Sushi & Sashimi: The Basics 4/4: Sushi Presentations-Te-Mari Zushi

Te-Mari Sushi made by the Missus for my bento!

A comment by my friend Jennifer Razon just reminded me I hadn’t explained the technique behind a very enjoyable form of sushi, namely Te-Mari Sushi/手まり寿司!

Te-Mari Sushi was apparently made poular in Kyoto first where gastronomy is more “feminine” than in any other part of Japan. It is very easy to make, present and carry.
It is more welcome when you realize people in Kyoto have more socializing to do than anywhere else, including eating and drinking. Making portions smaller and more artistic are a necessity there!
Actually Te-Mari Sushi can be made in any size and include any ingredients, be it for omnivores, adults, ladies, children, vegetarian or vegans!

TECHNIQUE:

The technique is simple enough: having prepared the sushi rice, take a piece of cellophane paper and first put the tane/topping outer surface down, then place some rice over it. Close the cellphane paper by twisting it and press the sushi into a ball (mari) in your hand (te)! Unwrap it, place it on a plate, tray or in a box and add some more topping if neceassary!

Look at the demonstration pics below for better understanding!
In that case the rice ball is made first inside a piece of cellophane and wrapped again with the toppings!

Tai/Seabream

Ebi/boiled shrimp

Smoked Salmon

Pickled fish

SUGGESTIONS & SAMPLES:

Below are suggestions and samples for Te-Mari Sushi.
Frankly speaking, varaiations are endless. Have good fun!

For a tea party?

For a lady’s bento?

For a gentleman’s bento?

For a special occasion?

For a European/American style party?

For ladies only?

Sweet te-mari for Children!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook

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Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’10/17)

Spring has come early in Shizuoka, the mildest region in Japan after Okinawa.
This is both a bonus and a pain. We get all these great vegetables before eveyone else, but we are also plagued with grotty weather and cold rain. Mind you, we shouldn’t complain compared to other regions.
In the end it means that the bentoes will be both rich in calories and vitamins!

The rice part this time consisted of two kinds of te-mari sushi balls/手まり寿司. The missus, used freshly steamed rice, formed the balls by wrapping rice and the garnish together in cellophane paper, twisting it closed and shaping in balls with her hands. This type of sushi is particular popular in the Kyoto area, where they are both served to adults and kids with beautiful effect.
One of my te-mari sushi contained cheese and was topped with raw ham and some fresh dill.
The other contained Japanese-style pickled cucumber (Very finely chopped) and sesame seeds, and was topped with smoked salmon, lemon, capers and a little tartare sauce. A small piece of lettuce added colour and vitamins!

The salad part included home-made marinated carrot tagliatelle salad with walnuts, mini tomatoes and soft-boiled egg. The whole was surrounded by a wealth of hand-broken leaf vegetables: ice plant, trevise, luccolla, and others as well as sliced red radish and mini tomato.

As for dessert I took a couple of mikan/madarines from The Missus’ family garden.
Once again, colourful, healthy and tasty!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

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Bryan Baird’s Newsletter (2010/03/02)

Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin
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Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

New Seasonal Baird Beer Releases: Morning Coffee, Wabi-Sabi, Obatarian

The Baird Beer brewers have been busy bees over the past several months crafting a diverse range of unique seasonal brews. Wednesday, March 3 will mark the official debut of the following three seasonal beers:

Morning Coffee Stout 2010 (ABV 7%): Each year we combine our passion for stout beer with our love of coffee in the brewing of Morning Coffee Stout. This 2010 version is an export-style stout infused with freshly ground fair-trade espresso beans from Arabika Coffee. This year we added the coarsely ground espresso beans directly to the stout in the conditioning tank in what amounted to a cold beer toddy extraction method. The result is a perfect flavor marriage between stout beer and java beans.

Wabi-Sabi Ale (ABV 5.5%): Shizuoka is the green tea capital of Japan. Drinking fine Shizuoka tea is to experience the Japanese wabi-sabi cultural aesthetic in microcosm. We feel the same is true of imbibing Baird Beer. So it struck us: why not skillfully combine the two? This we have done in a richly malty brown ale in which hop character is almost wholly absent (only 15 BUs of hops were added in a single kettle addition). We use the Shizuoka tea (infused into the beer in the conditioning tank) to supplement and make complete the bitter, herbal and aromatic character generally supplied by hops. The result is a wonderfully unique beer best characterized by the following descriptors: refinement, elegance, sobriety, dignity.

Obatarian Strong English Ale (ABV 8%): Strong English Ales generally are noted for richness of malt character, alcohol strength which imparts warmth, and a pleasant estery profile. They normally are released only after sufficient aging and maturation. Thus, they tend to be extremely self-assured beers; ones that care little for the opinions or sensitivities of others. In other words, they are the beer version of that old biddy obatarian you sometimes encounter in the supermarket checkout line here in Japan. We promise, though, that your encounter with Obatarian Strong English Ale will prove more satisfying than your experience with the human version at the supermarket.

Morning Coffee Stout 2010 will be available on draught and in bottles (633 ml) and sold throughout Japan through the fine family of Baird Beer retailing establishments (as well as direct from the brewery via our online E-Shop). Wabi-Sabi Ale is a small batch beer that will be available on hand-pump as real ale exclusively at our Taproom pubs. Obatarian Strong English Ale, another small batch brew, is draught only and also will be poured exclusively from the taps of our own Taproom pubs.

Finally, please mark you calendar for the upcoming Lucky Seven Stout Week which kicks off on St. Patrick’s Day (Wednesday, March 17) at our Numazu Fishmarket Taproom and runs through the national holiday on Monday, March 22. During the week we will be celebrating the quintessential Irish beer style: Stout. We will devote seven taps to different varieties of stout beer, serve a special Stout-inspired food menu and engage in other mischievous fun. More details will be forthcoming in next week’s bulletin.

Cheers,

Bryan Baird
Baird Brewing Company
Numazu, Japan
HOMEPAGE


The Japan Blog List

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Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery
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Shizuoka Sake Tasting 1/9: Morimoto Brewery/Sayogoromo

Whereas most brewers in Shizuoka Prefecture concoct soft, almost feminine, sake, Hidetoshi Morimoto, Masterbrewer/owner of Morimoto Brewery in Kikugawa City has often taken the notorious role of a maverick to the delight of lovers of characterful brews bordering on the impertinent.

The latest of his creations is definitely out of the ordinary in this Prefecture famed for making some of the best (popular?) sake in Japan, especially when ones notices that Hidetoshi Morimoto doesn’t bother much about giving all kinds of information usually found in this Prefecture.

Morimoto Brewery, Sayogoromo, Tokubetsu Junmai.

Rice milled down to 60%
Alcohol: 15 degrees

Clarity: Very clear and clean.

Colour: Faint golden hue.

Aroma: Fruity and complex: bananas, pineapple, alcohol, almonds.

Body: Smooth and solid.

Taste: Strong junmai attack. Great combination offruitiness and acidity. Shortish tail. Complex: bananas and flowers.
Abruptly ends on a dry almond note.
Holds well with any food.

Overall: Unusually “macho” sake for Shizuoka, typical of Morimoto brewery sakes.
Great with strong food, especially yakitori and nabe.
Drunk on its on, will please lovers of strong and characteful sakes.

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery
Warren Bobrow
Tokyo Terrace

New Vegetable: Tsubomina/蕾菜

Picture taken at Parche Supermarket on March 1st, 2010

Earlier in the day, I mentioned a new vegetable that the Missus included in my bento: Tsubomina or 蕾菜 in Japanese.
The first Kanji character is made up of made up of the character meaning “plant” or “grass” at the top over another character meaning “thunder”. The second kanji means “plant”.

Stir-fried Tsubomina in my bento.

Tsubomina sold in Hakata, Fukuoka, Kysushu island.

Tsubomina sprouts

Tsubomina belongs to the same group of plants as Brussels sprouts, Chinese Cabbage, Komatsuna/leaf Mustard, Broccoli, Daikon, turnips and so on, that is Brassicaceae. It is actually a variety of Leaf Mustard. The latter is a plant introduced in Japan from China.

Picture taken at Parche Supermarket on March 1st, 2010

Although it had been grown since 2005 with various results, JA/Japan Agriculture (Association) officially put it on the markets in Hakata, Fukuoka City in Kyushu island in February 2009.
Due to a certain weakness to insects, it is harvested in Februaray and March only.
Growers started “exporting” it through Japan, altough it is available only in Nagoya, Tokyo and Shizuoka for the moment being. But it is only a question of time before it is sold all over the nation.

Picture taken at Parche Supermarket on March 1st, 2010

Actually the competition is starting heating up for the good of the consumers.
Tsubomina was sold 300~350 yen for 3 small specimens last year. It is already sold for only 250 yen for 3 large specimens since yesterday in Shizuoka City!

Picture taken at Parche Supermarket on March 1st, 2010

Copy of the advertisement appearing in local magazines in Fukuoka where many restaurants serve it in Japanese, Chinese and other foods.

Picture taken at Parche Supermarket on March 1st, 2010

It can be served raw in salads. I tasted it this morning raw. It is crunchy, almost sweet, without any acidity, and eminently eatable.
moreover the high contrast in white and green colours make for a very decorative item.
It can be cooked in almost any kind of Asian gastronomic manner: fried, stir-fried, nabe/pot-au-feu, etc. Vegetarians and vegans should appreciate it as it combines a goog bite, a great taste and plenty of nutrients!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog

Please check the new postings at:
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Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’10/16)

Shizuoka is replete with new vegetables in this supposedly early Spring and buying them at the local markets in view of including (sorry having them included by the Missus) in the next day’s bento is great fun!

It certainly makes for very colourful bentoes, too!
The Missus has been looking around shops for this elusive (meaning big enough) pinewood bento box for better looks and better taste (she believes that the pine wood will enhance the taste of her creations).
The steamed rice looks violet because it has been supplemented with a little (too much would the rice too dark) with Kuromai/黒米 or “Black Rivce”.
Actually it is not black rice, but dark violet rice. It comes from Iriomote Island in Okinawa. It is simply “ancient rice” as it used to be many centuries ago. It does provide a lot of useful nutrients that have disappeared after white rice was polished.

Now for the garnish:
The Missus concocted her tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette with cheese and ciboulette, also called civette, chiboulette, brelette (French), Schnittlauch (German), chives (English), cebolleta (Spanish). They habeen cultivated for some time in Japan and people are starting discovering them. They contain plenty of Vitamin C and iron! The vegetables include boiled and fried lotus root slices, home-made pickled mini lemons and a new vegetable grown in Fukuoka, Kyushu. I still remember the name but I will check today again and write up some information!

More of the mystery green vegetable, eringe mushrooms. sweet red piments chicken fillets, the whole fried in spicy sauce and agremented with black sesame seeds.

Dessert was benihppe/red cheeks strawberries and mikan/winter oranges from Shizuoka.

Complete, healthy and tasty bento!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

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