■ About sushi rice
We use rice from Ibaraki prefecture.
First, I remove any burnt pieces of rice, and mix in vinegar and salt. This must be done immediately after the rice has finished cooking.
The rice must be hard-boiled, so you can feel the individual grains in your mouth.
Mix the rice with cutting motions so that you don’t squish the grains. I think this is a good amount of vinegared rice to make at a time. If you try to make a lot all at once, you get a different sort of vinegared rice. So I will make vinegared rice separately in two times.
We don’t fan the rice to cool it down, but rather because the air gives it a glossy finish.
To make sure the rice doesn’t cool down, I keep it warm inside a water-bath until the restaurant opens. At the moment, I’m using boiling water, but in the summer, I would use room temperature water.
For salted mackerel, you add enough salt to cover the fish. The mackerel that we use is extremely powerful, so if you don’t salt it properly, you’ll get a lingering fish smell inside the mouth.
First you remove the scales.
You also salt tilefish, but with a lighter amount.
Then you leave it for 2-3 days before using it.
Tilefish tends to have a watery texture, so it won’t taste very good if you just serve it straight.
The idea is to remove the excess moisture and condense the good flavor.
There are scales on the front of the skipjack, so you need to remove those.
When sprinkling it with salt, you need to adjust the amount depending on the place. For example, the meat is thinner in the belly area, so you use less salt there.
By lighting the fire with straw instead of gas, the flame is gentler and the aroma more pleasant.
After opening it, you insert the knife vertically in order to remove the bones.
Then add a little salt.
Leave it for a short while. Afterwards, wash it with water.
Turn off the water and let it dry. Before using it, you need to give it a quick rinse with vinegar.
First, you wash them.
Then you pass a bamboo skewer through the siphon, and remove the slime around the siphon.
Clams are divided based on size.
This is because you need to apply the heat differently depending on how big they are. In order to get them all cooked in the same way, you adjust the cooking time by a few seconds.
Add some clam broth, and then cook them.
I do it this way because I feel that the broth helps to retain the flavor.
After boiling it, you leave it to cool down.
Remove the innards and any stones or pearls that may be stuck inside. Any of these can ruin the dish so be sure to thoroughly remove them.
Then you soak it in a mixture of soy sauce and sugar.
Take a handful of rice, gripping it gently so that you’ll still be able to feel individual grains in your mouth. You need an amount that feels natural with the topping.
We only have a course menu, so I serve the sushi in what I think is the best order. The idea is to serve robust flavors a little at a time, but also allow the customer to feel the changes from dish to dish.