An exclusive look inside the hidden world of the sushi chef



Sushi Chef Training - Sushi consultancyThings you have in common with a sushi apprentice in Japan: you both start the day in the bathroom. But as you move on with your day, that young apprentice stays in the restroom. Cleaning. All day. For at least a year. Then he might graduate to washing kitchen utensils. In the US, sushi is much less dogmatic, but the principle remains: you’ve got to learn to do one thing perfectly before earning another responsibility.

To observe the breadth of those responsibilities, we were invited into the kitchens of Uchi and Uchiko, two James Beard-lauded restaurants in Austin, TX that are deeply rooted in Japanese technique and reverence for the perfect bite, but throw out the rulebook when it comes to the strictness with which most traditional Japanese

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Meet our guide Masa Saio. He moved to Texas from Japan to join Uchi’s opening crew back in 2003. And that mackerel moved here from Japan today!
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Aside from their hands, a sushi chef’s primary tools are their knives. Masa carries a serious arsenal with him, but generally only uses two or three knives per shift depending on the situation and his mood. Each blade is carved with intricate Japanese characters that say things like Masa is a badass the grade of sharpness.
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Although some chefs arrive even earlier, today Masa arrived at 11am to prep for service at 5pm. It’s going to be a high volume day at Uchiko, so Masa’s chosen one of his cheaper knives that’s lighter and allows for quicker slicing. That ceramic sharpening block isn’t actually being used to sharpen the knife, but rather to even the blade and smooth out imperfections.
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Fish is delivered several times a week, but international distributors and air transport can be unpredictable. Weather delayed this shipment and the Uchiko team had to pick it up from the airport, even though there’s no way it could possibly return the favor.
Breaking down fish is a three man job. Masa’s on scaling duty, scraping the sides of the fish to remove the rough exterior layer. He holds the fish by the eyes because the fins are often poisonous.
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Fish are sourced through two main suppliers. Thanks to the efficiency of air transport, they can deliver super-fresh fish from everywhere, including the center of the sushi world, Japan’s famed Tsukiji Fish Market.
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The second guy in the disassembly line dives in head-first.
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The blood is dug out with a tool Macguyver’d from a few skewers. If you don’t remove the blood, the meat spoils quicker than Richard Dean Anderson’s career.

Removing the organs requires special care, because puncturing something like the gallbladder will cause an explosion of bile from both the fish and the chef. After this major surgery, a third man rinses out the fish before it makes its way to the sushi counter to be skinned and sliced.Removing the organs requires special care, because puncturing something like the gallbladder will cause an explosion of bile from both the fish and the chef. After this major surgery, a third man rinses out the fish before it makes its way to the sushi counter to be skinned and sliced.


The whole operation was performed in near silence with a Zen-like calm and composure.
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The team breaks down between 30 and 40lbs of fish over a half-hour. Then it’s ready to be filleted on the sushi counter.
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But before a chef is allowed to touch even a piece of seafood, their knife skills have to be on point. Uchi requires that a chef be able to cut garlic to 1/16in slices, a size much too large to eat on a date.
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Even the most experienced chefs still have to chop Thai chilies (and wash their hands really, really well before they go to the bathroom).
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In traditional Japanese sushi, rice is considered the main ingredient with the fish complementing the perfection of the grain. If the rice isn’t perfect, the bite isn’t perfect, so the guy on rice duty is actually very important.Once the rice is steamed, a giant wooden bowl (hangiri) is coated in vinegar. The rice is added and stirred with a wooden paddle (shamoji) so that the vinegar evenly coats each grain, cooling it down and evening out the texture.
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Horse mackerel (aji) is considered an underrated fish, and was Masa’s favorite that day. Fun facts about mackerel, one of which somehow involves Sir-Mix-A-Lot’s third LP: there are 150 types, it’s beloved partially because other fish eat it (so it must be good!), they’re seasonal and sourced from different places during different times of the year, and Mix-A-Lot’s Mack Daddy record got its name from the fish’s shiny scales.

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With the blood and guts already removed, Masa cuts out the fillet and carefully removes most of the skin, leaving a thin layer that adds texture and flavor. For aji, the tempura-fried head’s often kept on the body, and is presented curling up off the plate.
Salmon is actually considered a whitefish, but its diet of crustaceans gives it an orange coloring and unique flavor.
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How a chef touches a fish lets you know how skilled they are,” says Masa. “It shows how much they care about the fish.”
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Uchi also has a full kitchen that’s busy prepping things like soft shell crabs for spider rolls and your worst nightmares.
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This chalkboard in the kitchen shows the work-in-progress specials. Each chef is continually testing and iterating new dishes that might eventually make it to the plates of adventurous diners. When Uchi opened their second restaurant Uchiko in 2010, the menu was comprised largely of specials from the original restaurant.
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Every day before service there is a kitchen-wide meeting where they talk about everything from detailed facts about fish anatomy to who didn’t clean the employee bathroom last week (get it together, Ian!).
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By the time Uchi opens for happy hour at 5pm, each of these chefs has already been working for at least 6hrs. The unanimous consensus is that the most important stuff happens before a single customer walks through the door.
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In Tokyo, most reputable sushi spots only serve a few customers at a time, whereas Uchi and Uchiko are busy restaurants that regularly host 300 patrons a night. The restaurants pride themselves on bringing the sushi counter experience to your table, but there’s nothing like sitting at the bar.
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Working the sushi counter is all about being hospitable and sushi chefs are some of the most humble humans on the planet. But when you’re at the counter, Masa has a few polite recommendations.In Japan, most sushi operates on an omakase (“I trust you”) system where the chef serves whatever he feels like, but at Uchi, the focus is more on the customer’s tastes than the chef’s. Don’t ask “what’s best?”. Instead, offer a few examples of your preferences and you’ll be rewarded with fish you’ll actually enjoy.And never ask what’s fresh. If the place is legit, everything’s fresh or else they wouldn’t be serving it.
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One of the head sushi chef’s most important jobs is managing the supply of fish throughout the night. “Every moment is a judgment,” says Masa. You don’t want to waste anything, but you also don’t want to run out of something like bluefin, likely because at this point, it literally might be the last fish in the sea.
Sushi traditionalists might scoff at rolls, but even sushi’s most entry-level dishes require a ton of skill. Good sushi falls apart in your mouth, whereas a poorly constructed roll will feel like you’re eating a handful of sticky rice. A skilled chef knows how to “put the air in it” while constructing the roll quickly enough so that the seaweed doesn’t turn soggy.
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Meet the Zero Sen roll: yellowtail, avocado, dry shallot, cilantro, tobiko, and yuzu, served with a citrus paste.
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Here, another chef sprinkles sea salt over one of Uchi’s signature dishes: maguro sashimi and goat cheese, which features bigeye tuna, pumpkin seed oil, and Fuji apple. “Maguro is the king of sushi,” says Masa, but he says to pass on spicy or crunchy tuna rolls because the spice masks the fish’s flavor.
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One of the keys to a perfect bite of nigiri is that contrast between the temperature of the lukewarm rice and the cold fish. You want to eat it immediately so as to keep that contrast. Here the aji that Masa prepared gets all dressed up with ginger, sesame seeds, green onion, and tamari, which is a type of soy sauce that’s richer, but less salty.
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The kitchen often pulls fish from the sushi bar for creations like this Walu Walu, a hot dish of oak-grilled escolar, candied citrus, yuzupon dressing, and Japanese ginger.
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Uni, or sea urchin roe, is one of the most advanced things you can order at a sushi bar. But uni is not the eggs, it’s the genitals. It gets a rap for being super creamy, but the best stuff is actually firm and should look a little like a tongue. Most of Uchi’s uni comes from Santa Barbara, where it’s harvested by extremely skilled (and well paid) divers in icy cold waters. If the tide is high, they don’t dive, and you don’t get to eat no urchin genitals.
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Ordering uni is a surefire way to get on your chef’s good side.
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For the next few hours, the sushi chef is a performer, and one who doesn’t necessarily have time to be bothered by stunningly handsome photographers from men’s lifestyle publications. So we stopped playing sushi paparazzi and let Masa do his thing until 11pm when the restaurant closed. But even after he’s packed up his knives, he usually doesn’t leave until at least 1am, making for a full 14hr day.Multiply that by six or seven days a week, and there really aren’t many hours left for anything else aside from maybe bathing and paying a pretty damn low electricity bill because you’re never, ever home.Being a sushi chef is a lifelong commitment that starts with several years of looking and feeling really, really inadequate. Those that stick around are rewarded with diehard regulars, all the uni they can eat, and a sense of inner pride that glows like the scales of the shiniest of Mack Daddies.So next time you’re about to bite into a delicious piece of sushi, be sure to give your compliments to the chef.A big thank you to Dan Gentile for this post, well done Dan and thank you for sharing the Sushi love around the globe!
Dan Gentile is a staff writer on Thrillist's national food/drink team.
Twitter at @Dannosphere.


A little present for all…


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Teppanyaki Sauces Recipes

Teppanyaki Soy Sauce

Here are a few simple recipes for Teppanyaki cooking.  We hope you enjoy them!

1) Teppanyaki Soy Sauce

Qty                  Unit                             Ingredient
5                      lit                                 Soy Sauce
1                      kg                                Sliced Onoin
300                  gm                               Sliced Garlic
10                    gm                               Aji no moto

Production:   Boil Soy Sauce,water and Sliced Onion. when it is boiled , remove harshness. Add garlic and Aji. Keep for about 1 week then strain to use.

Ginger Sauce for Table

2) Teppanyaki Ginger Sauce for Table

Qty                  Unit                             Ingredient

1                      lit                                 White wine
1                      lit                                 Sake
2                      lit                                 Mirin
4                      lit                                 Soy Sauce
10                    nos                              Apple
1                      kg                                Onion
500                  gm                               Garlic
500                  gm                               Ginger


Put white wine, Sake and Mirin to boil,burn out alcohol and add Soy sauce. When it is boiled remove  harshness, off the fire and add all above grated item and leave for about 4 hours then strain and keep.

3) Ponzu Sauce for Seafood

Qty                  Unit                             Ingredient

100                  ml                                Vinegar
100                  ml                                Pouzu
100                  ml                                Water
200                  ml                                Soy Sauce
20                   gm,                               Sugar
1                    nos                               Orange


Mix all above items together. Add sliced chilli.

4) Goma Dressing for Salad

Qty                  Unit                             Ingredient

1.2                   lit                                 Vinegar
250                  ml                                Soy Sauce
250                  gm                               Sugar
200                  ml                               Goma Oil
40                    gm                               Goma Seed
2                     tsp                                Yellow musturd
10                    gm                                Aji

Production: Mix all above items and ready for used


Hope you all enjoy these, do not hesitate if you have any questions.

Chef Kenny at The Sushi School

Teppanyaki Training



Home made Miso


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Home Made Miso – the best ever Miso I have ever had!

The wait was finally over. The soy bean mixture that my own hands made turned into gorgeous Miso after patiently sitting in the cool dark cupboard for nearly 13 months. When I tentatively put a bit of it in my mouth, I thought it was one of the best, if not the best, Miso I have ever tasted. I am so convinced that home made Miso is so much better than commercially made mass production supermarket Miso that I am now seriously thinking that I should be making my own.

Home Made Miso with KiyokoMy curiosity into Miso making started when I actually tasted the one that my foodie cousin had made herself and thought “Wow, it’s good!”. How was it good? Well, it was less salty and had so much more flavour than vacuum packed usual suspects from shops. So when I was back in Japan in winter 2013, I spent an afternoon with her making it together so she could show me how to do it.

The soy bean mixture then prepared, weighing a little more than a Kilo was carefully packed into my suitcase, brought to the UK, and sat in the cupboard until just a few days ago, when I decided it was about time that it revealed itself and prove that the wait was worthwhile.

Here it is. This is MY miso!

Home made miso

Miso is simply fermented soy beans. It is one essential ingredient in Japanese cuisine, with one dish that is so well known in the west being Miso soup, I think. (These days, I see some chefs on TV making Miso marinated black cod, which is my favourite.) Depending on the regions, you can get Miso made of rice or wheat. To give more characters to their produces, some regions also use the combination of these three. But the majority of Miso is made with soy beans.

But can you see the whitish bits in my Miso? They are the remains of rice. So is this Rice Miso?

Well, yes and no..

To explain, let me show you the ingredients that I used for this Miso.

On the left, in a bag with blue writings is unrefined sea salt. In the middle is “Kome (rice) Koji” or Koji mould cultured on rice. You can see the white fluff and this is the live Koji mould. On the right is the bag of dried soy beans. That’s all.

Miso ingredients

It’s Koji mould that ferments soy beans,so you have to have this to make Miso. And here is the trick. Koji mould is usually cultured on steam cooked rice, and sold in this way for miso making.

(This is exactly what you also need for Sake brewing and Soy sauce making but hardly anyone does these things at home as the processes involved are just so long winded and highly technical. This is another topic for another day.)

Soy Bean MisoSo here are some terminologies clarified. The word “Miso” usually refers to Miso made of soy beans with Kome Koji. Because you have rice included in the form of Kome Koji, it is categorised as “Rice Miso”. But because this is the most common type that appears in just about every household and restaurant, no one calls it that way but just simply “Miso!”.

Miso made of rye or barley uses Koji mould cultured on barley. Hence, it’s called barley Miso, or “Mugi Miso”.

You can also have Miso made 100% from soy beans. What is it called? “Soy bean Miso”, of course!

Just like blend whiskey, different types of Miso can be mixed to create more unique flavour. These are called “Awase (mixed) Miso”.

Miso Explained

Gluten free?

If you are coeliac, you just have to a bit selective of what type of Miso but there are definitely variations you can enjoy! Unless the miso contains barley (麦、mugi) or wheat (小麦、komugu) it is gluten-free, unless it has some not-traditional additives.

Different regions have their own characteristic Miso with its own names, but they are basically all variations of the above three. Obviously, Japan is a volcanic country with complex water tables which supply different parts of the country with different type of water. This gives unique flavours in the Miso made in particular regions.

Different Miso

Also, you can get more variations by extending the fermentation period. The longer the Miso is fermented, the darker and the deeper the flavour would be, thanks to the Maillard reaction that happens in the ingredients.

Traditionally, people made Miso at home, and well-made Miso was the pride of the mistress of the household. As far as I can taste, any home-made miso is well made and tastes so much better than commercial mass produced Miso. Am I a proud mistress? I certainly am. But to be honest, anyone can make good Miso as the process is pretty straight forward.

Best Regards and happy Miso making!



Tamago sponge cake – so moist!!!


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Tamago sponge cake is so moist, sweet and tasty.  And do you know what?  It’s made without any fat!  Tamogo means egg in Japanese.  You use a generous amount of egg and that’s what makes this cake so flavoursome! 

There are a number of famous Tamago cake makers around in Japan.  But it’s quite simple to make so why not try it yourself!    The only thing is that the egg needs to be bean a lot so I suggest you get a hand mixer:  Or you can build the muscle by doing this with a balloon whisker.  This is one of my favourites from my auntie’s kitchen.  It’s such a treat to visit her not just because I can get a huge serving of this cake, but also she makes fabulous cheese cake with this sponge as the base, instead of crushed biscuits.  So good. .


  •  200g    Eggs at room temperature (4 x M-size eggs would do)
  • 110g     Caster Sugar (or light brown sugar, which adds more flavour)
  • 100g     Strong Flour, Sifted.  Divide this into roughly 3 portions.
  • 3 tbsp    Honey
  • 20ml     Hot water
  • Some    Demerara Sugar (for sprinkling on the bottom of the tin)

The above quantity is suitable for a square 15x15cm cake tin (about 8 cm hight)


1.       Prepare the cake tin with the baking parchment at the bottom and inside the wall.  Sprinkle some Demerara sugar evenly:  this adds texture and flavour to the finished cake.   Set the oven for 180 degree c.

2.       Prepare  a pan with some water at the bottom.  Bring it to the simmer.  The pan needs to be large/small enough for a metal mixing bowl for beating the eggs to sit without touching the water.

3.       In the metal mixing bowl, put all the eggs and sugar.  Let the bowl sit on the pan so that the steam from the barely simmering water will keep the egg mixture warm.

4.       Beat the eggs and sugar together at the high speed for 6 minutes.  The volume should increased a lot, as much as 4 times.

5.       Mix the hot water and honey together and pour this into the beaten egg/sugar mixture.  Keep on beating at a moderate speed for a minute.

6.       Sift the 1st portion of strong flour into the egg mixture.  Let it mixed in using the mixer at a moderate speed, probably just for 10 seconds or so.  Do not over mix!  Repeat this for the 2nd portion.  When the 3rd, last, portion of strong flour is added, beat in using the slower speed to make sure that the flour is well combined in the mixture, for a minute or so.

7.       Pour the mixture into the prepared tin.  Tap the tin lightly, and/or use a skewer to drag around in the mixture, to get rid of large air bubbles.

8.       Bake at 180 Degree C for 5 to 10 minutes to brown the surface.  During this time, prepare a strip of foil large enough to cover the entire tin.  When the top of the cake is browned enough, cover the tin with the prepared foil, reduce the temperature to 170 degree C and bake for another 55 minutes.

9.       For the perfectly flat top:

When the cake is fully baked, tap the tin lightly and take the cake out of it.  Cover the entire top of the cake with cling film.  Put a baking tray over the cling filmed cake top, then reverse the whole thing, the cake with the tray. Now the top of the cake is at the bottom.  The weight of the cake lets the domed top, now at the bottom, to be flattened.

Try your best to do this flipping procedure quick before the surface of the cake starts to unevenly sink.

10.   Whilst it is hot, the cake must be completely covered and sealed in a plastic bag or long stretches of cling film.  This is the key for the moist texture.  Let the cake to get steamed up and cooled down to mature for 12 hours.   Then it’s ready to be cut.

11.   Extra couple of days of maturing would just make the cake so perfect.  Do change the covering half way through as its inside should have accumulated quite a bit of the condensation by now.  Keep the cake at the room temperature.

To decorate: 

Tamago cake is usually branded with the maker’s logo.  You can do the same with heated metal of various shapes!

Tamago cake is usually branded with the maker’s logo.  You can do the same with heated metal of various shapes!

Tamago cake is usually branded with the maker’s logo. You can do the same with heated metal of various shapes!

To cut the cake:

Use a very sharp long knife.  Dub the blade with hot water before cutting.  Clean the knife and repeat the exercise for the professional look.


Up to 7 days at a cool temperature from the time baking finished.  Suitable for freezing.


I hope you enjoyed this and do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries!





Introducing Matcha…



Matcha- Green TeaThere is no question about it, we Brits love our teas. I trust the 60 billion odd cups consumed each year helps to put into perspective the scale of this obsession of ours. We drink so much of the stuff that it has even become a national stereotype for God’s sake!

Despite this global perception of tea in Britain, we in UK are starting to see a shift in the zeitgeist, and guess what, it is having an effect on our beloved tea.

As we become more knowledgeable about the effects certain foods and drinks are having on our bodies, it is only natural that we are beginning to see more and more people turning to healthier alternatives. It should therefore come as no surprise that in the world of tea it is the black milky strains that have been the worst hit, with this change causing a large number of us – in the same way that many people now opt to bike to work instead of drive – to go green.

Not only do the health benefits of green tea far outweigh those of the UK’s mainstay black teas, but the components of green tea have also been scientifically proven to help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. Now if that isn’t a good enough reason to go green, then I don’t know what is!

I am sure you will all be interested to know that even amongst this class of healthy teas there is one variant that is substantially healthier than the rest – a whopping 137 times healthier than the average green tea to be a little more precise.

Allow me to introduce to you the Japanese fine powdered green tea, Matcha (抹茶).

Matcha green tea

What is Matcha?

Unlike most loose leaf green teas, Matcha is made using leaves that are stone milled into a fine green powder. This means that rather than simply infusing the leaves, as is common when preparing most regular green teas, the whole tea leaf is ingested when drinking Matcha – something that helps explain its miraculous health benefits.

When producing Matcha, about 20 days or so before harvest, the sprouting tea bush is shaded using straw covered arched fibre screens to protect the leaves from direct sunlight. Sheltered from the sun, the leaves begin to turn a darker green and start producing amino acids. After the final stage of growth, freshly picked tea leaves are laid out to dry and later de-stalked and de-veined before being stone milled into the fine bright-green powder we call Matcha.

Matcha plays a central role in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies and usually comes served with wagashi, a delicately sweet Japanese confectionary that is used to compliment the slightly bitter notes of the tea.

There are two ways to prepare a bowl of Matcha: usucha 薄茶 (which means thin tea) and koicha 濃茶 (which – you guessed it right – means thick tea). The latter of these two, which is also the one most commonly served in Japanese tea ceremonies, is typically reserved for the preparation of high grade Matcha.

How to Prepare a bowl of Matcha

Below is a step by step guide on how to make a bowl of Matcha. Also embedded at the bottom of this post is a short video, where you can watch a tea infusionist from the famous Lahloo pantry talk through the preparation of Matcha.

Step 1: First the Matcha. It is always good to select a ceremonial grade to ensure quality. We recommend Lahloo’s high grade Matcha from the tea growing region of Uji, Japan.

Step 2: Select a medium sized bowl ensuring that all moisture has been removed and that the inner surface is dry. For best results make sure to sieve your Matcha before adding the water in order to remove any clumps.

Matcha Bowl

Step 3: Using a teaspoon, or a chashaku if you are going for the full ceremonial experience, measure out about 3gs of Matcha into your bowl (approximately half a teaspoon or 2 heaped chashaku scoops).

Step 4: For optimum flavour and to prevent bitterness use water that is around 75 degrees C in temperature. Pour enough water to fill 1/3rd of the bowl.

Step 5: Whisk the hot water and powder mixture in a quick ‘m’ shaped motion back and forth across the top of the surface using a chasen until a smooth and frothy consistency is achieved.

Voila! You are now ready to enjoy the deep sweet aromas of your warm bowl of healthy Matcha. Drink up, and remember, ‘a bowl of Matcha a day, keeps the doctor away’.

A note of warning: Think twice before asking for 2nds, or Okawari as it is known in Japanese, as these small and seemingly innocent bowls of antioxidant rich Matcha are also very high in caffeine.

We use Matcha during all our training at

If you like the article…please spread the Sushi/Match word around!!!

Whisk Away


It is evident that the Japanese tea ceremony is as much about the celebration of artisan craftsmanship and finely engineered tools – on which it must be said that the tradition remains firmly founded – as it is about celebrating the pleasures of tea itself.

The chasen, perhaps more well-known by the less cryptic term, bamboo whisk, is one such tool.

Carved from a single section of bamboo, this finely handcrafted tool is made by splitting fibres of a short bamboo column into distinct, curled whiskers to form the 100 odd stiff, upright arms that extend from the handle of the whisk and are used to stir the tea.

In admiration for this aged old masterful craft we have outlined the 8-step process by which these marvellous whisks are fashioned by the Takayama whisk makers of Ikoma city in Nara prefecture.


A 2-3 year old piece of white bamboo, after being harvested in early winter, is boiled, cleaned and bleached in the sun to strengthen and harden the raw bamboo.



The upper half of a whisk-sized bamboo piece is then peeled, and divided into 12-24 equal parts (depending on the thickness of the bamboo) using a sharp knife.



The 16 parts are then each divided into 10 equal spines to create a whisk with a total of 160 whiskers – in the case of a 80本立 chasen. Of the 160 spines, half will be used to form the outer splayed layer of whisk, and the other half to form the inner bundle of spines.



The bamboo arms are then softened in hot water and pared from bottom to top. Once suitably thin, the arms are ironed and reshaped.
Depending on the number of arms, a chasen can be suited to different roles. For instance, when making koi cha – or thick matcha, a chasen with less spines is more suitable; whereas when making usu cha – thin/weak matcha, a chasen with more spines would be preferred.



Each whisker on the chasen is then individually shaved to taper the edges, which helps to prevent lumps of tea from sticking to the arms of the whisk.



Using a fine piece of string, the whiskers are then divided into their separate inner and outer layers.



A bamboo spoon is then wedged in-between the inner and outer layers, creating the desired angle of splay between the two layers.



The final corrections to the spacing and form of the individual spines is made.


Sushi Chef Recruitment Site opens

The demand for qualified sushi chefs in the UK & Europe is higher than ever before.

UK immigration minister Damian Green’s revised laws are projected to lead to a 66% reduction in the number of skilled migrants allowed to enter our country, per year. What this legislation hopes to achieve, is to of course open up a vast number of jobs to UK nationals within the hospitality industry and beyond.

After years of teaching chefs from around the world the art of Sushi making, The Sushi School is now offering Sushi chef recruitment & certification all over the world. Wether you are opening a restaurant and in need of a sushi chef or simply looking for a job as a Sushi chef…The Sushi School will help you succeed.

Tom is our latest contestant and got himself a dream job in Corsica…take a look.

More info:

Jiro Dreams of Nikiri


If sushi was a religious cult (which it should be if you ask me), the way in which people use soy sauce would be considered blasphemy of the highest order and condemnable by eternal damnation.


Jiro Dreams of Sushi, a movie that we at Your Sushi School have been eagerly awaiting for quite some time now, has finally come to the big screens of UK cinemas.

Cue frantic fist pumps to the air!

Naturally the cinematic experience is not a disappointment in the least, combining beautiful images of Jiro’s masterful craftsmanship with a touching and insightful documentary about the 85 year old chef’s life to date in his continuous pursuit of sushi perfection.

Throughout the movie we are presented with magnificent images of Jiro at work behind his Sukiyabashi restaurant bar in Ginza, gently pressing his two index fingers down on yet another a piece of exquisitely sliced raw fish on top of a small ball of sushi rice he has cradled in his left hand.

Now comes the most intriguing part of this ceremonial-like process.

Just before serving the next piece in a line of meticulously selected and well thought-out nigiri-only sushi courses, in a rather unemphatic yet very exacting movement Jiro applies his final touch – a coating of mysterious dark sauce – before laying his completed creation in front of the customer.


At this point you probably thought to yourself, what on earth is that mysterious dark sauce that Jiro seems to apply to almost every piece of sushi that he touches? Well that is what I would like to share with you today.

This dark sauce, of which you will be amazed to know that there is not even a mention of in Wikipedia (if Wikipedia isn’t aware of its existence, then what hope is there for the rest of us), is called nikiri (煮きり) in Japanese and means to bring to the boil.

Although you might be inclined to ask for this mysterious dark sauce the next time pay a visit to your local sushi restaurant, I must point out that almost all sushi restaurants – including the ones in Japan – are very unlikely to serve nikiri, even upon special request.

Nikiri, which was commonly used during the Edo period and is still used to this day in some of the more traditional sushi restaurants around the world, is typically made using a mixture of soy sauce, dashi, mirin and sake, and is an absolute revelation. The sauce, partly owing to the equal measures of mirin and sake within, has a subtle complimentary umami sweetness that is designed to enliven and enhance the flavour of the fish with which it is being served.

When you have worked as a sushi chef for more than 7 decades and are considered to be the most highly skilled sushi chef in the world – even by your peers, the last thing that you want to see is people dunking your delicate pieces of sushi in a bowl of overpowering and salty soy sauce. Each piece of sushi that Jiro meticulously crafts is designed to be eaten the moment it is served, without the addition of any such condiments.


I don’t want to go off on a rant or anything, but try asking any well trained and experienced sushi chef what his or her opinions are on the amount of soy sauce that people tend to use with their sushi. It’s likely that they will tell you they are offended and devastated by what they see!

If sushi was a religious cult (which it should be if you ask me), the way in which people use soy sauce would be considered blasphemy of the highest order and condemnable by eternal damnation.That is only if I was the head of this hypothetical state of course😉

Soy sauce is far too rich and salty a condiment to be used as a dipping sauce for most types of nigiri sushi, let alone maki rolls. Despite the flavour characteristics of a lot of fish being known to be delicate and subtle, people continue to insist on mindlessly drowning their sushi in pools of soy sauce because that is the socially accepted norm.

Simply put, soy sauce is far too overpowering, and should only be used sparingly.

The next time you go to a sushi restaurant, if they aren’t able to offer you nikiri – which unfortunately is the likely truth, why not try to tasting your sushi without soy sauce? Having sushi without soy sauce can be a liberating experience because it enables you to better gauge the ability of the chef. If you avoid using excessive amounts of soy sauce you will soon be able to discern some of the more subtle characteristics that sushi has to offer, and more importantly, be able to distinguish between what is good sushi and what is not!

Strictly No Fish Sushi


Despite the fact that sushi by definition – as I am sure the majority of you are well aware of – is a mixture of cooked japonica rice and sushi vinegar, it never ceases to amaze me how so many people continue to insist on labelling sushi as raw fish.

First off, shame on you for misrepresenting our poor little friend Mr. Sushi; I mean what on earth has the little guy ever done to you, besides provide you with a continual and delicious source of savoury umami goodness.

And secondly, can’t you see that by purporting this fallacy you are inadvertently stopping millions – if not billions (granted perhaps a slightly over exaggerated figure) – from enjoying the heavenly and delectable non fishy pleasures that sushi has to offer… and that is not to mention all of its wonderful additional health benefits. For instance, did you know that sushi is a great source of slow release carbohydrates and that it is almost always gluten free (I say almost always since it depends on whether any soy sauce has been applied, and if so what type)… But don’t get me started on people dunking their sushi into soy sauce as if it were a biscuit drowned in tea!

Plus I am sure you have all heard about the plummeting fish stocks around the globe.

Evidently, it is time for us to start exploring a world of sushi outside of the ubiquitous salmon and tuna nigiri sushi that we seem to see everywhere and keep telling ourselves that we ‘can’t live without’. I am sure if we were to ask the fish what they couldn’t live without, it would most likely be ‘our eating of fish’!

Which brings me to today’s topic.

To celebrate all that is wonderful (and not fishy) in the world of sushi, we were asked by none other than Crumbs Magazine to host a 3 course sushi luncheon at the famous Lahloo Pantry in Bristol last week.

Below is a series of images from the event including brief descriptions of each type of sushi that we created for this strictly no fish sushi event!


European Sushi with a ‘Clearspring’ organic brown rice miso soup.

  1. Blue cheese & fig hosomaki (French).
  2. Mozzarella and sun blushed tomato hosomaki rolled in parma ham (Italian).
  3. Spanish chorizo topped temari ball (Spanish).


Main Course:


For the main course we served two types of futomaki (fat roll) and three types of uramaki (inside out roll). Fillings included asparagus, chicken goujons marinated in soy sauce, shredded carrot, takuan (pickled radish), salad leaves, red pepper, avocado, mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes, fresh wasabi, cucumber, chives and cress.


Alongside the main dish was a selection of sides. A chicken, lettuce, and red pepper caterpillar roll topped with a hint of spicy mayonnaise atop of the thinly splayed avocado slices (above), and some salad leaves carrying julienned carrot, avocado and cucumber mixed with a sushi vinegar and soy sauce dressing (below).


Below are some pictures of the other side dishes that we served with the main that day.







A simple sweet edo-style nigiri sushi with fresh strawberry slices and a hint of butter chocolate cream alongside a single raspberry and blackberry served with a light and refreshing pot of Lahloo Japanese sencha (green tea).


Rice Vinegar vs. Sushi Vinegar

You will no longer be confused if you remember this: “Rice Vinegar + Salt + Sugar = Sushi Vinegar”

It is Sushi vinegar that you want to use to flavour the cooked sushi rice. If you use just rice vinegar, the flavour would be very flat as it lacks the vital seasoning of salt and sugar.

When you are shopping with the intention of buying the “pre-mixed sushi seasoning”, then what you need to look for is “Sushi Vinegar”. As you say, likes of Mizkan sell both “Rice Vinegar” and “Sushi Vinegar” so you just need to pay attention to what it says on the label.

If you can’t find off-the shelf Sushi vinegar, you can always make one yourself!

My Sushi vinegar recipe, which comes from another Sushi chef, is: Rice Vinegar (60ml or 60g) + Sugar (60g) + Salt (10g). This quantity would be enough to season about 300g of raw rice.

So the ratio of Rice Vinegar:Sugar:Salt is 6:6:1. Of course, you can change the ratio to your taste!

You just need to combine them together in a pan and heat it up so that the sugar and salt dissolves. (If you are preparing this well ahead, you don’t need to heat it up: just leave everything in a large jar, leave it in a cupboard and let the sugar and salt dissolve naturally.)

Some chefs add other extra items, such as a piece of Konbu (kelp) and Mirin (sweet Sake) for more depth of flavour. You don’t have to!

The amount of Sushi vinegar you need to flavour the cooked rice is approximately 20mls (of grams) of Sushi vinegar for originally 100g of raw rice. So you need 20% of Sushi vinegar in weight of the raw rice. If you cook 500g of raw rice, then you need roughly 100mls or grams of Sushi vinegar to flavour it. It’s important that you pour the Sushi vinegar and mix it with the cooked rice whilst it is still piping hot. Then when you taste the just mixed rice, you might think “Oh, it’s a bit sharp!”, but do remember that the flavour, or the vinegariness, will mellow down as the
rice temperature goes down. So you want to have the flavour on the stronger side to start with.

Chef Kiyoko.

The Great Wasabi Conspiracy


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Last week Manu Letellier (Your Sushi’s director & Sushi lover) paid a visit to The Wasabi Company in Dorchester (see pic) to meet the faces behind home grown UK fresh Wasabi.

After 4 years of research and development, The Wasabi Company have achieved the impossible. They have managed to cultivate and harvest fresh Wasabi for the first time ever in the UK – a feat that most people in the Sushi industry up until now thought was unachievable.

The majority – and when I say majority, I mean 95% or more – of the Wasabi that is consumed here in the UK is not Wasabi at all. It is a substitute paste that is usually made from a mix of water, horseradish, mustard seeds and colorings among other things.

Sorry to be the one to break it to you, but Wasabi as we know it is a misnomer. A product that has been wrongly named due to fact that real Wasabi is – or should I say was – so hard to come by!

As well as more of our pictures, Manu will be posting a how-to use wasabi guide in the next few weeks, stay tuned!

From November onwards, Your Sushi and the Sushi School will have some fresh wasabi for you to try during our Sushi Workshops so you can experience the real thing for yourselves!

This is a fantastic product! Finally available in the UK & Europe…well done.

We spent a few hours with Tom & James (great guys)…grating & sampling their freshly harvested green gold! I am now looking forward to introducing fresh Wasabi to all Sushi Lovers!

Manu Letellier

If you want to try fresh wasabi and to find out what you have been missing out on, please visit The Wasabi Company at

 Fresh Wasabi is what all Sushi Lovers across the UK have been waiting for!

Bring on the revolution!


Here’s looking at you, (sushi) chef


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Press Article published in CRUMBS – September 10, 2012

It’s not customary for me to consider how new immigration laws may affect the national hospitality sector, but when it comes to global cuisine, it is a question worth evaluating.

UK immigration minister Damian Green’s revised laws are projected to lead to a 66% reduction in the number of skilled migrants allowed to enter our country, per year. What this legislation hopes to achieve, is to of course open up a vast number of jobs to UK nationals within the hospitality industry and beyond.

The training programs pride themselves on having instructors that boast enviable sushi pedigrees – most of them have a cool 25 years plus on their CV within the sushi trade. And what the school ultimately hopes to achieve, is to become an institute for higher sushi learning, and a community to develop and foster home grown sushi talent.

It goes without saying that the restaurant business is heavily influenced by such turn of events, and we are in some sectors, experiencing a shortage of well-trained chefs, particularly in the Asian food market.

Let’s take sushi as an example.

A firm favourite amongst the English for lunch – overtaking the long favoured lunchtime sarnie – sushi has become a highly profitable enterprise, growing by a remarkable 22% every year since 2008, with sales of sushi rising 21% year on year, and the total UK sushi market now worth an estimated £38.9 million per annum. If those numbers don’t mean much to you, how about this one: sushi sales at Waitrose have recently increased by as much as 88%.

Evidently, the demand for qualified sushi chefs in the UK is higher than ever before. This is where Your Sushi School comes in.

Your Sushi School, a sister company of Bristol-based Your Sushi, has been created to offer aspiring sushi chefs and restaurants comprehensive professional training programs (including certified sushi training and business consultancy services), catered to the UK market. The training programs pride themselves on having instructors that boast enviable sushi pedigrees – most of them have a cool 25 years plus on their CV within the sushi trade. And what the school ultimately hopes to achieve, is to become an institute for higher sushi learning, and a community to develop and foster home grown sushi talent.

But don’t be intimidated by all this talk of higher learning and professionalism. The program is suited to individuals of varied backgrounds, such as catering chefs and restaurant chefs, to private cooks and sushi enthusiasts. Classes will comprise six students, and will be sure to meet the specific needs of each pupil.

Upon completion of the program, students receive a certificate along with a ‘sushi cost calculator’, designed to help and guide independent sushi businesses. But what we love most about Your Sushi School, is the spirit of community that it engenders. As a Your Sushi School graduate, you are entitled to seek the advice and expertise of the Your Sushi School chefs whenever you desire – that’s a lifetime guarantee. Plus, the training programs can be undertaken in the five following languages: English, French, Malay, Cantonese and Portuguese. Hard to say no to, we think.

By Rosa Park

Deba, Yanagiba, Usuba…Sushi knives explained…


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Sushi Knifes

The Japanese kitchen can be a daunting place, especially when it comes to discerning what is what from the selection of tools within. Simply choosing a suitable knife for the task at hand can be a challenging feet, even for the most hardened and experienced Western chef.
Japanese knives come is all sorts of shapes and sizes; amongst these numerous bladed instruments you will be able to find “cleavers to split large pieces of meat… straight-bladed choppers for breaking light bones” and “a battery of knives for chopping peeling, and paring”1. And that is just to mention a few.

Despite the intimidating array of knives that are available to you, there are three Japanese knives that will do almost all the work needed in the kitchen.

Deba Sushi Knife

DEBA BOUCHOU: A versatile knife used for fillet fish, cutting meat and poultry, and breaking light bones. A handy knife to have around the home.

Yanagiba Sushi Knife

YANAGI BA: Long bladed knife sharpened one side that is designed for slicing fish. A must have for all lovers of Sushi and Sashimi.

Usuba Sushi Knife

USUBA: Flat edged professional vegetable knife sharpened on one side with an extremely thin blade that allows for cutting through vegetables without cracking them. This is the knife you are likely to use the most in the kitchen.

It is interesting to note that these precision whetted high carbon stainless steel blades – that are now used in kitchens across the world – employ the same advanced forging techniques developed and passed on by sword-makers from the epochal era of the Samurai warrior. So the next time you are watching a stoic Samurai warrior on the big screen, don’t forget to enjoy the edifying experience, sitting back in the knowledge that the same high grade of carbon steel used to forge the warrior’s deadly blade is the same steel used to manufacture the vegetable knife you use (notably more benignly) to slice and dice your tofu.

Don’t forget to check out for all of your Japanese knife needs!

Sushi Chef Training & Consultancy….European School launch

We are proud – and of course at the same time equally excited – to announce the launch of our brand NEW website; a site that is dedicated to the advanced Sushi chef training programs and restaurant consultancy services that we now offer throughout the UK and Europe.

This project of ours has been quite a long time in the making, so we truly hope that you all like it!

The increasing demand for Japanese food in the UK and throughout Europe, coupled with the tightening of UK immigration laws, has meant that the demand for well trained and qualified Sushi chefs in the UK has never been more apparent.

Top notch training packages for the professional market is something that has been at the forefront of development here at Your Sushi for quite some time now. Our chefs, with almost a century worth of experience in the Sushi trade between them, have been hard at work for the last 2 months designing a series of training programs and consultancy packages – which that may I add are available in 5 different languages – specifically tailored to the UK and European market.

For a glimpse into the sorts of training programs and consultancy services we are able to offer chefs and business alike, please visit our brand new site

PS – And don’t forget to spend some time flicking through all the beautiful pictures on the homepage. Our designers will be happy that you did!

Real Wasabi…now available in the UK!!!

What most people in the UK believe to be wasabi isn’t actually wasabi at all.

Normally only made using a few percent of the real stuff, the substance sold or served to us as wasabi paste, or perhaps more recently found sprinkled on scrumptious roasted pea snacks, is in actual fact made up almost entirely of horseradish, mustard and artificial green colourings. This intensely fiery substitute paste that can be found nestled beneath the raw fish on your nigiri Sushi, and which can be known to deliver a powerful nasal punch if not used sparingly, is actually worlds apart in flavour from the fresh wasabi plant it has been created to emulate. Which indeed begs the question… what on earth is real wasabi like?

Wasabi japonica, which can in a way be compared to Western horseradish – hence the presence of horseradish in the more familiar wasabi substitutes – is a rare mountain root plant­ that is extremely difficult to cultivate. Unless the conditions are absolutely perfect – the environment, the temperature, the cleanliness and volume of fresh running water, the exposure to directly sunlight (talk about a fussy vegetable!) – the wasabi root will not be able to thrive.

Prized for its antibacterial properties, wasabi is most commonly used as a condiment for sushi and sashimi, helping to protect the body against potential infection and food poisoning that can be caused by the consumption of raw fish.

The real stuff, although known to also deliver a spicy nasal kick, is much milder than its synthetic companion, and has a sweet aromatic aftertaste not found in the artificial paste. Fresh wasabi with its innate sweetness has a versatility that has yet to be explored in Western cuisine. In certain areas of Japan you will even be able to find wasabi flavoured ice cream – now that is something I would like to try!

For a long time it was thought that fresh wasabi could only be harvested in certain ‘climatic’ hot spots of Japan, like in the cool flowing spring river waters of the forested Amagi mountain area in Shizuoka-ken just south of Mt. Fuji. However, through the development of cultivation techniques, and of course many years of hard work, wasabi japonica can now be found growing in the UK.

Understandably passionate and adventurous, the UK based enterprise The Wasabi Company started trialling the ‘hard-to-source’ and characteristically temperamental root about 4 years ago on a secret farm in the South West of England. Since it takes wasabi japonica about 2 years before reaching full maturity, only recently has The Wasabi Company been able to harvest its first yield of fully developed specimen.

So if you find yourself pining for the sweet, slightly fiery, and uniquely aromatic flavour of fresh wasabi, you now know where to go; straight to The Wasabi Company’s secret farm, or to their conveniently ‘not so secret’ online store that can be found at,

Your Sushi dips into Kikkoman


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“Kikkoman Soy Sauce and sushi are obviously an essential combination, and with quality being key to both brands, it was a natural for us to link alongside Your Sushi. The chefs are highly trained and very passionate about this authentic Japanese delicacy, and we are pleased to be giving their customers samples of the best soy sauce for them to recreate the dishes at home. As well as Japanese cuisine, Kikkoman Soy Sauce is the perfect all-purpose seasoning for everyday cooking too.”

Bing-Yu Lee, manager of Kikkoman Trading Europe’s UK


Kikkoman, the leading manufacturer of Japanese naturally brewed soy sauce, has joined forces with Your Sushi as a sponsor of their sushi-making classes.

Your Sushi was set up in Bristol by chef Manu Letellier with the mission to make sushi affordable, fun and tasty at home as it is in a restaurant with an emphasis on the very best quality. Four years later, Your Sushi boasts a team of qualified sushi chefs with classes held across the UK for corporate events, sushi hen nights and also professional chefs.

As part of the sponsorship, Kikkoman will be recommended and used in all workshops as a dipping sauce and marinade, and 10ml sachets will be handed out to participants to take away to use at home.

Kikkoman and Your Sushi are jointly promoting the partnership through social media, with competitions to win places on workshops. There will also be a further section on new chef’s section with sushi-making videos, tips and recipes.

For more information visit or

You can now Eat raw Salmon…SAFELY!!! Fishmongers…read on!!!


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Farmed Scottish Salmon for Sashimi and Sushi – No more freezing!

Great news!  Farmed salmon produced in the UK no longer has to be frozen before we eat it as Sashimi and Sushi.  Why?  Because the EU recognised that the risk of parasites in Atlantic salmon farmed in the UK is negligible. (Atlantic salmon is what we usually see in fishmongers.)  After all, freezing was all to do with killing off potential parasites.  It’s officialised in the amendments to Regulation (EC) No 853/2004, introduced in late 2011.

Steve Hardie of the Food Standards Agency in Scotland says “The previous EU freezing rules for fish intended to be eaten raw did not recognise the different risks associated with parasites in wild and farmed fish.  But we now have a specific freezing exemption for farmed fish that can be applied when certain criteria related to diet and production methods are met.”


So how did this change come about?

The EU regulations introduced back in 2006 required that fish for Sashimi and Sushi, i.e., fish to be consumed raw or nearly raw, must be frozen for more than 24 hours at certain temperatures.  This was to protect us from getting ill by eating the parasites that may come in with fish.  The parasite in the spotlight in this case is Anisakis.

In Japan, the home of Sashimi and Sushi, it is left to the experienced eyes of Sushi chefs to check and select parasite free fish.  In Europe, there aren’t enough experienced Sushi chefs around so one can understand the EU trying to protect the public.

But the Scottish salmon producers were confident that their farmed salmon wouldn’t have parasites because the feed given was controlled and sea pens where salmon are raised were maintained in such a way that the parasite risk was extremely low.

The problem with freezing is that unless it is done properly, the quality of the fish is undermined and this means the farmed Scottish salmon could lose out their share of Sashimi and Sushi market.

So the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation carried out a joint study with the Food Standard Agency Scotland to look at the risks from parasites in farmed salmon.  The outcome of the study was published in 2007 and concluded that the risks were minimal. 

Steve continues “The study was included in a wider EU review of parasites in fishery products carried out by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which confirmed the Scottish findings and led to the introduction of the EU freezing exemption for farmed fish in 2011”.

Jamie Smith of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation says “All farmed Scottish salmon have the seal of approval that you can safely eat it raw without freezing.”   Jamie was the technical advisor to the study project looking into the parasite risks in farmed Scottish salmon.  “All salmon farmers in Scotland are directly or indirectly the members of the Organisation.  They abide by out Code of Practice for Finfish Aquaculture which ensures that they all follow certain methods of raising salmon which in return assures the parasite risk is kept negligible.  They all follow the standard procedures, which mean that any risks are kept to an absolute minimum.”

So, it’s now down to traceability.  If your fishmonger can prove that the salmon you are buying is from one of the Scottish salmon farmers, then you are perfectly fine to eat it raw, Sashimi or Sushi. 

What about farmed salmon from other parts of the UK?  Rest assured, as long as they come from a farm whose farming method meets the exemption criteria, their salmon is also OK as Sashimi and Sushi.  Of course, it applies to all farmed salmon producers in the EU, too.

 It took nearly 5 years of hard work by those salmon producers of Scotland and the Food Standard Agency, plus other UK officials, to get the amendment in place.  They really deserve a huge pat on their shoulders.  Why don’t we show them our gratitude by making and enjoying yet another piece of sushi with that gorgeous farmed Scottish salmon, maybe with a glass of bubbly?


Head Chef at


Temari Sushi – Little balls of heaven!

Temari Sushi

Stylish, vegetarian, with meats, fish or fruits…these Sushi are amazing in terms of display.

Very easy to do, these little balls of rice can be made in two different ways by adults and Kids too!

The easiest was is to cut a piece of cling film, then add a suare of Ham/smoked salmon / Mango…whatever  ingredient you fancy…just add some rice, wrap and twist…Voila!!!!

You can shape a smallish hole with your thum beneath it and then decorate as you wish.

Here we have Oak Smoked Salmon, Wasabe flavors Flying fish roes and Tobiko with some trickles of QP mayo…

These were done last week at the chef training in London by an entrepreneur opening a sushi restaurant and wanting to see how it all works…not bad for a first timer!




Another great Sushi Team Building Testimonial!

Another great Sushi Team Building  Testimonial!

“Dear Kiyoko

Thank you for providing a fantastic event for us yesterday. I have had so much positive feedback about how much everyone enjoyed themselves and how innovative and original sushi making as an event was.

I was delighted with how the event worked  your instruction was great and easy to follow, good range of ingredients something for all tastes and of course the sushi was delicious (even though we made it ourselves!).

This made a real departure from the standard drinks and nibbles events and certainly will be memorable for both asb law and Reeves as we seek to grow our relationships.

I’ll be recommending you unreservedly

kind regards

Claire Williams

For and on behalf of asb law LLP”


More Info:


Professional Sushi Chef Training Video


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Take a look at our Professional Sushi Chef Training Video and join us to learn the Sushi skills you need!
Come to London & Bristol or we’ll come to you!

£850 for 2 days training, come and join us next monday and tuesday in London…2 seats left!

ALL info here:

Designer Nori now available…laser cut…taking Sushi to a new high!

Designer Nori Futomaki rolls

The Designer Nori range has finally arrived into the Sushi World…taking Sushi to another level!

For now they are still a work of art from a laser beam developed by an ad agency  for a seaweed shop, ‘design nori’ is a series of laser-cut seaweed .The project was commissioned to respark the sale of nori following the tsunami in japan of 2011.
Because of the precision required in the cutting process, the seaweed itself is a thicker variety…but rolling these into Futomaki will require good rolling and above all, good cutting skills!!! Will they look as nice once sliced? I think they are ideal for the Australian style of Futomaki, where they actually eat a half roll alone…they dont bother with the slicing…eheh!

I can imagine that in a couple of years, we will be ready to have these custom made…mmm…maybe a new business venture here!

At present they retail in Japan and at an art exhibition for around $10 each…Aouch!

Only negative point for me…Nori is actually awsome for health benefits and removing a good chunk of it …kind of removes some of the Sushi health benefits too…

Enjoy the classy Sushi making!


The line of ‘design nori’ is currently in production

Umino Seaweed design nori asanoha

Umino Seaweed design nori kumikkou

Marinade for Salmon from Chef Kiyoko


Thanks to the hard working salmon farmers in Scotland, we have plenty fresh salmon available all year round.  So that’s the main fish I use for the workshops.

To have a bit of variety, I often make marinated raw salmon.  A lot of people ask me how I make the marinade so here it is.

Well, it is very simple and requires just 3 ingredients.

Soy sauce (Here, I used Kikkoman.  I would stick to Japanese soy sauce for flavour)

Ground fresh root ginger (With the skin on or without?  It’s up to you.  I usually remove the skin.)

On the left is my trusted Microplane grater.  On the left is a traditional Japanese ceramic grater dish.  It is a small sauce dish with very sharply ragged surface in one area, which is used for grating.  So it’s a grater and serving dish in one.  Very handy.

Sugar  (Mirin, sweet Japanese sake, is more authentic but sugar would do the job just as well!)

Quantity is roughly:-

For 200g ish of Salmon  (it can be a nice large piece or off cuts!)

4 tbspn          Soy Sauce

1 tspn             Sugar

2cm or thereabout length of fresh root ginger – ground

Combine them and stir well to dissolve the sugar.

To marinate:

I use sealable food bags.  Put everything in the bag and try to squeeze out as much air as possible when you seal the top.  This way, a small amount of marinade can get to every part of salmon.   Then keep it in the fridge for 30 min. to a few hours.   If you marinate longer than that, the salmon starts to loose its texture.  But you might enjoy it that way!  So experiment to find just the right duration for your pallet.

Can’t finish it?  

Just grill, pan fry or microwave it only to just cook through.  It’s really good on a piece of thick slice toast.  If you put it on a bowl of steaming hot plain rice and let the juice run down the glistening whiteness of the rice, you have just created a snack meal that any Japanese would jump at.



Super Yacht…Super Sushi!


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Justin is a young and very successful private chef.

He works on one of the top biggest private boat on this planet and has to impress guests everyday! Everything is about healthy food for him and he wanted to learn a lot…and he did very quickly!

He flew from Italy where the boat was  and into London for the 2 days intensive training of Sushi making.  Because each training has usually 2 students to one chef, everyone can really foccuss on what they need to learn and even a beginer will learn a lot in no time. Justin wanted to concentrate on high end Sushi as well as fusion sushi top please the eyes as well as the palate. He was very skilled at fish handling…you would expect that from a chef living on a boat i guess!

Scallops to be opened, cleaned and sliced for Nigiri

Scallops Nigiri Sushi by Justin .

Fusion Sushi by Justin on Day 2

Justin a Super Yacht Sushi Chef!

‘ Manu, Wei and James were a great team, passing on there years of experience and enthusiasm. I’m a professional chef who caters to high end clients on private yachts. I learnt how to make best quality Sushi and Sashimi and the best techniques of traditional and fusion. I will never look at Sushi the same way again.”