January 2008

Oshibori and Yubihuki 

When you sit down at Maeda Sushi Restaurant, a server will hand you an oshibori, a moist, warm towel for your refreshment, and sanitizing.  If you are at Maeda’s sushi bar, and like to eat nigiri sushi with your hands, then our server will provide you a yubihuki.  Please use this small sarashi cloth inside the ceramic container to clean your fingertips in between the bites – just pinch the towel and rub without pulling it out of the holder.  The green holder is made by Tatsuko Kishida like many of our other ceramic potteries and tablewares, which should be a subject for future posts.  By the way, eating nigiri sushi with your hand is encouraged at Maeda Sushi.  Maeda communicates with the customers through his sushi…wouldn’t you think handling sushi would bring you closer?

Maeda Special Sushi

Ten pieces of sushi and a Tuna Roll…

Depending on seasonal availability, it usually consists of:

Fatty or Medium Fatty Tuna, two pieces of Tuna, two kinds of white fish, one Yellowtail, one clam, one Eel, one Sea Urchin or Salmon Roe sushi, Egg sashimi, and one Tuna Roll.

Nine pieces of sushi and a Tuna Roll…

Depending on seasonal availability, it usually consists of:

Fatty of Medium Fatty Tuna, two kinds of white fish, one Tuna, one Egg, one Salmon Roe, one Shrimp, one Yellowtail, one Salmon sushi, and one Tuna Roll.

Chu-Toro - Meium Fatty Tuna 

ChuToro is the moderately fat meat of a tuna.  A blue fin tuna yields Akami (red meat), Chu-Toro, and OhToro (pink meat with a large fat content), and chu-toro is usually found near the skin on the back and belly.  Many connoisseurs prefer chu-toro because it combines the lighter but deep, slightly bitter flavor of an akami with the sweet tenderness of an oh-toro.  Sometimes you will find a cut of chu-toro with a gradation of red from the deep red to pink (lean to fatty). 

“Many think the oh-toro from belly of a tuna is the best, but I love the chu-toro from near the back of the body.  It has great flavor and not stringy at all, just smooth.”  Chef Maeda

Fluke - hirame

The Japanese refers to all flat fish with eyes on the left side of the head as hirame, which is called fluke in the U.S.  The best fluke for sushi is the kind called turbot, which is caught in Europe from the Black Sea to the Mediteranean Sea, and up the Atlantic Coast here in North America.  Probably the most popular white fish along with red snapper, fluke is available year round but best in fall and winter.  Refreshing, light, and subtly sweet, fluke sushi usually starts an omakase (chef’s choice) sushi at the bar.

“I like to use the fluke that comes up in the Long Island Sound, more than the Atlantic ones that come up around Boston.  It has the fine, sensitive texture and flavor I prefer.”  Chef Maeda