One of the more coveted sushi

One of the more coveted sushi

This week, Chef Maeda introduces Abalone prepared Edo-mae (Tokyo Style), steamed in sake.  As a sashimi, fresh, raw abalone’s chewy texture with that distinctive flavor of the ocean is treasured.  But perhaps, as sushi, that chewiness prevents it from mixing with sushi rice quickly on palate.  When a good, fresh abalone is properly steamed in sake, it is no longer chewy, instead it becomes delicately tender, easily melting away and mixing and spreading with the sushi rice in the mouth.  Edo-mae sushi chefs take pride in giving their own touch to the fresh ingredients to bring out the best flavor, and this 4-hour steaming of abalone is one of the most intricate techniques that is passed on from a master chef to the disciple.  It may not always be available, so please do not miss out.

 

 

Californian abalone is steamed in sake

Californian abalone is steamed in sake

 

 

 

 

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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