Ever since those ingenious Japanese introduced us to the joys of sashimi, nigiri, donburi, maki, nori and all things sushi, we Westerners have been gorging on the bountiful and downright delicious stuff. The combinations and possibilities are seemingly endless – as is London’s sushi selection. International Sushi Day will this year be celebrated on Saturday June 18th. Here’s what’s going down in London town
Throughout our lifetimes we’ve been assured that there’s plenty more fish in the sea. Sadly, that’s no longer the case. While we can all agree that sushi is both delicious and nutritious, the effects of overfishing are becoming a pertinent issue to society today – and our all-consuming appetite isn’t helping. Thankfully M Victoria Street are currently dishing up a thoroughly modern and guilt-free Sustainable Sushi Plate – comprising six sushi rolls and a glass of Veuve Clicquot. The rolls include such mouth-watering morsels like king fish with spring onion, burnt orange and nasturtium; and soft shell crab with cucumber, caviar and black garlic. They’ve kindly made it available until Sunday, priced at £39.95.
If you’re lucky enough to have tickets to Taste of London this weekend then you can get your sushi-fix there. There’s a plethora of Japanese bites on offer from London favs like Roka and Korobuta – or get down to M’s Cobia Showcase to hear about the hottest new fish on the market. Hailed as the “Wagyu of the sea”, cobia is a fish you may have never heard of – but certainly will soon! Executive chef of London’s M sushi restaurants, Michael Reid will be making an appearance at Taste this year, to demonstrate the many uses of this sustainable seafood. Similar in appearance and taste to albacore tuna, but with a slightly firmer texture, this nutrient-loaded sashimi grade fish is a staple on the RAW menus at M. www.mrestaurants.co.uk
A firm favourite amongst everyone who’s anyone in London, Sushisamba will be celebrating International Sushi Day all weekend by inviting guests to participate in a hands-on experience that celebrates two traditional Japanese dishes: nigiri and donburi. With the expert guidance of your server, guests will learn to create the super-thin slices that create nigiri or they can erect their own donburi bowl from the bottom up. Both options feature a grain, selection of seafood, vegetables, fruit, garnishes and a sauce. It costs £19 per person and requires a 2 person minimum (6 person maximum). www.sushisamba.com
DIY sushi-making classes have also sprung up across the capital in recent years. Alice SushiArt hosts intimate classes out of Highgate and for Sushi Day she’ll be giving fish fanatics the chance to learn the grace and presentation skills involved in the art of sushi. Her 1.5 hour class will teach not one, but five different types of sushi: hosomaki, nigiri, gunkan, temari and the classic Cali roll, plus she throws in a take-home sushi mat, enabling your new talents to flourish from home. www.alicesushiart.com
Sozai cookery school also does one-off classes in the City of London, that cover dishes from sushi to street food. They’re holding a Saturday class for 2 hours, which covers the ins and outs of sushi rice plus three rolls. www.sozai.co.uk
Did you know that it was the Norwegians who introduced salmon to the Japanese in the 1970s, cementing it as a firm favourite for sushi-lovers worldwide? In fact, sushi has a history of taking inspiration from global cuisines – the California roll being prime example. That’s why this year, Yutaka, the UK’s largest producer and distributor of Japanese foods, has decided it’s high time us Brits put our stamp on the raw fish phenomenon. The brand is inviting the British public to submit sushi recipes inspired by our country’s eclectic range of ingredients.
Yutaka will award the creator of the winning Great British Sushi idea a year’s supply of Japanese ingredients and their idea will be turned into a recipe which will feature on the company website. The winner will be announced on International Sushi Day at the BBC Good Food Show Summer, taking place from 16th – 19th June at NEC Birmingham where Yutaka will be exhibiting. www.yutake.co/en/[ALL IMAGES: PR]