Fresh Seasonal Fish From Japan・ネタ
Good sushi starts with fresh, tasty fish. Central to the Japanese culinary tradition is the concept of 'shun,' which can be considered a deep-rooted respect and appreciation for nature's changing seasonality. Because Takuya is extremely perceptive of small changes in a fish's taste and characteristics throughout the year, he always selects the best seasonal fish to create a different menu each week. The fish is then carefully prepared by chef Hiro to maximize their natural taste. From perfect slice thickness to preparation techniques such as 'konbujime' (konbu-curing) and 'jukusei' (aging) that bring out the best flavours from each fish, these behind-the-scenes details are what make the biggest difference in sushi.
Sushi rice, also known as 'shari,' is cooked with vinegar, konbu, sake, and other special ingredients. While its components may seem quite simple, shari is actually a key element when proving a chef's mastery in Edomae sushi. When talking about sushi rice, there is so much more technique than meets the eye: for example, Hiro-san creates an air bubble at the center of each piece of nigiri to make the rice more 'fluffy.' With this technique, the rice breaks down as soon as you take a bite, instantly spreading the fish's rich aromas across your tongue. Our sushi rice also uses a special type of 'akazu' vinegar, made from 'sakekasu' that is produced during the sake brewing process.
Good sushi rice will complement the fish perfectly—its al dente texture provides a satisfying mouthfeel that gives resistance to each bite, its luster creates a pleasant visual appearance, and the perfect balance of sweet, tart, and umami helps bring out the fish's natural flavours to the forefront. This is one of the hardest parts of sushi-making: it takes years of experience just to know what taste profile the sushi rice should have to match with today's seasonal fish, how much moisture the sushi rice should have, how dense/sparse the rice should be for each fish, etc.
Wasabi is one of the most difficult plants to grow in the world: it takes careful management of sunlight/shade throughout the year, perfect control of water temperatures, and 1-3 years of cultivation for a plant to fully mature. As a result of wasabi's high price, most sushi restaurants around the world (including in Japan) use an imitation paste made from horseradish and food colouring.
At ORIZUMÉ, we take pride in the quality of our ingredients. Our 'hon-wasabi' is carefully selected from the best, grown in Shizuoka prefecture's clear water streams. When you eat sushi made with real wasabi, you will have a completely different experience. The first thing you will notice are the complex layers of flavour: a slight, mellow sweetness that makes your mouth water, followed by a refreshing kick of heat (not overly spicy like imitation wasabi), finished with a lingering savoriness that allows the fish's natural aromas to shine through.
Sushi is best served with a special type of soy sauce called 'nikiri jouyu,' typically made from a combination of ingredients like sake, konbu, katsuo, and mirin.
At ORIZUMÉ, every box of sushi comes with chef Hiro's nikiri soy sauce, brewed fresh in-house. Part of what makes our sushi so delicious is his secret recipe: it pairs the perfect amount of sweetness and umami to complement every piece.