Sushi Italiano – Part II

© tastewithoutborders.com

© tastewithoutborders.com

During our trip through Japan we found three very good sushi restaurants via “restaurant hitchhiking” (if you do not know what I’m talking about, click here to check the story in my last post “plum wine tart”). The first one was in Tokyo and that on the first day after our arrival in Japan! We stood with our huge backpacks on the backs and a city map of Tokyo in hand which we had just picked up in the Metro station’s information counter. We were looking for our hotel.

© tastewithoutborders.com

© tastewithoutborders.com

Normally, my husband has a very good sense for orientation (on the contrary to me) and is also very good at map-reading. However, at that day he could not find the street of our hotel either. The Japanese roads usually have no names! We could only orient ourselves to the Metro station and the names  of the crossings. We knew we were not far from the hotel anymore. But in what street it was, we had no clues. We must have looked very confused. For soon we heard a friendly voice in English: “Can I help you guys?” We turned around and saw a smiling face. This is how we got to know Brian. Brian is an American and has been living in Tokyo for more than ten years, where he works as an English teacher at a university. He, too, the Tokyo-Kenner had some problems to find our hotel directly. Finally, he had to ask for help in another hotel. On the way to our hotel, we chatted about ourselves and his life in Japan etc. We got along wonderfully with each other and decided spontaneously to meet for lunch on the day after. After he kindly took us to our hotel and was saying goodbye to us, due to our question about good sushi in Tokyo, he gave us THE ultimate insider tip for a sushi restaurant in the neighborhood of our hotel.

© tastewithoutborders.com

© tastewithoutborders.com

At that time I was actually still plagued by the mediocre quality of the sushi in Germany and was not really very much motivated for having any sushi. However, one of my husband is a huge fan of all kinds of sushi (“unfortunately” independent of qualities). Apparently he was totally addicted by the combination of rice, fish and soy sauce. As long as these three things are there, he is just more than satisfied. Now we are in the land of sushi! He could not wait one minute longer.

© tastewithoutborders.com

© tastewithoutborders.com

After we checked in our hotel and took a quick shower, we made the “pilgrimage” to the sushi restaurant which Brian recommended (What is jet lag, when it comes to sushi in Japan?). Yes, I am talking about “pilgrimage”, since this sushi restaurant was not ONLY a restaurant! It was a sacred temple of culinary delights! It is also in this restaurant, I had the indescribable delicate experience which I mentioned in my last post (Sushi Italiano – Part I). Now days I am thinking: maybe Brian was sent to us by the Almighty, not to show us the way to the hotel, but our pilgrimage to this sushi temple! 🙂

© tastewithoutborders.com

© tastewithoutborders.com

The days after almost every day we were eating at our favorite restaurant. During our week-long stay in Tokyo we have also tried other sushi restaurants. But this one was unbeatable! On our last day in Tokyo we went back there for lunch again. When we left the restaurant (as the last customer as always), a troop of Japanese with film cameras and microphones etc. came into the restaurant. After our curious asking we were told that they were making a documentary film ​​about this fantastic restaurant! I was totally freaking out! The restaurant is not only super good but also super famous! When you go to visit Tokyo someday, go to 日本桥 橘町都寿司! They also have cheaper lunch in high quality as well menu if you do not want to spend too much money on sushi. The other two sushi restaurants we experienced were in the beautiful mountain town Takayama and Kanazawa, the City of Gold. There is also another story to tell again. Keep one eye on my up coming posts! 😀

© tastewithoutborders.com

© tastewithoutborders.com

Ingredients:

For sushi rice:

300g sushi rice (Asia Shop)
330ml water
1 piece of kombu in the size of a postcard (Asia Shop)
4 tablespoons Japanese rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tsp salt

For the sushi roll:

4 sun-dried tomatoes in oil
200g mozzarella
a few leaves of basil
some slices of parma ham (for vegetarian: without)
2 tablespoons Tomato Pesto (click here for the recipe)

For the dip:

2 tablespoon Strawberry Vinegar (click here for the recipe)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoon water

Preparation:

  1. Wash the rice until the water runs clear. Drain 30 minutes in the sieve.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the vinegar-sugar mixture for the sushi rice: Add the rice vinegar with the sugar and salt together in a small saucepan (not aluminum!). And heat it up briefly on small fire until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. In a pot with a heavy bottom bring the rice with the water and kombu together to boil over medium heat. Once the water is boiling, change to a stronger heat and cook for about 5 more minutes. Then reduce the heat again and cook the rice for another 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the rice steep with covered lid for further 20 minutes. Remove the kombu and add the rice to a large bowl.
  4. Slowly sprinkle the vinegar-sugar mixture over the hot rice while stirring gently. Chill the rice.
  5. Cut the tomato into thin strips, the mozzarella into thick strips. Mix the tomato and mozzarella strips with tomato pesto and set aside.
  6. For the “Dip Rosso”: add the strawberry vinegar with sugar in a saucepan and heat on weak flame until the sugar dissolves, leave to cool and mix with the water.
  7. For the “Roll Rosso”: Put rice on another sheet of nori and spread evenly. Keep the upper side of the nori sheet free (ca. 4cm). Place two mozzarella strips, four-tomato strips and some basil leaves onto the middle of the two rice. Close the roll.
  8. Do the same until all rice is used up.
  9. When the rolls are done, take a knife and plunge into cold water briefly and cut the rolls into half. Cut each half into 4 or 6 slices.
  10. Serve the “Roll Verde” with the “Dip Verde”, the “Roll Rosso” with the “Dip Rosso”.

Delizioso! おいしい (Oishii)!

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2 thoughts on “Sushi Italiano – Part II

  1. Brian Smith

    I’m so honored. It was good timing that day. I’m glad you enjoyed that sushi restaurant. It is the best in my neighborhood. At night, it’s even more incredible, but can be smoky (lunch is non-smoking), because there are so many old salarymen in the neighborhood. If you or your readers ever want to go to Tsukiji for sushi, this place is also recommended:
    http://r.gnavi.co.jp/g183500/
    It’s called Sushi Sei. They have two buildings on the same street. One of the buildings is non-smoking, even at night. I always get the 3,500 yen omakase, which means anything that’s fresh that day set. If you’re still hungry, they have a kind of specialty roll there, toasted salmon skin roll which is sliced and arranged very beautifully and then slathered with fresh ikura all over the top. Elaborate sushi rolls (maki-sushi) is not really traditional, but this place does this one roll.

    When you come back to Tokyo, let me know!
    Brian

    Reply
    1. Qin's kitchen Post author

      Hi Brian,

      So nice to read your comment! Now I even got the second recommendation for good sushi restaurant from you! Next time when I come back to Tokyo again, I will definitely go there to get the sushi rolls with toasted salmon skin. This sounds really mouth-watering. 🙂 I am very sure, I will be in Japan soon again. Such a lovely country with such lovely people, and of course the great food. Can not wait to be back.

      See you there soon…
      Hugs,
      Qin

      Reply

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