Jiro dreams of sushi: Salmon and avocado sushi rolls (makes 12 pieces)
This 2011 documentary by David Gelb introduces us to 85-year-old sushi master Jiro Ono. Sukiyabashi Jiro, the tiny sushi bar located in a Tokyo subway he runs with his sons, holds three Michelin stars and is often claimed to serve the best sushi in the world. This film follows Jiro’s unending quest to perfect his craft, as well as his relationship with his two sons, both sushi chefs who have yet to come out of their father’s nigiri-shaped shadow.
Jiro can be an overbearing presence when customers eat at Sukiyabashi Jiro. Customers quiver under the intimidating gaze of this most venerable of sushi chefs as they transfer his artfully formed rice and fish soya-brushed parcels from plate to mouth.
Jiro started making sushi more than half a century ago and still feels that he hasn’t reached perfection. So don’t be too hard on yourself if your first batch of sushi isn’t perfect. You can find the ingredients in Asian shops (we love Asia Market on Drury Street in Dublin), health shops or well-stocked supermarkets. We’re using fresh salmon and avocado in this recipe, but if you’re not into raw fish, give smoked salmon or tofu pieces a go instead.
100g sushi rice
2 teaspoons mirin (optional)
25ml rice wine vinegar
2 Nori sheets
200g skinless fillet of very fresh salmon
Half a ripe avocado
Bamboo sushi mat (for rolling the sushi)
Wash the sushi rice under a cold tap and allow to drain for 15 minutes. Now put it into a saucepan along with the water and mirin.Bring to the boil and cover, lowering the heat so the rice is on a gentle simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed by the rice. Take the saucepan off the heat and leave the rice, covered, to steam for 10 minutes.
Transfer the sushi rice into a large bowl. Mix in the rice wine vinegar and add a generous pinch of salt, mixing well. Cover with a clean, damp tea towel and leave to cool.
Meanwhile, cut the salmon and the avocado half into long, thin slices. When the rice has cooled to room temperature, you can start assembling your sushi. Lay out the bamboo mat on a clean, flat surface. Put one of the nori sheets on top of the mat. Place half of the rice on the nori sheet and spread evenly, leaving 2cm space at the top of the sheet. Layer evenly with the salmon and avocado; don’t overfill it.
Now, using the bamboo mat, roll up the sheet tightly, brushing the top end of the nori sheet with a little water to help seal the rolls. Repeat this process with the remaining nori, salmon, avocado and rice.
Slice each roll into six pieces and serve with wasabi, pickled ginger and soy sauce.
Aoife McElwain is a film fan and food writer. Her blog can be found at icanhascook.wordpress.com. Join Aoife via Twitter (@thetwicket) tomorrow at 2pm for the Movie Bites cookalong. Jiro Dreams of Sushi opens today.