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NexivRed

Is there a sushi thread?

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Whilst I’m aware I won’t have been eating the finest there is out there, I’m pretty smitten with all the stuff I’ve tried so far.

It’s a bonus that it’s low calorie and (presumably) gluten free too? If you use gluten free soy sauce that is. 

 

So I’d like to have a go at making some at home instead of spunking tons of cash on the stuff (curse you Waitrose!!!)

 

Has anyone tried this or does anyone know a bit more about this type of food? I’m aware that calling it all just sushi is most likely incorrect :P

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The issue with making sushi is finding sushi grade fish.

 

I just bought some unagi/kabayaki which is actually made in China, but it's exactly the same stuff on your unagi-don that they charge you £16.50 a bowl for:

image.png.1d1ab619bd1e46e51563482c85d18125.png

 

I also found some inarizushi (fried tofu pockets) in a can that are good:

image.png.4f6f9210c54c2c18ca5ff4bb264edba5.png


You'll also need to get hold of some sushi rice, there's an American brand that is solid called Nishiki, otherwise you're looking at spending quite a lot of money for Japanese sushi rice:

image.thumb.png.52e3e5174ca6b402c5f338a31302dbb9.png

 

You'll also need to season the rice with sugar and vinegar, brands like Mizkan sell ready mixed sushi vinegar which I've used before and are decent:

image.png.bce35176013bf9ba028ba8f928afbeb2.png

 

Any questions, fire away. I would consider myself fairly knowledgeable on the subject.

 

In short, it's fairly straightforward to make sushi at home, but you'll probably be restricted to vegetarian stuff or california rolls (which are made with imitation crab sticks).

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Thank you!

 

Yeah, I figured the crab sticks would be a start lol, but I’m fine with veggie stuff. Cooked or raw tuna is fine too, as is raw salmon. I’m not about to head out and buy some roe straight away, but it depends on the cost for buying in bulk etc. 

 

So it needs to be Japanese sushi rice then, not just regular sticky rice? I’d heard Lidl do a world foods section with the sushi stuff. Have you tried that?

 

Do you have specific websites you order from, or can you get the stuff from certain supermarkets?

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I have a Korean supermarket that I go to that has salmon that is specifically for sashimi. However I did read this article:

https://learnhowtomakesushi.wordpress.com/2012/07/02/you-can-now-eat-raw-salmon-safely-fishmongers-read-on/

Personally I've never tried acquiring sushi grade fish myself, it's not easy to find. I'm pretty sure you don't live in London, but if your ever there, Atari-Ya supply a lot of London's decent sushi restaurants. Definitely some of the best sushi I've had in the UK is supplied from there. 

 

Check Asian supermarkets. Often they'll be focussed towards Chinese cuisine. The Japanese section will usually be pretty small, but you'll hopefully find bamboo mats, wasabi etc. I've never been to Lidl for Japanese stuff. The world food sections of regular supermarkets will stock some stuff, but they won't necessarily be Japanese brands. 

 

I would definitely stick to getting proper sushi rice. To someone not that fussy/familiar with different rice then you might get away with something like Jasmine, but really you shouldn't substitute. Sushi is first and foremost about rice. I'm Asian and eat a lot of rice so I'm a big stickler for it. At home I have paella rice, risotto rice, basmati rice, Thai Jasmine rice and sushi rice. 

 

With regards to wasabi (it's actually horseradish dyed green with some other stuff in it) you can get it in a tube or in a powder, it comes in a can and you add water to it. Real wasabi is horrendously expensive as it's a very difficult crop to grow. I've only had it a few times in Japan, never in the UK.

 

Pickled ginger is readily available, I've seen it in Sainsbury's and other western supermarkets. You should also be able to find seaweed sheets quite easily. 

 

When you come to making sushi, focus on getting the rice right first. Supermarket sushi is pretty disgusting because the rice is horrible. If your experience with sushi is Waitrose, then you should be able to do a lot better at home. 

 

Also a note, you'll probably be making western style sushi (California rolls and things with mayo in etc). Traditional sushi is very different. You definitely won't see any crunchy bits, mayonnaise or avocado.

 

Another thing you should consider making if you can't find sushi grade fish is kimbab, which is a Korean version of sushi. The typical one only has vegetables in it and it's delicious.

 

https://youtu.be/Y-Y9CXGRJPU

 

On a bit of a tangent, anyone who says something along the lines of "the sushi was amazing, the fish was so fresh!" has no idea what they're talking about. Fish used for sushi is aged to bring out its flavour. It's not literally just sliced and put on rice.

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Sushi is amazing, we have it for Christmas dinner instead of a roast. It's my daughter's absolute favourite things.

 

By all means get stuck into some Japanese sushi, bit of soy sauce and wasabi to dip into. However check out some other recipe's too. An amazing Korean sushi bar used to be in my local town and they had some brilliant dishes. All kinds of fish, ingredients and sauces. It's such a diverse food when you mix it up. 

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On 24/07/2018 at 19:24, stephen129 said:

On a bit of a tangent, anyone who says something along the lines of "the sushi was amazing, the fish was so fresh!" has no idea what they're talking about. Fish used for sushi is aged to bring out its flavour. It's not literally just sliced and put on rice.

 

Wow, I did not know this.

 

So what kind of fish is aged and for how long?

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What are people's opinions on chains?

 

Yo Sushi is quite nice, but ridiculously overpriced. I had some Takoyaki off the menu there recently, and it was surprisingly authentic.

 

Usually when I visit civilisation (Manchester is one of the nearest big cities) I go to the Wasabi chain. The sushi there is worse than Yo Sushi, but the pork ramen is much more like it.

 

Sashimi is where i'ts at though, one of my favourite foods.

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My favourite combination of inexpensive and decent quality was Kulu Kulu Sushi in London. I went to the Covent Garden restaurant basically every Saturday lunchtime when I was in London. Been going there for over 15 years. Gutted to see that it had closed a few weeks back.

 

I don't mind Yo Sushi but think it is a little overpriced. I did enjoy their all-you-can-eat deal they used to do. I got the record at their St Paul's restaurant (20 plates). They stopped the deal soon after. :(

 

Eat Tokyo is my choice in London for lunch now.

 

i bloody love sushi.

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3 hours ago, meatbin said:

 

Wow, I did not know this.

 

So what kind of fish is aged and for how long?

 

This article is a good start:

 

https://boutiquejapan.com/sushi-myths-and-misconceptions/

 

Quote

Many sushi lovers are under the impression that the best sushi in the world is always the freshest. But this simply isn’t the case.

As our friend Rebekah Wilson-Lye puts it, “If you’re eating the freshest sushi in the world, you’re not necessarily eating the greatest sushi in the world.”

 

While some ingredients – such as uni – are usually best as fresh as possible, others are best after aging or other forms of preparation.

 

For example, tuna – one of the most popular sushi neta – is typically aged for 3-4 days, and in some sushi-ya (sushi shops) up to 2 weeks.

 

In general, fish right out of the water doesn’t yet have a considerable amount of flavor. This is particularly true when it comes to white fish, which are extra taut and muscly, with little fat. It takes time for a fish to begin breaking down, and for amino acids to be released.

 

One way this is done by sushi chefs is by placing a cut of fish between sheets of kombu (kelp) and allowing it to age, to bring out the fish’s umami.

 

A great sushi chef knows when a fish or ingredient will taste its best, and this can vary greatly from fish to fish, and season to season.

 

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2 hours ago, Purin said:

What are people's opinions on chains?

 

Yo Sushi is quite nice, but ridiculously overpriced. I had some Takoyaki off the menu there recently, and it was surprisingly authentic.

 

Usually when I visit civilisation (Manchester is one of the nearest big cities) I go to the Wasabi chain. The sushi there is worse than Yo Sushi, but the pork ramen is much more like it.

 

Sashimi is where i'ts at though, one of my favourite foods.

 

Personally I can't stand Yo Sushi. The conveyor belt thing is generally a gimmick, you never have any idea how long stuff has been going around and around. I actually find Wasabi pretty solid for the price (assuming you like salmon), it's definitely better than supermarket stuff. I like the mini chirashi they do which is only a few quid and is made up of random off cuts. There are few reasonably priced places in London that I go to that are sufficient quality. There's good places in West London around Ealing/Chiswick due to the Japanese population there. I got this chirashi-don the last time I went (although it was 38 quid, so not exactly cheap, but it did include uni, o-toro and botan shrimp...)

 

image.png.bb85e140ccf5d235d30356d8723ae19d.png

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I genuinely can't bear to go to Yo Sushi. It's much worse than Kura Sushi in Japan, but about 4x the price for each dish, without the variety or the fun.

 

I've just moved to Golders Green, is Eat Tokyo the place to go there then?

 

When I lived in Leeds I did like Sushi Waka and the one in Meanwood I've forgotten the name of. Definitely as good as anything you'd find in London! The guy who owns the Meanwood restaurant also loves whisky and has a good collection.

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3 hours ago, AnimeExpert2003 said:

I genuinely can't bear to go to Yo Sushi. It's much worse than Kura Sushi in Japan, but about 4x the price for each dish, without the variety or the fun.

 

I've just moved to Golders Green, is Eat Tokyo the place to go there then?

 

When I lived in Leeds I did like Sushi Waka and the one in Meanwood I've forgotten the name of. Definitely as good as anything you'd find in London! The guy who owns the Meanwood restaurant also loves whisky and has a good collection.

 

Eat Tokyo is solid for hot food. The sushi is a bit average. I went to the Chiswick branch recently and that was definitely one of the better branches.

 

I'd go to Mai Sushi (western style sushi), they do a big sushi boat for £40 which is a bargain imo.

 

You're referring to Hana Matsuri which I thought was solid when I went last year.

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Would there be any good restaurants to try Norfolk/Suffolk/Cambridgeshire/Essex way?

 

I bought some starter stuff this weekend! That brand of rice, the “seasoning” stuff to cook it in? and some wasabi all found in the Asian food area of Tesco. Also grabbed nori, crunchy onions, cucumber, avocado and imitation sticks. So I assume I’m gonna be trying to make two types of (crappy) California roll, is that right? Gotta start somewhere. 

 

Grabbed some tubs from the sushi bar in Sainsbury’s in the week. They had a few other things too, including this spicy squid salad thing which was lush. I’m a sucker for those crispy onions though. And anything with black rice.

I’d really like to try some more authentic dishes though. I’m quickly looking past the basic “bit of fish/veg in rice swirl” when out buying it, and searching for more interesting things.

 

Yo Sushi is very expensive to try all the things you like. How anyone spends less than sixty quid there on two people is beyond me if you want some fun variety. 

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On 28/07/2018 at 16:08, NexivRed said:

Would there be any good restaurants to try Norfolk/Suffolk/Cambridgeshire/Essex way?

 

I bought some starter stuff this weekend! That brand of rice, the “seasoning” stuff to cook it in? and some wasabi all found in the Asian food area of Tesco. Also grabbed nori, crunchy onions, cucumber, avocado and imitation sticks. So I assume I’m gonna be trying to make two types of (crappy) California roll, is that right? Gotta start somewhere. 

 

Grabbed some tubs from the sushi bar in Sainsbury’s in the week. They had a few other things too, including this spicy squid salad thing which was lush. I’m a sucker for those crispy onions though. And anything with black rice.

I’d really like to try some more authentic dishes though. I’m quickly looking past the basic “bit of fish/veg in rice swirl” when out buying it, and searching for more interesting things.

 

Yo Sushi is very expensive to try all the things you like. How anyone spends less than sixty quid there on two people is beyond me if you want some fun variety. 

 

Personally I've never been to places around there so couldn't advise, but if you ever come to London PM me and I'll recommend some places.

 

I would definitely stick with western style sushi for now, high quality fish is just so hard to find in the UK unless you live in a big city (or you could most probably order online, but I've never done that). You might not even like traditional sushi anyway. Focus on getting the rice correct. 

 

In terms of more general Japanese food you can definitely make more 'authentic' versions of things. The ingredients for dishes like buta no kakuni (braised pork belly), nasu dengaku (miso glazed aubergine), tori karaage (Japanese fried chicken), okonomiyaki (Japanese style savoury pancake) or yakitori (grilled chicken on skewers) are much easier to find, and pretty straightforward to make.

 

If your yardstick is Yo Sushi and supermarkets then you're quite lucky as there's a ridiculous range of things to try and the quality improves immeasurably. For me, amaebi nigiri (sweet shrimp) and hotate nigiri (scallop) are one of the best bites of food you can eat.

 

I need to get my arse back to Japan asap. Why is it so far away and expensive?! :(

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On 28/07/2018 at 16:08, NexivRed said:

Would there be any good restaurants to try Norfolk/Suffolk/Cambridgeshire/Essex way?

 

Ok so I happened to be in Cambridge over the weekend. 

 

I went to this tiny place called Ohayo Sushi Bar, probably rate it 2/5, which I realise doesn't sound great, but it's a bit better than Yo Sushi and it was fairly cheap. Ambience was completely non-existant though, probably one of the ugliest, most basic restaurants I've been to in the UK, so if that kind of thing puts you off, avoid like the plague.

 

There's also Sticks n Sushi in Cambridge which is a chain (I went to the one in Oxford) and it does western style sushi for about £25 per head (food only) I'd say it's a solid 3.5/5 (people on Tripadvisor absolutely love it). Nice service, well presented food, pricey but not extortionate. 

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I used to make sushi quite a lot, but Mrs Womble 'doesn't like it' so I don't get to eat it all that much these days. :(

 

As someone said, the main trouble is finding decent fresh fish. Also, I've no idea where you go to get stuff I like such as uni or bincho otoro (super fatty tuna)??

 

Although sushi's slowly improved in the UK, it's still massively overpriced for very low quality stuff.

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