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  • - I'm Taka Sakaeda,

  • sushi chef and owner of Nami Nori restaurants.

  • I'll be answeing your questions from Twitter.

  • This is Sushi Support.

  • [drumbeat plays]

  • QueensCustodian asks:

  • "I know this seems like a stupid question,

  • but can I just buy sushi-grade fish from the market

  • and cut it up and that's sashimi?"

  • Simple answer, yes.

  • Sashimi is raw fish sliced for consumption.

  • So the only questions coming into mind are

  • what is sushi-grade?

  • Generally, in the American markets,

  • sushi-grade is referring to any fish

  • that has been treated in a way to prevent bacterial growth.

  • Generally when we are talking about

  • sushi-grade fish in Japan,

  • oftentimes it needs to be wild fish, needs to be line cot.

  • There's a process called ikijime.

  • It is a technique used to kill the fish instantly,

  • and then to remove the nerves from the spinal cord

  • to reduce the amount of lactic acid

  • that is released into the fish.

  • GJ Wellingtonhurst asks: "Interactive tweet.

  • Please reply to this with a description

  • of your ideal sushi roll."

  • So my ideal sushi roll actually is very simple.

  • I like what we call hosomaki. I can show you one right now.

  • Here, I have a makisu.

  • Makisu is the bamboo mat designed for rolling sushi.

  • Seaweed actually has two sides,

  • the shiny side and rough side.

  • For this, we're gonna leave the rough side on the outside.

  • I'm gonna get the appropriate amount of rice here.

  • Basically make a little bed for my protein to sit inside,

  • and wasabi.

  • I'm gonna fill with tuna.

  • I'm gonna bring the back edge of the noi to the front

  • where the rice meets, to create one nice crease.

  • Roll over to make the final seal,

  • ans basically now my tuna roll is done.

  • Generally, hosomaki is cut into six pieces.

  • Very simple tuna inside, some nice wasabi, soy sauce.

  • That's heaven.

  • Uverneous asks; "How much wasabi is too much?"

  • Let's start with what is wasabi? Wasabi is a raison.

  • It is often growing on the sides of very freshwater streams.

  • All you need to do to produce wasabi

  • is take this wasabi root and grind it.

  • What's most commonly seen in the US markets

  • is some sort of derivative of horseradish

  • that has been colored with food coloring,

  • and maybe there's some other seasonings added.

  • Salt or sugar.

  • Unless you actually see a chef with the actual wasabi root,

  • you're most likely having horseradish,

  • and the reason why fresh wasabi

  • isn't used in all restaurants is that it is very expensive.

  • If you're using enough to overpower the flavor of the fish,

  • and you're just using it to mask everything,

  • I would say that's too much.

  • Oksese asks: "How many of you have had sushi?

  • Are there different types? Is it good?

  • Does it taste somewhat like chicken or salmon?

  • Tell me.

  • Does it ever taste like chicken? No.

  • I will say there's no sushi out there

  • that should taste like chicken.

  • As far as different types,

  • I do have a platter here of different types of sushi.

  • Here we have tekka maki, my favorite roll.

  • Next to that is called gunkan,

  • the rice underneath that's wrapped with seaweed.

  • That's topped with ikura.

  • From there is two pieces of akami nigiri sushi,

  • and then here is sashimi, two slices is akami there,

  • and this is kind of not a traditional futomaki,

  • but in the style of.

  • There's salmon, yellowtail,

  • tuna and some cucumbers in there,

  • and a salmon roll with toriko called uramaki,

  • where the rice is on the outside,

  • and this also is another way that we can incorporate

  • more ingredients into a roll,

  • so that we can have more creativity,

  • or different types of things inside of a roll.

  • Honey504 asks: "For sushi eaters, what is eel sauce?

  • My son said blood, and all of a sudden, I'm not well."

  • [laughs]

  • Okay, I think that your son needs to show you some respect

  • and stop lying to you. [laughs]

  • Eel sauce is not blood.

  • Real eel sauce is made from roasting the bones from the eel,

  • creating a stock, basically an eel stock,

  • and adding that with soy sauce, sometimes mirin,

  • some type of sugar.

  • Steeping that in the bones to create eel sauce.

  • SushipopUS asks:

  • "What's the strangest ingredient

  • you've had in a sushi roll?"

  • For me, it's not personally strange,

  • but maybe people might find it to be strange.

  • There's a fish called fugu, the pufferfish,

  • and in the wild, they eat certain shellfish,

  • and it creates a poison in their body,

  • and this is one of the most poisonous fish in the ocean.

  • If you take that same fish and farm raise it,

  • not allow that fish to have certain shellfish,

  • there's no poison created in the fish.

  • So now you're able to eat the entire fish.

  • From one of these farm raised fugu,

  • one of the best parts is actually the liver.

  • Fugu liver in a roll with shifo leaf and some umi paste

  • is one of my favorite rolls.

  • Abahndons asked: "Why is sushi so expensive?

  • It's five grains of rice and like a gram of fish. Wtf?"

  • Fish tends to be expensive,

  • especially high grade, very fresh fish.

  • Grading is dependent on obviously taste, texture,

  • fat content, but also color grading.

  • From yellowfin, $18 a pound up to $70 a pound,

  • depending on different cuts of that fish.

  • The most prized fish are generally lion cod.

  • That causes the least amount of damage to the fish.

  • If the boat has refrigeration,

  • that might increase the cost to the fisherman,

  • and on top of that,

  • there's a lot of waste that goes into fish.

  • A lot of the fish is not edible for sushi.

  • Colettisusan asks:

  • "Why do sushi chefs wear bandanas when making sushi?

  • I never thought of that as a tough workout."

  • Being a sushi chef is tough work.

  • I think that what you see as a guest is literally 10%

  • of what the work a sushi chef does.

  • 90% is the prep, and there are large fish,

  • including bluefin.

  • Sometimes, whole fish can be 800 pounds,

  • so if you're carrying a quarter of it,

  • you need several people to carry that around.

  • Running around all day long.

  • This is generally a job that's 12 hours

  • on their feet minimum.

  • 96dyn asked: "When did sushi start having avocados in it?

  • Can avocados even be grown in Japan?"

  • Sushi, avocados I think was American advent.

  • This was some time in the 80s, or early 90s,

  • when the California became popular.

  • That abbreviation for California being CA

  • is crab and avocado.

  • I think that's the original reason why the name

  • California roll came to be.

  • Does it grow in Japan?

  • I haven't seen many avocado trees in Japan.

  • Maybe there's someone growing an avocado tree

  • somewhere in Japan,

  • but this is not common food for Japanese people.

  • Rehitucom asked:

  • "In Japan, it takes up to 20 years of school

  • to become a sushi chef,

  • which is years longer than it takes to become a doctor.

  • Is this true?"

  • I think that three to five years,

  • you should have a pretty good understanding

  • if you're really dedicated and really studying hard

  • and working hard at it.

  • There's been a lot of lore surrounding sushi chefs,

  • and to be honest,

  • I think the most simple answer is that

  • if you're a sushi chef and you want to call yourself that,

  • you're always studying.

  • You're always learning.

  • So 20 years is really a short time to become a sushi chef.