Sushi is getting to be so popular in London now, it’s hard to believe there was a time when we all thought eating raw fish was weird. And plenty of people are making sushi themselves, which makes the publication of Yuki Gomi’s new cookbook, Sushi at Home, very timely. I don’t do much cooking myself but if you do, this is the book for you.
Yuki is a Japanese chef who’s taught thousands of people how to make their own sushi. After studying at Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago, she trained under a master noodle chef, before moving to London. She gives regular Japanese cookery classes and private lessons and specialises in teaching how to prepare Japanese food at home, using local ingredients. I first met her at Sozai Cooking School.
The book is beautifully produced (it’s published by Penguin) with full colour pictures and step-by-step instructions. It tells you how to buy and prepare fish, the definitive method for making perfect sushi rice, the technique of rolling step-by-step and much more, including alternatives to classic sushi styles like temari, vegetarian and soba sushi.
Of course, there was sushi to try at the launch, (using fish from Moxon’s fishmongers if you’re thinking of trying sushi making and wondering where to buy your fish).
Yuki gave us a demonstration of sushi making (gosh, it looked easy!) before settling down to sign people’s books. The pile on show at the beginning of the party vanished rapidly.
To go with the sushi we drank Mio, a low-alcohol fizzy sake, which you can get at the Japan Centre, and Yuzu cocktail, made with vodka, sake and Yuzu citrus seasoning.
There was also green tea on offer from Clearspring, who produce many of the ingredients used in Japanese cookery, like miso and mirin, as well as a range of green teas. They’re organic and vegan and you can buy their products in health food stores and in Waitrose.
And, in case you were planning to spruce up your home to serve your home-made sushi in the perfect environment, I can give you a few suggestions on that too, because the party was held in Republic of Fritz Hansen, a scandinavian design store on Great Titchfield St, just off Oxford St.
I’m a great fan of scandinavian design, so I had a bit of a potter around looking at what was on offer. Like these Moomin mugs and elegant lamps.
But the big thrill for me was to find they sell Iittala Birds by Toikka, which I collect (well okay, I’ve got two, so only another 398 to go). I’ll be going back for another look at these little charmers very soon.
You can buy Yuki’s book on Amazon. Many thanks to Fig Tree, Penguin, for the party!