June 1, 2008

Nigiri Zushi/握り寿司

I made nigiri zushi (< sushi) for supper tonight. I used only salmon as toppings.
I used leftover cooked rice to make "shari" (vinegared rice). I reheated the rice in the microwave for longer than usual to evaporate excess moisture and make the rice suitable for making shari. I transferred the rice into a bowl, and added a 1:4:6 mixture of salt, sugar, and vinegar.
For 2 go (180 ml x 2 = 360 ml) uncooked rice,
1/2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp vinegar
This ratio is from a book written by Yoshihiro Murata.

I cut the salmon fillet diagonally into slices measuring about 8 x 3 x 0.5 cm, using the sashimi slicer.
サーモンの柵は、刺身包丁を使って、斜めに約8 x 3 x 0.5 cmの切り身にしました。

The quality of shari is critical to sushi, so I will elaborate it a little.
The rice has to be very hot (just cooked) for vinegar to seep through each grain of the rice. After you add the salt/sugar/vinegar mixture, move a shamoji (rice paddle?) in a cutting motion to mix them thoroughly. Don't use a fan to cool the rice in this step. After you have made sure that the rice and the mixture are mixed together thoroughly, use a fan to cool to hitohada (human skin temperature).


nakji said...

Oh, that looks delicious. I didn't know you could use leftover rice to make su meshi...I've never tried that before. I will, soon, though - sometimes I feel like I could eat a whole bowl of it by itself, without the fish. Is that strange?

Hiroyuki said...

Making su meshi (sushi meshi or shari) from lefover rice is a trick you won't find elsewhere (laugh). I'm sure you will be satisfied with the result. You don't even need a wooden container called sushi oke or hangiri
A large bowl will be OK.
Eating a whole of it by itself... Well, I need a can of tuna...

Hiroyuki said...

As for the salt, sugar, and vinegar ratio, I'm not very satisfied with the one recommended by Murata. (I tried his ratio for the third time yesterday.) Personally, I usually use less salt, less sugar, and more vinegar.
There can be as many of these ratios as they are Japanese, because everyone has their own preferences. At Kyubei, they don't use any sugar to make their shari. Sugar has the effect of keeping the moisture in.

lemming said...

Thank you for the tip about seasoning the rice while hot. I usually season in between fanning and stirring, a little at a time.

Hiroyuki said...

Thanks for your comments, lemming.
What I have learned over the years about cooking is that cooking is a lot about science. There should be, and is, a reason for every step of a recipe.

Sissi said...

This sushi looks fantastic. I had no idea such great results can be obtained at home (I only make maki), not to mention seasoning leftover rice.
I should look more often at your ancient posts. There are real treasures I'm not aware of!

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: I think that leftover rice differs from just cooked rice only in that the former is cold and the latter is hot. In days of old, steaming was virtually the only way to reheat leftover rice, but now, we have a microwave oven!!! It can turn leftover rice into just cooked rice in a minute.

Sissi said...

Thank you for the explanation. Of course you are right. Many cooking taboos are no longer reasonable.

이상후 said...

Hi, I want to know the origin (derivation) of tamagoyaki. Could you tell me about the history of tamagoyaki? Where, When, How, Why it started... Sorry for too much questions. But I really love and want to know about that... thank you!

Hiroyuki said...

이상후: Tamagoyaki as a topping for nigiri?

Sorry, I know little about the origin. The Japanese-language page on tamagoyaki in Wikipedia says

It was used in the Edo period as a topping of sushi (nigiri/edomae sushi).