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SUSHI IN A FLASH

Eileen Cullen - Friday, March 21, 2014

I must admit that using the Sushi Express to make Sushi for a dinner party of 10 persons is really quite quick and simple.  However, have you ever been into a Japanese Sushi  restaurant during a lunch or dinner rush hour that’s packed with hungry patrons who just want to quickly eat and run, and wondered, “How do they make their Sushi so fast to accommodate these voracious, but short- on- time appetites?”

Well, let me tell you, it’s all about technology!

Many  Japanese restaurants today use automated Sushi making machines, also referred to as Sushi Robots.  Sushi Robots increase productivity and lower costs.  One common piece of equipment used is to make the Maki Sushi – or what most people know as the Sushi Roll.  There are Maki Sushi Robots in the market that can roll up to 700 Sushi Rolls per hour , and can even make inside out  Sushi Rolls!  Now that’s a lot of Sushi.

Another type of machine that’s commonly used in restaurants is the Nigiri Robot.  Made the traditional way, Nigiri Sushi is a type of Sushi in which the Sushi rice is hand formed into a small clump with a piece of fish pressed on top.   Made the new and fast way, the Nigiri Robot can make up to 1,300 rice pieces per hour, all perfect and uniformed.    The only thing left to do is for the Sushi chef to place the piece of seafood or Tamago (Japanese Egg Omelette)  on top.

Finally, many restaurants invest in an automated Sushi Roll Cutter.  Sushi Roll Cutters can cut up to 3 rolls at one time and up to 700 rolls per hour – all uniform and with no unsightly edges!

So there you have it!  Sushi made in a FLASH!

PS:  Look out for our next Blog on Sushi Knives

MASAGO AIOLI

Eileen Cullen - Saturday, December 14, 2013

Masago is a popular type of roe that comes from the capelin fish, which is a member of the salmon family. Small crunchy orange eggs used in a variety of sushi rolls to add an additional texture and flavor. It is used commonly as a substitute for the more expensive and traditional tobikko (flying fish roe).

Masago Aioli

A primary sauce of all modern sushi bars.  It gives everything a richer and creamier taste and enhances the flavours in many dishes, including your Sushi rolls. 

1 cup mayonnaise (whole egg)

3 tbsp Masago

1 tsp finely chopped garlic

Combine in small bowl.  Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 1 month.


SPICY CRAB MIX

Eileen Cullen - Monday, December 02, 2013

Try this as a filling for your Sushi.  It's great for people who enjoy a bit of spice in their life:

1/2 cup cooked crabmeat

3 Tbsp whole egg mayonnaise

2 Tbsp smelt roe (masago) 

1 Tsp sambal (Indonesian chili paste)

2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro

You can adjust the amount of ingredients above to your liking, as well as add some avocado and cucumber for a bit of variety.

Enjoy!

WHERE'S THE SUSHI?

Eileen Cullen - Sunday, October 27, 2013

just returned from a very short visit to Japan.  I was there on business so my schedule was pretty tight. With only a couple of days in Tokyo, my main focus in between meetings was the search for Sushi. However, expecting to find a variety of Sushi restaurants, I was surprised that I couldn't find very many! Perhaps, I was in the wrong area or too pressed for time to look thoroughly.  Rather, most restaurants I came across served Ramen (Japanese soup noodles) and/or Nigiri (Individual pieces of rice topped with raw fish or other topping), and/or Obento (Traditional Japanese single-portion packed meals which typically hold rice, fish or meat, with pickled or cooked vegetables, usually in a box-shaped container or hand crafted lacquerware).  

Funnily, I found that Sushi was readily available in convenient stores, such as 7-Eleven or Lawsons, and the food halls of department stores.  Given the high consumption of rice based meals in Japan, the Sushi sold in these places is always fresh and reasonably priced.  So, the next time you're in Japan and need a quick Sushi fix, head into your nearest convenience and/or department store.  

Trivia: 

Did you know that smoking in public is illegal in Japan except in designated smoking areas? However, drinking in public is not.  Beer is commonly sold in vending machines (along side bottled water and cool drinks) which are placed everywhere - on sidewalks, in train stations, at kiosks and in hotels.  The drinking age is 20 years old and alcohol can be consumed virtually anywhere.  That being said, Japan is very strict about driving a car or riding a bike after drinking alcohol.

WHAT IS SUSHI AND WHERE DID IT COME FROM?

Eileen Cullen - Monday, September 30, 2013

Sushi is mainly cooked rice with vinegar combined with other ingredients, usually raw fish or other sea food.  Literally translated, Sushi means “sour tasting”.  This is mainly because of the vinegar rice and fermented fish, which were originally used to make Sushi.

The original type of Sushi, known today as nare-zushi, was a traditional form of fermented Sushi.  Rice served with fish that is skinned, gutted, and fermented for six months with salt.  It was developed in Southeast Asia what is now known as the Mekong River and then spread to southern China before it reached Japan. 

Today  there are many types of Sushi:

Chirashizuchi - Bowl of vinegar rice topped with thinly sliced raw meat or fist and other garnishes.

Inarizushi - Vinegar rice filled in a pouch of fried tofu.

Narezushi - A traditional form of fermented Sushi.  Rice served with fish that is skinned, gutted and fermented for 6 months with salt. 

Nigirizushi - An oblong mound of rice topped with wasabi and raw fish such as salmon and tuna, or other seafood such as octopus, freshwater eel, sea eel and squid.  It can also be topped with sweet egg, which is wrapped with a thin strip of nori (dried seaweed).

Oshizushi - Pressed Sushi in the shape of a square.  Ingredients are topped with rice which is pressed together with the help of a wooden mold.

Makizushi - Fish and other ingredients rolled in vinegar rice and nori (dried seaweed).

What style of Sushi do you think Sushi Express makes?

MOTHER'S DAY IN JAPAN

Eileen Cullen - Saturday, April 20, 2013

HAHA-NO-HI!  means Happy Mother's Day in Japan.  

Like many other countries, Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May.  Historically, however, Mother's Day was first celebrated in Japan during the Showa period, commemorating the birthday of Empress Kojun, who was the mother of Emperor Akihito.  The tradition of celebrating Mother's Day began in 1913 with Japan resident Christians and continued through the 1930's until it's prohibition during the 2nd World War.  After the war, Mother's Day celebrations were revived and now continues to today.

Mother's Day in Japan is a well celebrated holiday with Mothers being adorned with flowers, such as carnations and roses, and of course, FOOD! Although Sushi is a popular dish among Japanese and non Japanese to enjoy on Mother's Day,  common dishes like, nimono (simmered dishes), tamagoyaki (rolled omelette), miso soup, chawanmushi (egg custard with the seeds of ginkgo), tofu and sashimi also make for a perfect meal on Mother's Day.

Here's an easy recipe, although not truly traditional, it's easy with Japanese flair:

Miso (Soy Bean Paste) Chicken - Serves 2

4 chicken thighs/breasts 

2 tablespoons miso paste

3 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons sake

1 tsp Mirin 

2 tablespoons chicken soup stock

Brown chicken in pan.  Combine all other ingredients and pour over chicken.  Cover pan and simmer until chicken is cooked through.  Serve with rice and steamed vegetables of your choice.

Enjoy!




TEMAKI (HAND ROLL) SUSHI

Eileen Cullen - Saturday, March 30, 2013

Temaki sushi is a form of rolled sushi created in a cone or roll shape. Temaki is different from maki sushi, as you do not cut it into pieces. The English translation for "temaki" is hand roll. Making temaki sushi is simple and does not require appliances or utensils. 

 

Ingredients:

  1. Half sheet of nori (seaweed)
  2. Sushi rice
  3. Some sesame seeds (optional)
  4. Fillings of your choice

Steps:

  1. Be sure your hands are dry and lay a half sheet of nori in palm of your hand, shiny side down.
  2. Place a thin layer of rice on half of the half sheet of nori, and sprinkle sesame seeds on rice.
  3. Place your filling(s) diagonally, in the middle of the rice.
  4. Roll the temaki by bending your hand so that it starts to fold in onto itself into a cone shape. To keep the cone together take one kernel of rice and squash it into the corner. This will stick the end down, holding the Nori in position.
Enjoy!

SPAM MUSBUBI - WHAT THE ???

Eileen Cullen - Sunday, February 24, 2013

Have you ever been to Hawaii and noticed the cornucopia of Pacific Islander food unique to the Hawaiian Islands, such as macadamia nut crusted snapper drizzled with teriyaki sauce and served on a bed of rice, or the plate lunch of chicken katsu (japanese crumbed chicken) with 2 scoops of rice and macaroni salad?  Well, there is one food you will find everywhere in Hawaii and not likely to find anywhere else. The SPAM MUSUBI.

According to Wikipaedia Spam Musubi is a popular snack in Hawaii composed of a slice of grilled Spam on top of a block of rice, wrapped together with nori (dried seaweed) in the tradition of Japanese Omusubi.

Inexpensive and portable, Spam Musubi is commonly found near cash registers in convenience stores all over Hawaii, at family gatherings, picnics and in kids' lunchboxes.  Why Spam?  Spam became a popular food in Hawaii after World War II.   It was a main course for the troops during the war, and the large military presence in Hawaii led to Spam's widespread local adoption.  As a result, local Japanese created the Spam Musubi.

Try it using Sushi Express!

8-10 slices of Spam (sliced length ways)

3 cups uncooked short or medium grain calrose rice per 1 can Spam  Cook rice as per instructions on packet (No need to season rice) 

1/2 cup sugar dissolved in 1/2 cup soy sauce for marinade (adjust sugar to taste)

Fry spam in pan until both sides are golden brown.

Add marinade to pan and simmer for few minutes until marinade has soaked through Spam.

Use Sushi Express and slice your roll in half.  And there you have it!  Spam Musubi (Hawaiian Style)

  

BROWN RICE AND SUSHI

Eileen Cullen - Sunday, February 03, 2013

I've had many people ask me whether sushi can be made with brown rice.  The answer is YES!  It's a healthier alternative to white rice, but you must use the right type of grain - short grain calrose brown rice.  If you use a long grain rice, your rice will be drier and less sticky, which will cause your sushi rolls to fall apart. You use the same methods to cook brown rice as you do when cooking calrose short grain white rice.  The only difference is that your measurement is 2 parts water to 1 part rice.  

So for a healthier alternative, try a brown rice sushi roll! 

Welcome to the Blog Section of Sushi Express!

Eileen Cullen - Wednesday, December 12, 2012

 Make sure to visit here often for sushi news, restaurant reviews and any other updates that deal with my passion: great food, great wine and great experiences. My name is Eileen and I’m the founder of Sushi Express. We’ve certainly come a long way from when we started back in 2004, but we’re still committed to providing you with a quality way to make sushi quickly and easily in your own home.

Check out the video demo done by celebrity Geoff Jansz on TV show "Fresh".