Sushi is a typical Japanese food with many hundreds of years history and tradition. As is often the case with fish it is the simplest preparation that delivers some of the best flavours and textures. Sushi takes that simplicity to a logical conclusion, reducing the cooking and instead focussing on the very best quality, freshest ingredients and delightful presentation.
Origins of Sushi
The word “sushi” means “it’s sour” This is based on it’s historical origins where it was a fermented fish dish. The sourness that “sushi” refers particularly is the vinegar in the rice. Whilst the dish has changed over many hundreds of years, all Sushi still has a base of specially prepared rice that is then complimented with other tasty ingredients.
Sushi as we know it today developed just over 100 years ago as a form of fast food that could be prepared and eaten quickly. It became known as Edomae zushi because it used freshly caught fish from Edo-mae (Edo or Tokyo Bay). Sushi is often served with a variety of garnishes and dips such as pickled ginger (Gari), wasabi, soy sauce and mayonnaise, which is a common condiment in Japan. (NB Fish served without the rice component is called “sashimi”).
The variety arises from the different fillings and toppings, condiments, and the way these ingredients are put together. The same ingredients may be assembled in a traditional or a contemporary way, creating a very different final result.
Fish that is going to be eaten raw must be fresher and higher quality than fish that will be cooked, only ocean fish are used raw. Whether a professional chef or a enthusiastic beginner at home it is important to recognize good quality fish. Lookout for fish that smells clean, has a bright colours, clear eyes, red gills and is free from any parasites. Sourcing fish from Walter Purkis & Sons will help ensure that you get the freshest fish and have plenty of knowledgeable advice available. The most commonly used species of fish used are Tuna, Salmon, Mackerel and Smoked Salmon all of which you can regularly find on our counter
Sushi is made with white, short-grained, Japanese rice mixed with a dressing made of rice vinegar, sugar, salt and occasionally sake. It is usually cooled to room temperature before being used for a filling.
If you are making Sushi rolls you will need Nori. This is seaweed pressed into paper like sheets and then toasted. The nori is often the part that holds an individual piece together.
Its not just fish other types of seafood are commonly used. Sometimes it is cooked as well as raw. Typical ingredients include squid, octopus, prawns, eel and a variety of fish eggs such as Salmon Roe. As before you will be able to source these from Walter Purkis & Sons
Sushi Grade Fish
We are delighted to be listed in the “Your Sushi” database of fishmongers who supply “Sushi Grade” fish -You may have noticed their sticker in our shop window. As very knowledgeable professionals we really value their endorsement.
Since 2007, “Your Sushi” has taught thousands of people across the UK. They are a leading provider of Sushi cookery classes across the UK. If you want to improve your skills you can find their website for sushi classes here >>
Their expertise also extends to the professional market with “Your Sushi School”, a sister company set up in 2010 to offer aspiring chefs and established restaurants throughout the UK and Europe a comprehensive set of professional chef training programs and restaurant consultancy services.