Return to

Sushi on a single grain of rice

single grain of ruice sushi 300x246 Sushi on a single grain of rice
How many pieces of sushi can you eat? 10? 20? 100? If you find yourself struggling to get into the triple digits when you go to an all you can eat sushi special, read on. Hironori Ikeno, a sushi chef in Tokyo has a unique take on sushi, using only a single grain of rice for each piece. He skillfully balances tiny pieces of fish in place on their tiny bed of rice, wrapping them in place with a miniature strand of nori (seaweed). This sushi promises the ultimate test of chopstick skills as you carefully, carefully attempt to pick up the single piece and bring it to your mouth intact as the chef watches intently, judging your every move as you bring the delicate creation closer and closer to your mouth. Your hands wobble and shake with nervous stress, beads of cold sweat sliding down your face from your forehead in intense concentration until you are finally rewarded with a burst of flavor and a look of stern approval from the sushi chef. Don’t worry – if you aren’t an expert at chopsticks, I’m sure he will let you use your hands!

Check out the short video below for more!

 Sushi on a single grain of riceNo tips yet.
Be the first to tip!

Like this post? Tip me with bitcoin!


If you enjoyed reading this post, please consider tipping me using Bitcoin. Each post gets its own unique Bitcoin address so by tipping you're not only making my continued efforts possible but telling me what you liked.

The global seafood trade is at a record breaking high

The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization Sub-Committee on Fish Trade will be meeting in Norway next week, and preliminary data released shows that exports are at an all time high. 2013 is set to make a new record in fish trade at 160 million tonnes, up 3 million from the previous year. That is a $136 billion industry in exports alone. While this is welcome news for the global economy, it raises worries for those concerned with overfishing and the sustainability of the industry on the whole.

Seafood is booming. High prices in species such as salmon and shrimp have maintained even with growth in aquaculture output, and the demand for fresh seafood keeps increasing. But not everyone is benefiting equally from the enormous profits of the global fishing industry. While developing countries are supplying 61 percent of fish by volume, they are only receiving 54 percent by value. This seems fairly neutral at first, with developing countries holding their own in global fish trade against the economic behemoths of the Western world, but the FAO warns that the benefits are not being seen by the small-scale fishing communities and farmers who represent 90 percent of the global seafood workforce. While neoliberal readers may be surprised to hear that trickledown economics seem to be failing for developing countries, it is a real issue when the bulk of the workforce is being left out of the economic development. Feminist scholars and activists will be interested in knowing that half of these seafood workers are female, and that helping small scale producers should be able to help women in developing countries.

It is the same story. Small scale workers simply do not have the capital and bargaining power to compete at the same level as the big players on a global scale. When you add in restrictions and catch certification that first world markets are moving towards in order to ensure an environmentally sustainable fishing industry, you have further problems for small-scale fishers who live in countries that simply do not have the infrastructure to meet the requirements for the most profitable markets. The FAO recommends to countries that they tailor national policies to not overlook small-scale sectors; however at this time they do not seem to be providing solutions for developing countries that have a more difficult time meeting market access regulations other than a plea to the countries to get with the times and provide programs to ensure compliance.

Developing countries need more focus. While it is not a happy truth, the fewer the regulations in place, the more opportunities for illegal and unregulated fishing there are. We will see if the FAO is able to offer concrete, valuable solutions for developing countries to meet growing restrictions to markets and to provide for their small scale workers and sectors in the future. Readers looking for more information can refer to the FAO website for further information.

 The global seafood trade is at a record breaking highNo tips yet.
Be the first to tip!

Like this post? Tip me with bitcoin!


If you enjoyed reading this post, please consider tipping me using Bitcoin. Each post gets its own unique Bitcoin address so by tipping you're not only making my continued efforts possible but telling me what you liked.

Finfish study warns of decreasing seafood supply

Your sushi is still in danger. A Finfish study, published by the EU Fish Processors and Traders Association in December of 2013 has the goal of providing the information needed to allow for a sustainable and consistent fishing industry for EU member states. It is a study published annually for over 20 years, and is a tool for creating legislation and regulations in the EU fishing industry. The study is a whopping 71 pages, chock full of scientific language which makes it lengthy to read through – so we’ve done the work for you, and here are the key points and conclusions of the study that may affect your sushi enjoyment.

The key findings of 2013 are generally negative. The total market supply has dropped by 13.7 million tons, quota utilization has deteriorated, and the EU is facing increased international competition which makes environmental regulations increasingly unpopular. This is the first time since the EU27 (which saw the addition of Bulgaria and Romania and spanned 2007-2013) that the available supply of fish has declined. However, the study is not overtly negative, and remains confident that the EU fish and seafood market can continue to support itself without recession.

The EU has found out just how complex the fishing industry is. This study follows a trend in having trouble with the sheer scope and complexity of the industry, with large variations in prices both international and nationally as well as the convoluted path that seafood takes from the sea to your dinner plate. Gone are the days, unless you are lucky enough to live in a fishing community, of fresh fish being brought in for dinner. Nowadays, fish passes through a complex web of suppliers, pounds (especially for shellfish) and international distributors before it reaches the consumer. This makes it difficult to regulate and trace whether or not seafood is sourced sustainably. One of the positives that this study sees is the effectiveness of EU-IUU regulations which were made to deal with this very problem.

EU-IUU regulations were created to ensure that fish being imported into the EU (and caught by EU member states) are sourced in a way that is environmentally sustainable as well as legal. IUU fishing, or illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, is the biggest threat to fish stocks globally. Started in 2008, this regulation has now become “a firmly established feature of the international trading environment,” and has served to label countries not willing to cooperate as “non-cooperating third world countries in fighting illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing”. The EU, a multinational body which serves the interests of all member states does not suffer from the same limitations of a one-state approach to regulations. When you are talking about a global commodity which requires everyone in the world to fish sustainably, the EU is a key part of the sustainability effort, and its decisions will have a direct effect on the availability of particular fish that is commonly eaten as sushi.

If you would like to read more about the study, you can see it straight from the source. The study findings are published for free at The European Fish Processors Association.

 Finfish study warns of decreasing seafood supplyNo tips yet.
Be the first to tip!

Like this post? Tip me with bitcoin!


If you enjoyed reading this post, please consider tipping me using Bitcoin. Each post gets its own unique Bitcoin address so by tipping you're not only making my continued efforts possible but telling me what you liked.

Changes in California Retail Food Code impact sushi chefs

salmon Changes in California Retail Food Code impact sushi chefsIn order to provide a more sanitary environment, California has passed new legislation to require that all culinary workers wear gloves while handling food. Among the most vocal critics of the law are bartenders, who find gloves to be inconveniencing especially during peak hours, and sushi chefs who find that the quality of their sushi declines with the barrier between their hands and the ingredients.

Sushi is unlike other foods in the way that making expert level sushi is an extremely and directly tactile process. Expert sushi chefs need to have direct contact with the sushi, feeling with their hands the exact properties of rice, nori (seaweed) and seafood. While to the vast majority of sushi consumers there will be no noticeable difference between sushi made by bare hands and those by chefs with gloves, the sushi chefs themselves and true lovers of sushi can tell that they are not quite reaching the perfection that they need to take sushi from food to art form. If you know any serious sushi chefs, you know that they seek to perfect their craft, and gloves are one more obstacle preventing them from creating the dishes they envision.

The mentality of a sushi chef is one of exacting standards, and loose fitting gloves impede them from reaching their potential. Some sushi chefs have over 30 years perfecting their art, and their hands have decades of experience knowing the perfect, exact movements to turn sushi into art. While it might not seem like a big deal to the average person, the pursuit of perfection inherent to any serious sushi chef brings understandable criticism of the law.

For the first six months of the new law, offenders will only be given a verbal warning. But after that, they could be found in violation of health code laws, which has huge ramifications for restaurant owners. There is a possibility for exemption to the laws, which restaurants can apply for. For fine dining restaurants, it would be more feasible to be granted an exception, and California sushi lovers can only hope that their favorite restaurant is able to be exempt from the laws.

 Changes in California Retail Food Code impact sushi chefsNo tips yet.
Be the first to tip!

Like this post? Tip me with bitcoin!


If you enjoyed reading this post, please consider tipping me using Bitcoin. Each post gets its own unique Bitcoin address so by tipping you're not only making my continued efforts possible but telling me what you liked.

Low Calorie Sushi Options

cucumber roll 300x199 Low Calorie Sushi OptionsSushi is a godsend for anyone trying to keep within calorie budgets and may be tired of eating boring, unsatisfying foods. While processed foods tend to sacrifice flavor in their low-calorie versions, low calorie sushi options are just as delicious (and some would argue even more delicious) than high calorie options. If you have read “The Difference between authentic Japanese sushi and sushi around the world” you will notice a trend towards simplicity in Japanese sushi, and a good rule of thumb is this: the simpler the sushi roll, the lower the calorie count. Please note that calorie counts will depend on the restaurant and size of the roll.

The sushi experience is great for anyone on a diet. The ambiance of a restaurant, the slow savoring of flavors and the use of chopsticks forces you to enjoy your food, letting your body realize when it is satisfied and helping to prevent overeating. Instead of having your food come out all at once, you can order as you finish rolls and sushi items, leaving with the perfect level of satisfaction without being stuffed.

The lowest calorie sushi rolls are vegetarian. A 6 piece cucumber roll weighs in at a measly 136 calories, and an avocado roll isn’t much more with 140 calories while serving as a great source of healthy fats. While delicious, vegetarian rolls may be less satisfying than their protein heavy fish counterparts. A simple tuna roll comes in at 184 calories, and a salmon roll contains approximately 168.

The simplest sushi is sashimi, or raw fish without any rice. You would think that because sashimi skips the rice, you would end up with fewer calories per piece. However, this is untrue because rice is lower in calories than some kinds of fresh fish, so you are a getting a higher calorie count but also a more filling meal. Sake (salmon) and Maguro (Tuna) sashimi will be from 40-50 calories per piece, and an order of sashimi may include 3 pieces, with some restaurants serving giant pieces that end up well above those calorie estimates. Sashimi tends to be denser in calories, as it is protein heavy fish, but also much more filling than rolls. This means that it is a good choice for a filling addition to a low-calorie meal, but it may not necessarily the best low calorie option in itself.

If you are like me, you aren’t going to be ordering only simple rolls when you go out to sushi. Readers will be pleased to know that the most popular sushi roll, the California roll, contains 255 calories. Not bad! The biggest pitfall of those who view sushi as healthy is tempura. It is easy to think you are eating healthy when in fact tempura is deep fried batter. A shrimp tempura roll comes in at 508 calories – almost as much as a Big Mac! Another western take on sushi is the Philadelphia roll, which includes smoked salmon, cucumber, and, you guessed it, cream cheese. This is another example of taking what was traditionally a healthy, simple fare and turning it into a tasty but high calorie treat. Depending on the amount of cream cheese used, a Philly roll can be anywhere from 400-500 calories.

Calorie conscious sushi eaters don’t need to avoid all of the more complex western rolls. However, like anything, moderation is the key. The 508 calories in a shrimp tempura roll is approximately equivalent to 3 and a half cucumber rolls! When I go for sushi, I aim for a healthy balance of simplicity and flavor. A cucumber roll, Sake roll, California roll and a few pieces of sashimi is enough to satisfy me, meaning I get a full meal that is less than 700 calories. Those with smaller appetites can, if they chose low calorie sushi items, enjoy a full dinner well within the 500 calorie range. If you are active like me, the high protein, low calorie nature of sushi is a great way to keep fit!

If you want more information on calories and sushi to help you plan out your meal, please feel free to view our “calories in sushi” page

 Low Calorie Sushi OptionsNo tips yet.
Be the first to tip!

Like this post? Tip me with bitcoin!


If you enjoyed reading this post, please consider tipping me using Bitcoin. Each post gets its own unique Bitcoin address so by tipping you're not only making my continued efforts possible but telling me what you liked.

New Awareness Campaign INSEPARABLE is announced by the European Union

Seafood stocks 281x300 New Awareness Campaign INSEPARABLE is announced by the European UnionEU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki has introduced a new, EU wide sustainable fishing campaign and program called INSEPARABLE. The campaign was created as a measure to change fish consumption to sustainable seafood in order to improve the health of Europeans and to protect the jobs of Europeans and maritime economic prosperity. At its heart, INSEPARABLE is an awareness campaign.

The European Union has a huge effect on patterns of seafood consumption. As the leading importers of fish products, the European Union has taken measures to protect global oceans and fisheries. Recently, in 2013, the European Commission agreed to implement the CFP, or Common Fisheries Policy. The fact is that fisheries and sustainable fisheries practices affect everyone. This is not a resource that stays put within state boundaries, as marine life is constantly migrating and moving in the global oceans. The European Union uses the European Commission to implement and improve policy in a way which transcends physical state boundaries.

Fisheries are a renewable resource, but the renewability relies on measures to prevent overfishing which can wipe out fish stocks, degrading marine environments and sending marine based economies into a recession. The INSEPARABLE project is an attempt to bring awareness to the difference that each consumer can make it choosing sustainable harvested seafood in order to ensure that the oceans remain prosperous and bountiful. The website,, features a campaign of pairing together consumers, workers, and fishers with the seafood that allows them to sustain their way of life. Whatever you have to say about INSEPARABLE, you have to admit that their logos are compelling!

INSEPARABLE is not a hard, scientific website with dry statistics preaching doom and gloom on the state of the marine ecosystems of our world. Instead, it features inspirational stories which showcase the need for sustainability and how our lives can be lived in a sustainable way. Even the resource section is filled with banners, posters and a FAQ which reads as a fluff piece highlighting the need to be a part of the sustainability movement. If you dig deeper to the “Resources by Country Section”, you can find country specific information, but prepare to be able to speak the regional languages in order to understand most of the information provided. The website and project seems to be a way to showcase the changes to the Common Fisheries Policy in a positive way, to inspire consumers and business to switch to sustainable seafood, and to paint the European Union as a pro-sustainability organization.

The European Union has been a force towards sustainability. Initiatives such as the 2010 IUU (Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated) fishing program to document where fish are sourced and how they are caught in a sustainable manner is just one example of the programs that the EU uses in order to maintain a sustainable marine ecology. How does the EU implement and enforce this policy? Any seafood product entering the EU borders must be certified by the exporting country to comply with fishing regulations. The EU’s goals would appear to be largely economically related, as their fishing industry is one of the most highly regulated in the world, and, as such, they would wish to globalize their regulations in order to protect marine sustainability as well as put their producers on an equal playing field with the rest of the world. The fact is that sustainability movements cannot rely in the short term on ethical, moral, or way of life movements in order to make changes that respond to pressing matters and crises. While sustainability as a movement has made long term gains in shifting the attitudes of people, it is the economic situation of countries faced with losing their fish stocks that will cause the largest policy shifts.

 New Awareness Campaign INSEPARABLE is announced by the European UnionNo tips yet.
Be the first to tip!

Like this post? Tip me with bitcoin!


If you enjoyed reading this post, please consider tipping me using Bitcoin. Each post gets its own unique Bitcoin address so by tipping you're not only making my continued efforts possible but telling me what you liked.

The Difference between authentic Japanese sushi and sushi around the world

A question that many sushi lovers find themselves wondering is whether there are differences between how sushi is prepared and served in its homeland of Japan compared to the sushi available in the western world. Some long for a more traditional sushi experience, while some are merely curious as to whether they are really eating “Japanese food” when they go out for sushi.

Japanese cuisine is far more broad than what we find in restaurants in the western world, but one of the major differences in the style of sushi is the scarceness of rolls in comparison to other ways of eating sushi. When you think of American sushi, the quintessential roll is the avocado roll. This is actually a recent creation (when you consider the vast history of sushi) which came to be in the 1960s in California when a sushi chef realized he could substitute expensive tuna with the fatty taste and texture of avocado. When you realize just how widespread a roll such as this is in America, you start to understand the huge differences in Japanese sushi as opposed to the spread of sushi globally.

When rolls are created in Japan, they are most commonly done in the traditional manner which is to serve them with the nori wrapped on the outside of the role. The idea of putting the rice on the outside was tailored to Western aesthetics, which did not enjoy the sight or texture of seaweed on the outside of the roll. In Japan, you will be much more likely to find sashimi than rolls. Unbelievably fresh fish will be enhanced with a slight dab of wasabi and served on rice, allowing the natural flavors of the fish to be enjoyed. Fancier sushi restaurants will serve only what is freshest at the market, choosing their menu based on the days catch, and those with access to the Tsukiji Market are particularly fortunate. While it is possible to find fresh sushi in America, Canada, and Europe, you are more likely to find flash frozen fare (which is still delicious, but not quite the same). When you are in Japan, fresh fish is the norm and it makes sense why they prefer not to hide the flavors in rolls dripping with condiments and mixed vegetables. This is a style of sushi which has its roots in a history which came before the advent of refrigeration and freezing techniques. If you eat sushi rolLs in Japan, they are simpler, with a circle of white rice encompassing a raw fish and wrapped tightly with nori.

American sushi is almost a different food group than traditional sushi. So what accounts for the huge differences? Regional tastes and cultural differences are largely the source. Where Japanese sushi is a delicate balance of flavors, western diners prefer bold flavors and strong colors, which explains the popularity of a roll like the “Philadelphia Roll”, which includes Salmon, avocado, and cream cheese. This is the type of fare that you would never find at a traditional Japanese sushi restaurant! Local cuisine will invariably have rolls formed with local tastes and ingredients.

hotategai scallop The Difference between authentic Japanese sushi and sushi around the world

Etiquette is another aspect in which the experience of eating sushi differs. In Japan, sushi is seen very much as an artas much as a food, and the chef is the artist. Adding wasabi to a perfectly prepared and balanced roll would be akin to buying a painting and then adding a few “finishing touches” of your own in front of the artist. While the western world loves its condiments, you would not see authentic sushi served with wasabi on the side, only pickled ginger which is used to cleanse the palate between different food items, and soy sauce (shoyu). Sashimi would be served with soy sauce, however, one would not use the common western practice of stirring wasabi and soy sauce together. Just a heads up when enjoying nigiri in a traditional environment, make sure to flip the sushi over before dipping it in soya sauce. Let only the fish touch the soy sauce, as the sauce will degrade the flavor and texture of the rice.

This article is not trying to proclaim the superiority of traditional sushi. Different cultures have different tastes in sushi, and I personally love California roles as well as BC rolls, which have barbecued salmon skin in sweet sauce and would never be found in Japan. It is simply to show that western sushi is not as much Japanese food as it is inspired by Japanese cuisine, and that there are major differences between the sushi you would get in Western countries and the sushi you would be served in Japan. Bon appetit!

 The Difference between authentic Japanese sushi and sushi around the world No tips yet.
Be the first to tip!

Like this post? Tip me with bitcoin!


If you enjoyed reading this post, please consider tipping me using Bitcoin. Each post gets its own unique Bitcoin address so by tipping you're not only making my continued efforts possible but telling me what you liked.

More Omakase insights from a Redditor

I’m an avid Redditor. If you don’t know what that means…. Look! A shiny! Over there!

My last post took on a life of it’s own thanks to Reddit, and in the conversation, a fellow Redditor, LokiSnake, offerred the following insight for those in the US who would like to share a similar experience. The following copy is a direct quote from him, and I thank him for his depth of knowledge. I’m also in complete agreement that Sushi Yasuda is still an extremely well run restaurant even after its sale by Yasuda-san. He will be missed, but the restaurant that bears his name is still worthy of it.

From LokiSnake:

There are a few places. First of all, you’re pretty much stuck with NYC and LA. There may be something in DC, but I personally have no knowledge. Bay area, Seattle, and other big (even coastal) cities are surprisingly disappointing in this department. In fact, Daisuke Nakazawa (the chef you mentioned) was in Seattle working at Shiro’s, and the sushi there was disappointing and subpar when compared to options in NYC/LA. Most cities just can’t support really top notch sushi. I am hearing good things about Sushi Nakazawa, so that’s an option. Here are two I’ve experienced:

•Urasawa (Beverley Hills/LA): Amazing, serene, zen-like experience. Half the meal is various composed dishes (kind of Kaiseki), and second half is sushi. It’s a tiny place, with no signs outside other than Urasawa plainly written on a couple of small signs outside and very easy to miss the elevator. It’s on the second floor, and very unassuming. The place is pretty much just a sushi bar (10 seats), with a small overflow table on the side for 4. It’s a ~4 hour (and $375 last I checked) experience, and worth every penny. It is probably the best experience you’d get in LA.

•Sushi Yasuda (NYC): Yasuda has left and opened shop in Tokyo, but the NYC joint is still very good. Definitely sit at the bar (call for reservation), and ask for omakase. Yasuda is known for its wide array of fish available. Comes out to about $120 per 20 pieces. Bar seating has a time limit of 1.5 hrs. The handrolls are straight and not cone-shaped, and absolutely amazing. No more last bite of just rice and nori. Everything (we had 38 pieces each) was phenomenal.

There are some others as well:

sushi itamae More Omakase insights from a Redditor
•Masa (NYC, most expensive, and agreed to be the best in the US)

•15 East, Sushi Zo, and their peers in NYC/LA (probably around Yasuda level and price)

Sushi is one of the few foods where there’s no such thing as “amazing” mid-range options. There are good value options, but anything but the best makes huge compromises to hit lower prices. It’s pretty much impossible to find really great sushi for less than $100 per person, and I’ve heard this holds true even in Japan. I’m still trying to figure out why myself, but I have some theories.

A few more notes on the notes of OP:
•Most of the above places (especially when served directly by the itamae at the bar) don’t provide any soy sauce (or a plate for it). All garnishes/sauces/seasoning is applied by the itamae.

•Everyone does things differently! Some places are known to have more vinegary rice, some serve rice at different temps (some arguably way too warm). This is part of why there’s no consensus on what’s the best sushi place in Japan. All the very top places do something different.

Here’s a video of Peter Frankl at Sushi Nakamura: Skipping around, this video definitely brings back memories of Urasawa. In fact, starting at the 22:30 min mark he makes a “broiled tuna”. I had something very similar at Urasawa (kama toro, from around the collar, and extremely fatty and marbled, seared), and it was definitely one of the highlights of the evening. Frankl’s reaction (starting 24:40) exactly matches what mine was.

 More Omakase insights from a RedditorNo tips yet.
Be the first to tip!

Like this post? Tip me with bitcoin!


If you enjoyed reading this post, please consider tipping me using Bitcoin. Each post gets its own unique Bitcoin address so by tipping you're not only making my continued efforts possible but telling me what you liked.

Notes From A High End Omakase Experience

Omakase is a unique experience. By that I mean it is unique as an experience itself, where you are simply asking the itamae (sushi chef) “serve me what you think is the best right now,” as well as unique in the sense of what sushi items are available at that moment, the personality of the itamae, his creativity, and a sum of other variables that are singular to that place at that time. An omakase experience at Sushi Nakamura in Tokyo gave me pause for thought. Wondering about Nakamura-san. Wondering about a high end omakase experience versus the typical one. And a myriad of other thoughts that I now present as tasting and experience notes for those who may not be fortunate enough to experience such a wonderful event.

• For a peerless experience, only the top 2/3 of the cooked rice is used to make sushi as the lower portion may have absorbed too much starchy water and be too sticky and therefore not up to the exacting standards for making nigiri sushi.

• Rice may not sit for more than 30 minutes, after that, it becomes too soggy and mushy and is not to be used.

• Rice is sometimes made fresh for each customer for omakase, ensuring freshness.

• Plates are warmed up by pouring warm water on it, letting it sit for a minute, then poured off and the plate dried before the nigiri is placed on it, to keep the rice the proper temperature (a cold plate will draw heat out of the rice, cooling it).

• Fresh wasabi is grated on an oroshi just before consumption and placed on each item personally by the chef in the proportion he deems fit for the particular item.

• Some sushi-ya do not offer shoyu (soy sauce) for your use as they season the rice and any cooked items with carefully measured cooking sake, which flavors the food perfectly, therefore there is no need for shoyu. For particular dishes that may be best served with some shoyu, the itamae will place the shoyu on the tane himself to ensure just the right amount it used.

• In Tokyo, it is fashionable to eat nigiri sushi with the fingers, wiping them on a moistened cloth after each bite.

• Lighter fish is sliced on both sides with hashes which not only help the tane adhere better to the rice, but also bring a sense of “togetherness” to the nigiri sushi. It is also allowed to rest for a short bit to help bring out the flavor. Not long enough to dry out the food, but just enough to allow its flavor to develop.

itamaes best 300x233 Notes From A High End Omakase Experience• While normally all the flesh of the squid (ika) is served, for an exceptional experience, a very thin outer portion of the meat is carefully sliced off which makes the remaining meat much more tender. It still retaining a nice, subtle crunch alongside the creaminess of the meat.

• There is purpose in every movement the itamae makes, no wasted time or effort, to ensure that the sushi item is presented and build to perfectly optimize flavor and texture.

• Some items, such as cockle, the itamae will wrap parts of the meat around the rice, looking as though he is squeezing tightly, however the pressure he uses is actually very gentle. The chef will also leave a small air bubble between the thicker central part of the cockle, to help enhance the flavor and texture.

• Some fish, such as sea bream, is aged wrapped inside kelp (kombu) which brings out the flavor of the fish during the aging process, as well as allowing the fish to absorb flavor enhancing glutamic acid from the kelp in which the fish ages.

• Some fish have tough skin which is usually removed, however there are some fish that have skin that can be made soft by using a brief hot water bath to soften it, and allow it to become tender and eaten. Sea bream is a good example of a fish that used to have its skin removed, however now, when softened, it is considered one of the best aspects of the fish in nigiri sushi.

• While most fish, particularly tuna, are not cooked, when a piece of fatty tuna (otoro) is broiled on one side for just moments, an element of complexity one would never expect is added to the fish. As the fat heats, the briefest hint of caramelization (due to the Maillard Reaction) occurs on the surface, and while the meat itself actually remains cool, the normally excellent fatty tuna becomes another type of toro altogether.

• Conger eel, boiled for no more than 20 minutes is served brush with a dark, rich sauce that is made by boiling down the liquid used to cook the eel for several days, slowly, and becomes dark, rich, and incredibly flavorful.

• The end of the omakase meal is celebrated with tamago, often considered a testament to an itamae’s culinary skill. A perfectly formed tamago is considered to be a profound experience by many and served not as nigiri sushi style, but alone.

Look for Sushi Nakamura in Tokyo if you make a trip there. It is well worth any sushi admirer’s while.

 Notes From A High End Omakase Experience2 tips so far
0.16 BTC
(avg tip 0.08 BTC)

Like this post? Tip me with bitcoin!


If you enjoyed reading this post, please consider tipping me using Bitcoin. Each post gets its own unique Bitcoin address so by tipping you're not only making my continued efforts possible but telling me what you liked.

3 Sushi Film Reviews

I decided to see if my love of sushi would translate to a love of sushi movies by checking out three wildly different movies revolving around sushi. The three that I picked are 2011 documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi, 2012 horror comedy Dead Sushi, and a short little film to finish things off called Happy Sushi.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi was entertaining, informative, and showed the true price of excellence. It follows the life of the 85 year old master sushi chef Sukitabashi Jiro and his two sons who live in his ever watchful shadow as they follow him in the art of sushi. Jiro is not just a man who has dedicated his waking life to the art of sushi. He is a man who’s mind is filled with sushi whether awake or asleep, a man who is completely in love and obsessed with the pursuit of the perfection of his craft. The opening shots had my mouth watering as they showcased the skill which he handles the highest quality ingredients. His sushi follows the motto of purity in simplicity, which is, in my opinion, exactly how sushi should be. At its best, sushi is simple, with all the small complications hidden beneath, the decisions such as how many hours to marinate the fish, the course order, the balance of wasabi and how the fish interacts with the rice. Jiro Dreams of Sushi shows many of the aspects of owning a sushi restaurant, from buying the ingredients from highly specialized vendors to creating the final product. At every step of the way Jiro micro-manages, for nothing short of perfection is good enough for him. This documentary was a great insight into the mind of a sushi great and the absolute dedication that must be achieved in order to constantly improve. Please note that this film is in Japanese, with subtitles.

I followed the serious and informative documentary with a cheesy sushi horror comedy aptly titled Dead Sushi. This was perhaps not the greatest decision I have ever made. This is an R rated, campy horror film which turns from stereotypical king-fu flick into surreal horror when sushi is reanimated, flies, and starts eating people alive. Oh, and it turns people into sushi zombies. Unless you have a strong stomach for gore and love horrible, campy movies, I really can’t recommend this one! Once again, this one is in Japanese with subtitles – I am not sure if the original dialogue was as cheesy or if something was lost in translation. For instance, in my version of the subtitles, one man was being dragged on the ground while screaming “The friction!” with a tone of pure horror. Doesn’t get much better than that.

I wanted to end off my sushi movie binge with something a light and fun, so I decided on a short film called Happy Sushi, a 3 minute short directed by Andy Green which premiered in 2010. It shows the endless struggle of a man versus a wobbly table… and the twist ending that makes it all worthwhile. Check this one out for sure, everyone has 3 minutes for a good laugh!

If you want to learn more about sushi and the lives of those who dedicate themselves to the art, check out Jiro Dreams of Sushi for sure. If you want to watch a campy and utterly ridiculous horror comedy about zombie sushi, check out Dead Sushi. And if you just want a quick laugh, Happy Sushi is the flick for you. And so concludes the findings of my sushi movie watching spree – at least for today!

 3 Sushi Film ReviewsNo tips yet.
Be the first to tip!

Like this post? Tip me with bitcoin!


If you enjoyed reading this post, please consider tipping me using Bitcoin. Each post gets its own unique Bitcoin address so by tipping you're not only making my continued efforts possible but telling me what you liked.

Buy Sushi Grade Fish