Friday, December 28, 2007

Sushi

There's an old Lygon Arms back of house story from way back when of a waiter going back to the kitchen saying he guests had asked for canned peas. "Canned peas?! We don't do anything like that here!" was the response from the horrified kitchen staff. The waiter went back in to report back to the customers. A couple of minutes later he was back. "They're quite insistant" he said "they want cans of peas". Cans of peas...... Canapés....... well he was close. He didn't get a tip that day.
To key to canapes, as with anything else is freshness. Sadly when you buy sushi at a supermarket it has been hanging around either in the distribution centre or on the shelves for a day or two before you buy it. The sushi rice loses it's flavour and light texture very quickly, so I cook it as near to the time of the party as possible. It is chilled, then mixed with mirin, rice wine vinegar and salt.
For the ones I was making today, I wanted to roll them in toasted sesame seeds, so the cucumber and avocado was rolled in the nori, and placed in the middle of the flattened seasoned rice.


Then rolled off the edge of the mat into toasted sesame seeds (I roast these in a pan now on top of the stove where I can see them - hidden away in the oven they always get forgotten and burnt).
Once rolled in the sesame I roll them in clingfilm to get the round shape, chill breifly and slice:

From raw ingredients to a canapé in under two hours. Served with wasabi, pickled ginger and soy sauce.
It's a long way from cans of peas.

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