Lettori fissi

lunedì 29 aprile 2013

Lesson 3 Sushi Akami

A 'Lean' cut of Maguro from the backside of the Tuna, not a fish specifically; (Related: Maguro, Chutoro, Otoro, Toro)

THE FACTS: In Sushi, Akami refers to any ‘Lean Cut’ of Maguro (Bluefin Tuna) and is not a specific species of fish.  Given the relative popularity of Maguro in the world of Sushi culture and the rather immense size of a single fish, the need for classifications of the various cuts was born.  By analogy, Akami is to Maguro what the Sirloin Tip is to Beef.

With Bluefin Tuna, the cross-sectional quartered slabs are referred to in Japanese as the Cho.  When viewed from the side, a single Cho yields 4 different basic cuts: Chiai (Blood saturated portion that is typically discarded and cannot be eaten), Akami (Lean red meat portion), Chutoro (Moderately fatty portion), and Otoro (Fattiest and highly desired portion).  For reference, a lesser known 5th cut called Shimofuri also exists and is highly desirable and worth trying when available.

In almost every Sushi-ya, when ordering Maguro from the menu, the Akami cut is what will be served.  Akami should be a nice deep shade of red, and is marked for having a soft texture and clean, simple taste that isn’t nearly as fishy by comparison; which accounts largely for its defacto popularity among all ranks of Sushi enthusiasts.  Moreover, Akami is an excellent source of nutrition that is rich in Iron, DHA and EPA.

In terms of actual grades, Akami is by far the most plentiful portion of Maguro available and is priced accordingly at the lower end of the Spectrum.  Further, as Honmaguro (True Bluefin Tuna) is not always available, be careful of potential substitutions for the lesser quality Kihada (Yellowfin Tuna) or Mebachi (Big-Eye Tuna), both of which are even less expensive by comparison.

Depending on the variety of Tuna being offered through substitutions, Maguro essentially has become a year-round Sushi selection as the Bluefin and Big-Eye Tuna varieties are best through the Summer and Autumn months and Yellowfin Tuna reaches its peak from Winter through Spring.  With Akami, and all cuts of Maguro for that matter, avoid any meat that has become discolored, gray, or is leaking its moisture, since this is an obvious indication of spoilage.


Fonte: Sushipedia https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sushipedia/id326316017?mt=8

martedì 16 aprile 2013

Muschio al tè verde.... Matchano koke 抹茶の苔です!

Ed ecco qui la ricetta del mio dolce "Muschio" che vi avevo promesso....
Gli ingredienti che servono per preparare questo dolce sono: Tè verde matcha, zucchero, agar-agar, latte, panna e  stecca di vaniglia. Per la spugna di tè verde servono invece: uova, zucchero, farina, mandorle tostate e tè verde matcha.

Per la gelatina al tè verde mettiamo in un pentolino la panna, il latte, lo zucchero l'agar-agar, il tè verde e la stecca di vaniglia aperta a metà e portiamo il tutto a bollore per qualche minuto mescolando con una frusta.
Versiamo poi il tutto in un contenitore di plastica e attendiamo più o meno un' ora a temperatura ambiente la gelificazione.

Per la spugna al tè verde mettiamo nel bicchiere del frullatore le uova, lo zucchero, la farina, il tè verde e le mandorle tostate. Frulliamo alla massima potenza per 5 minuti circa e versiamo poi in un sifone ( quello per montare la panna) carichiamo con una bomboletta, agitiamo per bene e lasciamo riposare per qualche minuto.
"Sifoniamo" il composto ottenuto in un bicchiere di plastica e cuociamo in microonde per un minuto e mezzo circa.

Bene ora che abbiamo tutti gli ingredienti pronti componiamo il dolce insieme....

lunedì 15 aprile 2013

Lesson 2 Sushi Akagai

Ark Shell (aka Red Clam or Bloody Clam)

THE FACTS: The name Akagai (translated in Japanese literally as Red Shell) stems from the beautiful reddish-orange colored meat found inside.  In English, Akagai is more commonly known as the “Ark Shell”, because the round brown shell somewhat resembles the hull of a boat.

Akagai is really considered to be a staple Sushi ingredient, as references to its use in the cuisine date back to the times when Edomaezushi (the old world term for Sushi as eaten today) first came into existence.  Fresh Akagai is notably quite tough when chewing, but this toughness combined with the unique aroma and astringent sweetness is probably the major reason for its sustaining popularity over the years.

From Winter to early Spring, Akagai is found to be at its peak for Sushi flavor fanatics, as the outer shell will be visually much darker and it’s inner meat is much redder.  However, as summertime approaches, the Akagai shell lightens and its meat starts to become whitish in color; as this occurs the meat becomes less tough, much thinner and quite watery, thus losing much of its fine taste.

Nutritionally, Akagai is very high in Vitamin B, Taurine and Calcium.  It has also been said to be particularly beneficial in decreasing cholesterol and is considered good for aiding the recovery of fatigue.

In addition to the tasty meat of Akagai, Sushi connoisseurs take great pleasure in the adductor muscle and mantle lobes, both of which are touted as Akagai’s delicacies. In fact, there are some who will claim that the crunchy mantle (also called the ‘himo’) is tastier than Akagai itself.

Fonte: Sushipedia https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sushipedia/id326316017?mt=8

domenica 14 aprile 2013

Lesson 1 Sushi Aji

Horse Mackerel (aka Saurel or Scad)

THE FACTS: As with most varieties of Sushi, the Japanese have a very strict pairing between a given breed of fish and it’s true name.  Aji, in that sense, is known in Japan as the Horse Mackerel (and may be known in English as the Saurel or Scad), but Western Sushi-ya regularly interchange the name Aji as a reference for the Spanish Mackerel (which is actually Sawara).  Often, these types of substitutions are made due to the availability of a given variety of fish; so don’t be afraid to ask your Itamae (Sushi Chef) what he is really serving.

But for a “True Aji” (Formally known as Maaji in Japan), this should be exclusively a variety of Horse Mackerel.

Adding to this confusion, the Horse Mackerel really isn’t a Mackerel at all.  In fact, the Horse Mackerel belongs to an entirely different genus, and is at best a distant relative of the Mackerel.  More accurately, Aji is a member of the Yellowtail Family (see Hamachi).  Strangely, a detailed Google comparison between the Horse Mackerel and the Spanish Mackerel will easily lead one to conclude that these fish are indeed identical twins.  Therefore, it is easy to understand why Sushi-ya may be quick to make a substitution in the face of limited availability. 

Aji typically ranges in size from 2 inches up to the more common adult size of 12 inches or more which is typical in Sushi.  While Aji can be found year round, in the summer months of June and July, Aji is at its finest.  During this time, Aji are at the beginning of their spawning season, which in turn means that the fat content and light-sweet flavor of the meat is at its peak.  Moreover, this is the time that the very rare Shimaaji (Trevally Jack) start to appear, which is the most sought after among the 20+ varieties of Aji found in the waters surrounding Japan.  

Notably, Aji is a blue backed fish most often prepared for sushi with part of the shiny skin left intact (similar to Sawara and Saba). Aji is a very healthy choice as it contains high levels of DHA and EPA and is low in Mercury.  The sustainability of the Aji is thought to be of less concern by comparison to other species as stocks worldwide are considered to be quite strong.

Fonte: Sushipedia https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sushipedia/id326316017?mt=8