Many of you who have eaten in Sushi restaurants regularly will likely have come across the specialty known as ‘Gunkan Maki’. For those who haven’t experienced it yet, it is very much like Nigiri sushi in that it is a topping (‘Neta’) on top of an oblong pad of sushi recipe except, in the ‘Gunkan’ case, the topping is ‘loose’ rather than solid (as, say in the case of a block of tuna ), and, thus, a collar of Nori is wrapped around the rice to hold it in place. The name ‘Gunkan’ is usually rendered in English as ‘Battleship’ on most menus to reflect the boat-like shape of each item.
Today, I am showing you the way I have experimented with the basic theme by replacing the rice pad with a section of cucumber (in keeping with my low-carb diet). In celebration of this novel idea (which I haven’t found elsewhere) I have named my creations ‘gunboats’ and I have played around with some non-traditional toppings (or fillings, if you prefer) …. [ Continue reading “Cucumber Gunboats”
4910-50 Franklin Ave., Yellowknife – Website
Date of Visit: October, 2015
An advertisement I saw for this restaurant specified that it was a ‘take-out’ place and I initially had no intention of visiting until the concierge of my hotel told me that they do, in fact, have tables for customers. She also told me, however, that the food was not as good as at the other, more established, Japanese restaurant in town. I can say, after trying both that she was decidedly wrong on this point and I found Sushi North to have great food at a very reasonable price… Continue reading “Review: Sushi North – Yellowknife, NWT”
5309 Franklin Ave., Yellowknife – Facebook
Date of Visit: October, 2015
Yellowknife has two Sushi restaurants and this was said to be the best by those I asked. I ended up visiting both places during the course of a tow day layover in the City but I have to say that I could not agree with the assessments I received. This place was a bit of a disappointment, all told… Continue reading “Review: Sushi Café – Yellowknife, NWT”
A while ago, I did a ‘Notable Nosh’ post featuring a particular pickled-herring preparation known as Rollmops. At that time, I mentioned that I would be interested to see how the pickled fish would work in Sushi. Originally, I thought in terms of a ‘Nigiri’ style sushi but, instead, I went another way…
There is a Japanese preparation consisting of very lightly pickled Mackerel that I just love and often have as a sashimi selection. Whole fillets are sometimes pressed with large blocks of rice to make a specific sort of sushi and I thought that Rollmops, though not nearly as delicate in flavor, would work nicely. An added incentive to trying this dish was that it gave me an opportunity to use my ‘Maki Sushi Ki’ mold… Continue reading “Rollmop Sushi”
I can’t remember exactly where I purchased this little gadget. It was quite a long time ago and the thing ended up languishing in one of my kitchen drawer for ages waiting for me to get around to trying it. I seem to recall that I found the product in the ‘bargain bin’ of a food shop down south somewhere and it came with neither an identifying label (other than the logo on the device itself), nor any instructions. This last omission was rather significant as I first misunderstood the basic function of the ‘mold’ and I used it in a way that is not specifically intended… Continue reading “The ‘Maki Sushi Ki’”
If you read much about Japanese cuisine, or even just scan recipes, you can certainly get the idea that the preparation of the vinegar dressed rice for sushi is a very arcane, almost ritualized process. In fact, amongst Master Sushi Chefs the steps required to make the perfect rice for any given sushi preparation is as much a science as an art and can take a rigorous apprenticeship to perfect.
That being said, however, we need not be overly daunted by the prospect of making sushi ourselves. Today, I am going to share with you my method for making the seasoned rice. It departs from the traditional practice in that the vinegar and sugar is added to the rice as it cooks (rather than as it cools afterwards), but the simple process produces a perfectly acceptable sushi-style rice suitable for all sorts of further preparations… Continue reading “Quick Sushi Rice”
I picked this little item up at one of our local stores about a month or two before actually using it. I wasn’t especially in the market for any such device, having no immediate plans to make Nigiri style Sushi, but at a mere $6.00 it seemed worth giving a try… Continue reading “The Joyce Chen Sushi Mold”
Unagi, or freshwater eel, is a Japanese delicacy I have enjoyed many times and I thought I would share my most recent experience of it with you here. Japanese cuisine also makes use of sea eel (or ‘anago’) but you tend to find unagi appearing much more frequently on the menu at Japanese restaurants.
Like octopus and a few other fish products, unagi is always cooked, even in sashimi or sushi preparations. The cooking generally involves grilling but the eel is also sometimes steamed first. Often (indeed, every time I have ever had it) a sweetish glaze is added before grilling, but there is also a ‘shirayaki’ or ‘white-grilled’ version that does without. The glaze, when used, is often a Teriyaki sauce type preparation but here, on this particular occasion, I rather think that actual Eel Sauce formed the glaze. This is more than simply a sauce prepared for eel; it actually contains an extract from eel in the same way oyster sauce contains oyster extract and it has the same sort of sweet, umami flavor.
Although the sashimi and sushi pieces I ordered came plated very prettily with shiso leaf, shredded daikon, pickled ginger and wasabi, I didn’t think the eel was nearly as good as usual. It may have been due to overcooking but, in any event, I found the flesh really quite pallid and lacking in texture. Without the sauce, there probably wouldn’t have been a great deal of flavor and, on this occasion, the ginger and some soy were welcome additions. Normally though, I really enjoy this dish and, if you enjoy grilled fish you really should give it a try…
This post won’t be of much interest to those outside Iqaluit, I don’t imagine, but I thought a brief announcement to Iqalungmiut might be in order as the arrival of freshly made sushi in our local grocery store is a pretty big deal for those of us in the North … Continue reading “Iqalungmiut! Sushi comes North!”
Typically, Japanese Sushi and Sashimi preparations involve raw fish (where fish is used) but this is not always the case. Indeed, some varieties, most notably mackerel, are lightly first lightly pickled using salt and sweetened vinegar. In some ways, Saba Sashimi, or Sabazushi (as preparations with Sushi rice are known) is a bit like a Japanese counterpart to the Latin American dish called Ceviche that I sampled and then wrote about a few days ago. Generally however, Saba undergoes a very brief pickling (often less than an hour), while Ceviche is typically (although not always) marinated for several hours.
I have eaten and enjoyed Japanese style pickled mackerel many times, but the day after sampling the aforementioned Ceviche, I hastened to the Wasabi restaurant in Ottawa’s Byward Market to taste it again for the purposes of comparing and contrasting the two. At Wasabi, Saba is offered as both a sashimi and a sushi item and, not being able to decide between the two, I opted for both.
As you can see, the two delicacies were plated with wasabi (which I am not keen on), shredded daikon, and pickled ginger. Soy sauce was also provided on the side. There were three pieces of fish and, though the single piece of sushi was not terribly well formed, the color of the skin was absolutely gorgeous. I dipped the very edge of the sushi rice in just a little soy (foregoing the ginger entirely) but I sampled the sashimi slices without any accompaniments at all as I always think this is overkill.
As for the taste, the fish was clearly very fresh and nicely textured and the pickling was lightly done and added just the right fillip of flavor. I enjoyed the Ceviche I sampled the day before but, though I will try it again, I don’t think it matches the lovely, sophisticated simplicity of the Japanese preparation. I think I could quite happily eat this every day…