Roll up, roll up for DIY

Fresh sushi doesn’t have to be a restau­rant-only treat, Jake Wal­lis Si­mons learns how to make it at home

The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday - - Front Page -

Isay sushi, you think raw fish. This, per­haps, is the rea­son why the Ja­panese del­i­cacy, un­like the noo­dle or the stir-fry, has not be­come a sta­ple of Bri­tish home cook­ing. But all that is about to change – at least if Yuki Gomi, 37, a Ja­panese sushi chef liv­ing in Lon­don, has any­thing to do with it. “In Ja­pan, go­ing to a sushi restau­rant costs hun­dreds of pounds and is a real treat,” she says when we meet at her flat in Crys­tal Palace, south­east Lon­don. “But Ja­panese peo­ple make it at home all the time, usu­ally with­out raw fish.” When a Ja­panese fam­ily goes for a pic­nic, sushi will al­ways make an ap­pear­ance – but smoked fish will also be used, which is less likely to spoil (salmon and mack­erel are favourites). Chil­dren take sushi to school in their lunch boxes, made with tinned tuna. There are veg­e­tar­ian op­tions, in­clud­ing tam­agoy­aki, grilled egg sushi. “If you want to go the whole way and use raw fish,” says Gomi, “there are safe ways of do­ing it. If you have the con­fi­dence, you can make friends with a lo­cal fish­mon­ger and get him to prom­ise you that the fish can be eaten raw. But the eas­i­est way is to buy sushi-grade fish on the in­ter­net.” She rec­om­mends, which will de­liver guar­an­teed sushi-grade fish to your door. Sushi is easy to make, ex­tremely healthy and highly por­ta­ble. It is also flex­i­ble; there are, Gomi says, “no rules”, and new com­bi­na­tions of fish or veg­eta­bles are wait­ing to be dis­cov­ered. And when it is home-made, sushi can also be an im­pres­sive ad­di­tion to a party. “It is sim­ple, so long as you are pre­cise,” she says. “Ar­chi­tects and sur­geons make the best sushi.” Be­fore think­ing about the fish, how­ever, it is im­por­tant to get the rice right. It must be Ja­panese – which refers to the species rather than the coun­try of ori­gin – be­cause it is high in starch, which makes it stick­ier than other va­ri­eties. Tech­niques for cook­ing per­fect rice are closely guarded se­crets for many Ja­panese chefs. Gomi, how­ever, be­ing “of a younger gen­er­a­tion”, is happy to share her method, which she learnt from the masters (see right). When the rice is ready, the creative part be­gins. First, Gomi demon­strates how to make temari. “When you go to a restau­rant, you’ll prob­a­bly

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