500 Sushi Dishes
Before the introduction of flash-freezing at sea, the Japanese often used the following technique as a means of preserving fish. As tuna stocks dwindle, the quality of tuna becomes increasingly irregular, but this marinade will greatly improve any tuna recipe.
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Place the soy sauce, mirin, and sake in a saucepan and gently bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Cut the fillet of tuna into 7.5-cm (3-in) long blocks. Place the blocks in a colander and cover with a clean cloth. Pour boiling water over the cloth-covered fish. When the surface of the fish has changed colour, turn it over and repeat on the other side. Remove the cloth and immediately place the tuna in a bowl of ice water. Pat dry when cooled. Place the tuna blocks in the soy marinade and allow to soak for 30–40 minutes. Using a slender-bladed yanagiba knife, hold the knife parallel to the fish, and cut slices from the block. Each slice should be around 6.25–7.5-cm (21⁄2–3-in) long, 2.5-cm (1-in) wide, and 0.5-cm (1⁄4-in) thick, and weigh about 15 g (1⁄2 oz) each.
Cut the fish at right angles to its sinews. Otherwise, whole slices of nigiri topping may be white in appearance and hard and chewy. Make each nigiri in the same way as described on pages 20–1. Top each nigiri with a sprinkling of chopped spring onion and grated ginger.