Japanese food is a very popular cuisine, particularly sushi. If you are a Japanese foodie yourself, you would certainly wish to know how and what you need to take your Japanese cooking into a whole new level. Well, this article will definitely give you the information you need to make authentic Japanese sushi.
Japanese Knife Techniques
To get the right texture and taste of a sushi, you must familiarize yourself with the different Japanese cutlery and knife techniques needed to get the right texture and taste of a Japanese sushi. With that in mind, here are a few things that you should know about:
Sengiri or Julienne
After peeling the veggies using a good vegetable cleaver, it is recommended that you proceed to slicing them to about 3 inches in length. After that, try to cut a very thin wafer lengthwise from one side of the veggie then turn it to the other side in a way that it will lie safely on the cutting board. Continue on cutting the wafers as thinly as possible than stack it altogether and cut into fine julienne. For best results, try using a santoku knife for this.
Using the right type of santoku knife, slice veggies into an almost vertical, very sharp angle. This will result to slivers that curl on both ends. This is perfect as toppings for salads, soups and other appetizers.
Rangiri or Wedges
This is the slicing technique usually used on carrots. Cut the end of your vegetable at a 70 degree angle. Roll it towards you then cut it again at the same angle. Continue rolling and cutting until there is nothing left to roll and cut. You will end up with an attractive looking vegetable slice that is perfect for soups and salads.
You will be surprised about this but that good looking wispy strands of daikon that is placed under the sashimi, that is not machine made. It is usually created using this slicing technique. A detailed procedure can be found here. This is quite a difficult knife technique to master so be careful when trying it.
There are specially designed sushi knives for cutting sashimi. Two of the most common ones are flat sushi knife and willow knife (with a sharp end). To make sure that the fish is cut equally and beautifully, it is recommended that you make use of long sushi knives.
For a more efficient slicing and cooking process, it is recommended that you make use of a workbench bamboo cutting and storage board where you can store your prepped ingredients. Additionally, you can use it to hold any leftover waste. To prolong the life and maintain the good performance of your Ja Henckels or Global cutlery pieces, it is also best that you regularly use a knife sharpener that will keep the blades as sharp as possible. Make sure that you keep all your santoku knives and Chinese cleaver in a high quality knife rack to keep it safe and protected. More knife techniques can be found at Savory Japan.
Japanese Cooking Techniques
There are two important Japanese cooking techniques that you should know about and these are as follows:
The best way to cook and incorporate daikon into your dishes is by grating it. When grating, it is recommended that you use an oroshigane or a Japanese grater. This is made up of copper that is clad in tin and the sides are turned up which allows it to catch juices and oroshi. The best thing about this type of grater is that it can create a texture that is fine enough that the bitter, hot and bright flavor of the daikon can still be noticeable in the dishes.
You may have noticed this already—lots of Japanese recipes require ground sesame seeds. It is true that you can purchase ground sesame seeds but you can enjoy a more superior flavor when the sesame seeds are freshly grounded. Instead of making use of a food processor, Japanese people use suribachi or mortar and surikogi or pestle to grind their sesame seeds. The suribachi is an unglazed ceramic bowl with ridges which make the entire process a lot faster and easier. More techniques can be found at Savory Japan.
So, that’s all you need to know about creating and cooking authentic Japanese sushi. Good luck on your culinary endeavor!
Source for techniques: Savory Japan.