It’s been fun writing about food all week, but I’ve received a request for pictures of the fine city we live in. So enjoy these food-related pictures while you can—they’ll be the last ones for awhile. Next week I’ll be taking you on a tour of the lovely industrial wasteland of North-Nine-Islands-City, more commonly known as Kitakyushu.
Of course, doing a wrap-up from Japan on a food-related theme requires…
You guessed it: sushi. Two of you will actually find that pun amusing. Hiebert men in Calgary and Saskatoon that are related to me by marriage, and are older than me, you know who you are. Everyone else, please forget you even noticed that pun. I already regret having typed it. Now how about I move along with some useful information? I took the above photo last year—on 21 July 2004, to be exact—in the Nakasu area of Fukuoka City. I had been taking pictures of love hotels when I noticed this chef in a window overlooking the river. There’s a detail below. The whitish blur is just a lowly server. At first glance I thought it was either a kind of paranormal phenomenon or else the sushi chef showing off his fancy ninja-sushi-making moves. Sadly, it wasn’t so.
But since I’m on the topic of sushi-making, allow me to show off some of mine. These are way less impressive than what I’ve seen done by the pros here—mine are definitely not ninja-grade—but having access to proper tools and ingredients has helped me improve my technique immensely.
The first one is from last May. There’s an assortment of rice-on-the-outside rolls. The ones in front have deep-fried white fish strips and cucumber inside. The rice is decorated half-and-half with aonori (青海苔—green seaweed) flakes and yukari furikake (ゆかりふりかけ—shiso-flavoured rice-seasoning mix). The ones in the back are squid tempura and cucumber, with mayonnaise. The rice is sprinkled with aonori.
Here are two pictures from what I made for supper tonight. I should say though, that I’m writing this on Friday night, and planning for the blog software to automatically post it on Sunday so that I don’t have to spend large portions of the weekend’s laundry time in front of the computer. First off is some salmon nigiri-sushi. It’s Norwegian salmon which I suspect is farmed.
And here’s some maguro (tuna) nigiri-sushi. I’m not sure where the fish came from but it’s likely that it was caught from a factory-fishing boat without regard for the long-term viability of worldwide tuna stocks.
We also had an assortment of maki but we were too hungry to be bothered taking pictures of them. Sorry.
Now if only I could find someone to teach me how to sharpen my knives properly.
Ed – your sushi is a work of art – very plump, colourful and intense. Do you think you’ll be making sushi in England?
I hope you will show me how to make sushi, cause it looks tasty. They are almost a match for my show cabbage rolls and show pies.
Margaret, thanks. I plan to keep making sushi for as long as I’m able. In Canada, in England, and wherever we end up after. One of my worries about the move to England is access to ingredients like yukari furikake, aonori, and sushi rice. But I’ve found a couple of UK-based online shops that sell such things. I’m hoping it’ll be easier than my futile quest for dill in Japan, which I keep harping about.
April: yes, I can show you how to make sushi. But given my need for mass quantities of personal space in the kitchen, you’d probably be better off with a book. I can just imagine the headline scrolling across the Food Network news ticker: “This week in Kitchen Stadium: down-home blue-ribbon farm cookin’ vs. tender tuna tidbits in a match judged by Alton Brown, Bob Blumer, and the man in black. There will be no survivors.”
Besides, don’t you hate fish?
April: Maybe I SHOULD get you a Japanese-style battle apron for your birthday. . . .hmmmmm . . . tempting . . . .
I love the photograph of the chef!
the knives…one side only I undertsand … try this link http://sushi-knives.knives-and-cutlery.com/sushi-knife-care/sashimi-knife-care.html
all the dill stuff i can find
white chocolate flavoured with dill http://shewhoeats.blogspot.com/2005/02/all-spiced-up.html
restaurants serving dill -japan times a really long URL
better japan times link
(shorter too !)
Patrick, thanks for the links. Regarding the knife sharpening, I’ve found plenty of written or online instructions, and have gotten to an almost acceptable skill level, but I’d like to actually consult, in person, with an expert.
As for dill, I’m sure there are places to get it here, but I’d have to be in the right place at the right time, and still pay an arm and a leg for it. We order stuff on a regular basis from the flying pig.