Japanese Cuisine

ZWILLING Culinary World, Destination Japan

Hand rolled sushi and sushi in a bowl

Food plays a central role in Japan's complex culture, food of high quality is not a random choice, it's a philosophy, they are tied together, inseparable. We went on a culinary journey with the food blogger Meike Peters from eat in my kitchen and collected inspiring recipes. The restaurant Awomb in Kyoto created these dishes together with Meike Peters. The concept of Awomb is to bring the guests in touch with traditional Sushi culture. They can prepare their Sushi by themselve and either roll it in seaweed in the classic style or eat it from a rice bowl.


Hand rolled sushi and sushi in a bowl

Hand rolled sushi and sushi in a bowl

By Meike Peters / eat in my kitchen inspired by Awomb

Ingredients

Serves 2

For the mashed purple potatoes:

100g / 3.5 ounces boiled and peeled purple potato, cooled
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon butter
Fine sea salt
Coarsely ground black pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg

For the hand rolled sushi:

3 Dried seaweed, cut into squares
Sushi rice (recipe below)
200 g Cooked octopus, cut into bite sized slices
50 g Ikura (salmon roe)

Seasonings (optional)

Wasabi paste
Freshly grated ginger
Plum sauce
Soy sauce

Preparation

For the mashed purple potatoes, purée the potato, heavy cream, and butter in a blender or food processor until smooth and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste.

For the hand rolled sushi, place 1 tablespoon of sushi rice in the middle of a sheet of dried seaweed. Add 1 teaspoon of the mashed purple potatoes, a slice of the octopus, and half a teaspoon of salmon roe. Roll like a cigar, add seasonings to taste, and enjoy immediately.


Ingredients sushi rice

Serves 2

2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon mirin (rice wine similar to sake)
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
180g / 1 cup short-grain sushi rice
240ml / 1 cup cold water

Preparation

In a small bowl, heat the vinegar, mirin, sugar, and salt, over low heat, stirring until the sugar and salt are dissolved; let it cool.
Rinse the rice 4-5 times with cold water, then drain in a colander for 15 minutes.

In a medium saucepan, bring the rice and water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer the rice for 15 minutes. Take the pot off the heat and let the rice rest for 15 minutes, don't lift the lid. Transfer the rice to a large glass bowl.

Sprinkle the warm rice with the cold vinegar mixture and stir gently, you can fan the rice while mixing, that will help it to dry, if it's too sticky. Cover with a damp kitchen towel while preparing the sushi. Sushi rice is best at body temperature.



Chef Ujita Hiroschi from restaurant Awomb, Kyoto

Awomb_DSC1681_01_415x415

"My parents ran a sushi restaurant that was very traditional but I wanted to do something different, something unique to me."


About


A day at Awomb, Kyoto

by Meike Peters

Kyoto shares a kind of peace with its visitors that immediately takes control over body and mind. It answers all your questions and makes you speechless.

The city has two faces, the busy modern one of concrete, glass, metal, and noise, and then there's the quiet side, when Japan's old capital unfolds its true beauty. It's not superficial, this beauty touched me deeply. You can see it, smell it, and taste it. Natural materials and clear lines create a compelling minimalist aesthetic dominated by dark wood and coal colored roofs shimmering silvery in the misty light. Silent stone gardens, temples, and shrines erase the noise in your head and fill it with serenity.

If this feeling could manifest itself in a restaurant, this would be the wonderful Awomb. The restaurant is in an elegant traditional house, hard to find in a narrow side alley in old Kyoto. You sit on the floor, on Tatami mats made of rice straw, in front of a low wooden table. The room is filled with natural light, golden warm as honey. The subtle sound of the floors creaking and birds hiding in the tall pine tree in front of the window break the gentle melodies of the traditional Koto music playing in the background. It sounds a bit like a harp, melodic yet hard, pure as single water drops.

The food created here is a new concept. Owner Ujita Hiroshi brings hand-rolled sushi, which is usually served at home, to the restaurant table to share with friends. A bowl of white rice, a teapot filled with steaming dashi broth, and a black lacquered tray full of little plates filled with stunning delicacies are the center piece of this culinary experience: you come to Awomb to build your own sushi in one of the prettiest rooms (on the 1st floor!) that I've seen on my trip.

The food itself, each little plate, looks like a piece of art. Seafood and vegetables can be mixed and combined according to your mood and refined with various seasonings, like fresh wasabi, grated ginger, plum sauce, salted vegetables, dried shrimp with mayonnaise, or tasty soya sauce jelly cubes. You can either add the ingredients to the rice bowl and eat it with chopsticks, or you can go for sushi in seaweed – rolled in your hands.

There's no chance that I'll ever have such a vast variety of ingredients to choose from in my own kitchen, but it's so inspiring, I tried totally new combinations. I've learned that you shouldn't be shy, just try not to use more than 4 to 5 main flavors and you'll be rewarded with astonishing results. I got a bit excited and went overboard - the German girl came through - but my first "sushi in a bowl" made with pink grapefruit, salmon, fried sweet potato, square bean, gari (pickled ginger), and finely cut green matcha crepes tasted fantastic. Then I combined purple potato mash, cooked octopus, and Ikura (salmon roe) and rolled it in seaweed, which turned into such a delicious beauty that I have to share this recipe with you.

The quality of each ingredient used at Awomb is outstanding, which isn't a surprise, Ujita Hiroshi comes from a family that has been in the sushi business for decades. However, the young man didn't want to follow his parents' footsteps, he decided to start his own food adventure. His vision, to make hand-rolled sushi a delicious and fun experience for friends outside their homes is a huge success. Long lines and waiting lists call for a well-planed reservation!

http://www.awomb.com/


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