Sushi exists under many forms and guises.
It is not all nigiri and (more ubiquitous) sushi rolls!
Have you ever heard of Oshizushi?
Oshizushi (押し寿司, litterally pressed sushi), is a pressed sushi from the Kansai Region, a favourite and specialty of Osaka.
It is made with the help of a block-shaped piece formed using a wooden mold, called an oshibako/押し箱.
Oshibako lined with toppings
The chef lines the bottom of the oshibako with the toppings, covers them with sushi rice, and then presses the lid of the mold down to create a compact, rectilinear block.
Cutting Grilled Eel Oshizushi
The block is then removed from the mold and then cut into bite-sized pieces.
It is great fun to experiment at home for large parties or the family as you can include almost anything.
Moreover, oshizuhi is easy to transport and include in bento!
The recipes and techniques I’m introducing here are professional, but with a little practice I’m sure you will become a specialist
Seabreams or Snappers come in so many varieties all over thw orld that it becomes quite easy to find and adapt to various cuisines.
The Japanese are extremely fond of it either raw or steamed with rice.
When using it as sashimi or sushi, choose a fresh fis. Look at their eyes and press with fingers. And use your nose!
Madai/真鯛 or « True Seabream », the most commonly used type of seabream in Japan.
For an extra finishing touch for the taste, use fresh leaves of sansho/山椒 or Japanese pepper (also called ki no me/木の芽).
The English name is Shichuan Pepper, although we are talking of the fresh plant here.
In Japan the dried and powdered leaves of Zanthoxylum sancho are used to make noodle dishes and soups mildly hot and fragrant. The whole fresh leaves, 木の芽 kinome, are used to flavour vegetables, especially bamboo shoots, and to decorate soups. Typically the young shoots are used in this way giving an aromatic lemony flavour to food. They are used to denote spring seasonality in food. The buds, seeds, flowers, and hulls are also used.
Chop some leaves finely enough to use with sushi, but not to fine. Cut them as short as shown in picture.
Soften light seaweed in lukewarm water and spread it over a clean cloth.
Line the bottom of the oshibako/box with slices of seabream fillet as tightly to each other as possible.
Sprinkle with chopped sansho leaves.
Fill with sushi rice and press.
Unloose oshizushi out of the box.
Brush the surface lightly with some soy sauce (I sweeten it a bit by mixing it with a little mirin/sweet sake).
Sear the fish lightly.
Repeat the same process twice more so as to cook only the surface and make it take a nice colour.
This way you will be able to taste the fish in two different ways inside your mouth!
Spread the light seaweed over the top.
Cut to size and serve immediately for maximum enjoyment!
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