted awful. I will try cooking short grain brown rice in the rice cooker to see if it will come out better. Do i need to wash the brown rice in the same way I need to wash the white rice?

-I will also add other ingrediants such as avacados, japonese mayonase, cucumbers, and ikarua (fish roe)

-Oh and also, when i had the tuna roll from my previous post, the orange substance was indeed some sort of mayonase spicy sauce NOT some sort of roe.
Does anyone have the recipe on how to make that?
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