Useful Tips

Sushi and sashimi

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Sashimi is a national Japanese dish, the name of which comes from the two words “sa” - knife and “shi” - fillet. Of course, ideally, according to the correct transcription, the dish should sound like “sashimi”, but in our country this pronunciation variant has not taken root. And by analogy with the equally popular "sushi", we are used to saying "sashimi".

Sashimi is filigree sliced ​​fillet of fresh fish or seafood, decorated with a side dish. In some cases, even live, freshly caught fish is used. It is thoroughly cleaned of bones, briefly placed in ice or a freezer, so that the fillet acquires a dense and elastic consistency, and then cut. Sashimi can be cut in the form of thin plates, not thicker than a paper sheet, and also in the form of strips and bars, up to one centimeter thick.

Due to its specificity and expensive cost (with proper preparation of really fresh fish and seafood) sashimi is not the main dish. This is a kind of "prelude" to further ingestion and a slight irritant of taste buds. They are not intended to satisfy hunger, but are served for contemplation and enjoyment.

Useful properties and composition of sashimi

The type of product from which sashimi is made is determined by seasonality, since, according to the Japanese themselves, only at a certain time of the year does the taste of a particular fish and seafood reveal. Most often, sashimi is made from tuna (magura), salmon (sake), carp, pike perch (tatakin), trout and sea bass. In addition, fish species such as cod, flounder, sardine, navaga and mackerel (shimaaji) are in demand in some Japanese prefectures.


In Russia, the most popular are salmon, eel (unagi) and tuna sashimi. Shrimps (anago, ebi), lobsters (ise-ebi), crabs, squids (ika), octopuses (tacos) and scallops (hotate-gai) are used for seafood sashimi.

Sashimi - a healthy and necessary dish for the human diet, since fresh sea fish and seafood contain elements and nutrients that are not found in other types of products. Fish is rich in proteins, vitamins, trace elements (zinc, phosphorus, potassium), as well as fatty acids, which the body is not able to synthesize on its own and must receive with food. But there is also a high probability of poisoning by stale fish, therefore, in our country for cooking sashimi mainly chilled and frozen fish are used, moreover, imported. Only properly processed fish, subjected to “shock freezing” at a temperature of -50 degrees Celsius, retains all its nutritional value. An important role is also played by the defrosting procedure carried out according to the rules, when the fish is thawed in cold water with a salt concentration approximately corresponding to sea water.

As a side dish, beautifully chopped fresh vegetables, seaweed, vegetable seasonings, soy sauce, ginger and wasabi are used. Garnish serves not only to enhance the taste of sashimi, but also to decorate the dish. The classic version is red seaweed (nori), zucchini, as well as grated Japanese radish (daikon) and carrots. As for the use of wasabi (Japanese horseradish) and pickled ginger, they are a preventive measure against possible poisoning by raw fish, as they have pronounced antibacterial properties. Wasabi is dissolved in a small portion of soy sauce and dipped in sashimi before use. Ginger is eaten between different types of fish and seafood to interrupt the taste of the previous product and move on to the next.

Sashimi in the best way reflects the whole philosophy of Japanese culinary excellence, in which the main thing is the ability to emphasize the taste of each type of product separately. Therefore, for the Japanese cook, the main tool is a knife (bento). Special attention is paid to cutting, slicing and subsequent decoration of the dish. Sashimias a rule, several types, it is customary to lay out slides on a spacious dish or tray with an odd number of slices - three, five and seven. They eat them with chopsticks. To sashimi it is customary to order beer, dry white wine or Japanese vodka - sake.

How to make sashimi

This is a delightfully simple but elegant Japanese delicacy consisting of very fresh raw fish. It is served in rectangular slices толщиной- inch thick (0.6 cm), with soy sauce in order to dip it there and, in some cases, accompanied by a small amount of grated daikon and shiso leaves (a culinary herb similar to mint).

The freshness and quality of the fish used to make sashimi is naturally the key to its success. The composition and texture of the fish becomes very pleasant due to some additions.

STEP-BY-STEP COOKING RECIPE

Wash rice in 5–6 waters until the water is clear. Pour cold water from a ratio of 1: 1 plus another 10% water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a minimum, close the lid and cook for 13-14 minutes without opening. Cover the pan with a blanket for 30–40 minutes. Prepare the dressing by heating all the ingredients together so that the sugar and salt dissolve. Refueling should be warm.

Put the rice in a large wooden unvarnished bowl (the crust formed on the bottom of the pan for sushi is not used). Put warm rice in the center, pour the whole dressing, scatter the rice with a spatula, then together with the dressing, collect back into the center - and so 4 times. Leave on for 10-15 minutes. - when you make "koloboks", the temperature of the rice should be 32–34 ° C, not colder. Attention: if you do not have a wooden bowl, reduce the number of refills by 1/3.

To make koloboks for sushi, moisten your hands with water, take 1 tbsp. l rice and dazzle the oblong "gingerbread man", squeezing the rice with four fingers and adjusting the edges with the thumb - in the process of crimping, the gingerbread man should spin in his palm.

Then put sushi fish across your fingers on the lower phalanges. Put the prepared kolobok on the fish and give it the final shape, depending on the size of the piece of fish, pressing the rice with your index finger. Then turn the sushi and press the fish on the sides with your fingers - it should fit snugly against the rice.
Place sushi and sashimi on a board or plate, individually or together.

Serve with side dishes: crispy - Ken (usually daikon, radish, cucumber, carrot), spicy - "Punishment" (wasabi, ginger, mustard, grated daikon with red pepper) and giving a pleasant taste in the mouth - Tsuma (leaves or shoots of railing, mint, currant). According to Japanese tradition, only one third of the plate should be occupied with food - you can put decorations on 2/3. And the food itself needs to be slightly shifted from the center, building a perspective on the plate - like on the stage in the theater, so that there is free space for the guest.

Japanese cuisine has become so dear to us that it is time to learn how to cook this food at home. Let's start with slices of raw fish - sashimi and a piece of fish on a "bun" of rice - sushi. We need to take the most reliable, the freshest fish - with the help of our beloved Japanese cook Nikolai Nikolaevich Chernyshev, who teaches us all the wisdom of Japanese cuisine, we chose salmon.

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