Available with either Tosazu vinegar or Chef Maeda's Sour Plum Sauce...pictured with no sauce here.

Available with either Tosazu vinegar or Chef Maeda's Sour Plum Sauce...pictured with no sauce here.

 

Mackerel Pike Sunomono – $10

 

As we get closer to fall, mackerel pikes (SANMA in Japanese) in northern Japan Sea fatten up, providing us one of the most beloved seasonal flavors.  Here is Mackerel Pike Sunomono.  Chef Maeda uses these mackerel pikes marinated in sweet vinegar, rolls them up in sheets of daikon radish and shiso leaves with radish sprouts, cucumber, and pickled ginger to create a soothing harmony of flavors.  On a hot day, enjoy it with the vinegar marinade (special vinegar sauce called TOSAZU in Japanese).  Vinegar encourages your appetite, helps your digestion, and helps you fight the fatigue.  We also offer this with Chef Maeda’s original Sour Plum Sauce, which is pleasantly sweet and sour made from actual sour plums.  As we approach the fall season, look out for Chef Maeda to offer fresh mackerel pike sushi (instead of the marinated kind).

 

 

Horse Mackerel Sunomono – $10

 

This same appetizer can also be made with horse mackerel (AJI in Japanese), in season until mid to late fall, another good option to keep in your mind.  Currently with more fat content, it will have a softer vinegar flavor – available in both Tosazu vinegar and Sour Plum Sauce.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
100% shrimp shumai - carefully made piece by piece

100% shrimp shumai - carefully made piece by piece

Shumai is a Chinese dumpling adopted into Japanese diet.  They often are made with minced pork, and served as a part of dim sum.  We serve shrimp shumai at Maeda Sushi.  We grate the high quality tiger shrimps and carefully round into bite size balls.  Steaming, of course, is a very healthy way to cook (no oil used), but it also helps packing the flavor into the pieces, shumai comes out perfectly moist, juicy out of the steamer.  The shreded skin provides a unique texture.  We place five big pieces on our fallen leaf ceramic plate and serve with soy-Japanese mustard mix.  It started out as a special, but it has been so popular, it will be in the permanent menu very soon.

the must coveted seat in the house

the most coveted seat in the house

When a customer lets the chef choose the content of a sushi meal, we call it OMAKASE (oh-mah-kah-say).  When a master chef tends to a customer at the sushi bar and serves his sushi piece by piece, we call this practice TACHI (tah-chee).  An ultimate meal at a sushi restaurant is to have a seat at the sushi bar, ask for an OMAKASE meal and be served TACHI style.  If you like to have some sake, the chef will start with some appetizers to match your selection.  To give that kind of service, though, the chef must be familiar with the customer’s likes and dislikes, whether he/she tends to have a few drinks, size of appetite, etc.  So the customer hopefully have visited our sushi bar a few times before making a reservation to be served TACHI (a reservation is a must, as you can imagine).  Here is an example of Chef Maeda’s omakase course served tachi style to a Japanese customer and his associate, one late afternoon in June…as they both had to drive, they were not going to drink much.

 

 

 

*customers order Sapporo Beer

Tsukidashi (appetizer)  – Jellyfish with sesame marinade

*Chef asked the customer, “should I make sushi?” and customers nod, “please.”

* If it was a dinner and the customers were to have more drinks before sushi, then Chef might have started by asking, “should I cut a few sashimi?”  Customers may have answered, “Yes, your kampachi looks really good.  Can you cut kampachi and some others?  I’d also like your Ikura Oroshi.” 

*hot green tea is served

Fluke Fin & Red Snapper side by side

Yellowtail & Kampachi side by side

Two pieces of Medium Fatty Tuna

Horse Mackerel

Sardine

Mackerel

Sea Urchin

*Clam Miso Soup is served

Salmon Roe

Abalone

Syako (Mantis Shrimp)

Sea Eel

Egg (sashimi)

*Chef asks, “Should I roll something?”  Customers, “No thank you, it was just right.”

*Agari green tea is served

We feel these customers left very satisfied after enjoying the wide variety of flavors, textures, the different shapes and colors, and of course, conversing with Chef Maeda.  Chef cannot serve everyone this way.  He has to get to know you first.  After all, this is the ultimate experience every sushi connoisseur covets.

An example of the Deluxe Chirashi at Maeda Sushi Restaurant

*pictured – Deluxe Chirashi

 

Chirashi is a very popular style of sushi in Japan. 

ちらし (chee-rahsh-ee) means “scattered” or “spread” in Japanese and the slices of fish and other ingredients are literally spread atop a bowl of sushi rice.  It is popular during lunch time for the busy Japanese businessmen as it is quicker to consume than having the chef make sushi piece by piece.  But some innovative chefs have made chirashi more than just a “lunch special,” and Maeda is one of them.

 

Maeda’s chirashi is accentuated by the marinated salmon roe which he gives a generous potion to every bowl.  The gentle soy sauce-salmon roe flavor sinks into the whole bowl to give it the signature taste.  Of course, the other ingredients are of the highest quality and in abundance (more piled than spread).  The colorful Chirashi features fore mentioned marinated salmon roe, tuna, white fish in season, shrimp, salmon, egg, kamaboko-fishcake, etc.  Add sea urchin, eel, fatty tuna to Deluxe Chirashi.  Ask for the “omakase” chirashi to have Maeda freely create a chirashi with the day’s best ingredients probably including his hikarimono.  He calls his Omakase Chirashi, “a bottomless bowl of fish.”  It is chirashi supreme, an ultimate.  Chef Maeda applies some final touches to his Deluxe ChirashiAnother common thread besides the salmon roe in all chirashi is the shiitake mushroom and baby bamboo shoot.  They are braised in classic Japanese broth and full of smoky, sweet flavor.  We hope that you find the little brown pieces hidden beneath all the colorful fish to be a pleasant surprise.

 

“After working on it for 30 years, I settled on the current style of chirashi back in 1997, and haven’t changed much since.  I wanted the right balance between different fish, between fish and sushi rice, and among all the colors.”  Chef Maeda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Hartford Courant review of Maeda Sushi Restaurant 

A wonderful review of Maeda Sushi Restaurant is published inside the “Flavor” section of the Hartford Courant.  We like to thank Mr. Greg Morago of the Courant.  Please pick up a copy of the paper, or click here.  Or, just click on the picture of the actual newspaper to read.

Marc Yves

pictured: Hartford Courant photographer Marc Yves and Maeda

We have an exciting announcement. The Hartford Courant will have a full review on Maeda Sushi Restaurant inside Thursday’s “Flavor” section. Mr. Greg Morago, Courant’s food writer, had come to experience Maeda Sushi Restaurant (we were told after the fact) and his review will be published along with Mr. Yves’ photographs on this Thursday, the 20th. Please pick up the paper on Thursday.

Sea Eel, anago

 

As in the freshwater variation, sea eel is a cooked ingredient of sushi.  Called anago in Japanese, its characters mean “hole-child,” as they hide in nooks and holes in the sand during the day, coming out only at night to feed.  The freshwater cousin is better known in the United States, but the sea eel is the eel preferred by sushi houses in Japan.  Sea eel is a cooked ingredient of sushi and the all important sauce, called tsume, is also made by the chef – making it a great showcase of the chef’s taste preference and skills.

 

Maeda’s sea eel is poached so softly, it breaks down immediately once in your mouth.  The texture is very fine, much finer than that of the freshwater eel.  The sweet fat is lighter and gentler.   Tsume, the sauce, is made from the broth which the sea eel was poached.  To the broth, soy sauce, mirin, and some sugar among other things are added, and the simmering for a long period thickens the broth into a tsume.  After making the sushi in his hands, Maeda would brush the tsume on the sea eel just before serving it to you.  The sweet and sour aroma of tsume teases you as you bring the sushi to your mouth.  As the sea eel melts, it wraps around every grain of shari (sushi-rice), all seem to meet in a harmony of flavors, textures, and warmth.  It is also a great source of vitamin A.  Now available year-round, sea eel’s natural best season is spring and early summer.

 

“Anago has to melt in your mouth…but if it’s too soft, it will fall apart on the touch of chopstick or hand.  To make it just right, timing is very important during the poaching.  As in any living things, every sea eel is different, so I pay close attention and treat each of them differently.”  Maeda