June 18th is National Sushi Day and Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto shared some tips on how to make a spicy tuna maki. If Chef Morimoto sounds familiar, that is because he welcomes guests in the central Florida area at Morimoto Asia, located at Disney Springs. Guests can dine on delicious maki, nigiri, sashimi, and more. Here's what he shared with us.
IRON CHEF MORIMOTO’S TIPS AND MUST KNOWS FOR EATING SUSHI:
- When you go eat at sushi restaurants in Japan, especially at high-end ones, there is no price on the menu. And sometimes you’re expected to leave it all to the chef. In the U.S., on the other hand, the options are more explicitly presented to the guests, and they eat what they want in the manner they want.
- Just because a certain style of sushi isn't "authentic" doesn't mean it's not worth eating. Sushi in America is different from what you'll find in Japan. Just like many other cultural elements, food travels from its birthplace to another part of the world. Then it evolves, changes and eventually sets down.
- Tradition actually dictates eating sushi with your hands vs. chopsticks but chopsticks are acceptable too, according to Chef Morimoto.
- Do not automatically dip your sushi in soy sauce. Taste the fish first as you want to experience the sushi’s flavor first.
- Do not mix wasabi and soy sauce together into a murky, soup mess. This is a no-no.
- It takes many years to properly learn the craft of sushi-making. Traditionally, a sushi apprentice may study for nearly a decade, the first two years of which he or she is not even allowed to touch the fish.
- Sushi was originally a street food and often consumed in the way we eat tacos or pretzels, off street vendors. That all changed after the giant Tokyo earthquake of the 1920s, which brought down the cost of real estate and led to sushi chefs opening store fronts.
- Never eat sushi with cold rice. It will lose its sweetness, killing the layers of sushi. Goodbye grocery store sushi case!
Spicy Tuna Maki Recipe
- Bamboo rolling mat
- ½ sheet sushi nori
- 2 T black and white sesame seeds, toasted
- 1/3 C seasoned sushi rice
- 1 tsp spicy mayo
- 1 ½ tsp thinly sliced green onion
- 2 strips bigeye tuna cut into pieces
- Place sushi rice on nori in a thin even layer.
- Sprinkle sesame evenly onto rice and flip over rice side down.
- Put spicy mayo in a thin line in the middle of the nori.
- Place tuna onto the line of mayo and spread scallions evenly alongside tuna.
- Using slightly wet hands, roll nori around ingredients.
- Place the bamboo rolling mat centered on top of the roll and apply gentle pressure on the sides and the top.
- Using a wet knife cut the roll into 6 even pieces.
Chef Morimoto’s Spicy Mayo Recipe:
(From Chef's book, Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking)
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon tobanjan (chili bean sauce), preferably a Japanese brand
- 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- Combine the mayonnaise, tobanjan, sesame oil, lemon juice, and lime juice in a small bowl and stir well.
- It keeps covered in the fridge for up to 2 days.