Tekone-sushi (Mie-style hand-mixed sushi with soy-marinated fish)

Regional Specialties

Tekone-sushi is a traditional sushi from Mie prefecture, which is also famous for the expensive Matsusaka wagyu. The dish is said to have been created by a local fisherman in the region to satisfy him and his crewmen’s need for easy, quick and filling meals during their busy and tough work. The word “Tekone” means “mixed by hand” and this is derived from the fact that the fishermen hand-mixed the sushi rice; nowadays the use of Shamoji, a rice scoop, is much more common for food hygiene reasons. The most notable and unique features of the dish are that all the sashimi (raw fish slices) used for the sushi are marinated in a soy-based sauce which is somewhat on the sweet side, and furthermore, the sauce is mixed into the sushi rice, which never happens in other types of sushi. The harmony between the marinated fish and the slightly sweet sushi rice will definitely give you a new sushi experience!

-INGREDIENTS- (serves 4)
<Sushi rice>
300g Japanese rice (300g=2 rice-measuring cups)
3g dried Kombu
360ml water
4 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt

<Sashimi & Marinade>
400g Sashimi grade Bonito (Or Tuna, Salmon, Yellowtail, Sea bream)
100ml Soy sauce
100ml Mirin

<Garnishes>
1 egg (for Kinshi Tamago, shredded omelette)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
10 Shiso leaves, julienned
30g Gari (Pickled ginger slices), finely chopped
1/2 Nori sheet, julienned
4 pinches roasted white sesame seeds

METHOD
1. Prior to cooking, wet your sushi tub all the way around and fill it half-full with water. Add 1 Tbsp of rice vinegar and leave it to absorb the water-vinegar mixture. This will prevent rice from sticking as well as season and sanities the tub.

2. Rinse the rice and place it in a rice cooker. Add 2 rice-measuring cups of water and the Kombu, which has been gently wiped with a damp cloth or paper-towel to clean. If your rice cooker has water measuring lines for sushi rice, make sure to follow them. Press the start button.

3. To prepare the marinade, add the soy sauce and Mirin in a sauce pan and bring it to a boil on a high heat. Turn off the heat just before the bubbles overflow. Transfer the sauce into a bowl and place it in another bowl with ice and water. Stir the sauce to cool down quickly. Slice the sashimi-grade fish across the grains into 5mm thick slices. Place them in a tray and pour the marinade. If the sashimi are not submerged completely, place a paper towel on top, so that it will absorb the sauce and marinate the sashimi evenly. Let them marinate in the fridge for 20 minutes.

5. To prepare Kinshi Tamago, beat the egg very well. Spread the oil in a nonstick pan and heat on a medium heat. When the pan is hot, turn down the heat to the lowest and pour in the egg. Tilt the pan to evenly spread the egg like a crepe and cook until set. Pay attention not to brown the omelette. Prepare a damp cloth and place the pan on it to cool down. This will stop further cooking and makes the omelette easier to come off the pan. Flip over the omelette carefully and cook for 20 seconds on a low heat. Remove the omelette from the pan, once it’s cooled. Cut in half and place one piece over the other. Shred very thinly. Prepare other garnishes as mentioned in the list above.

6. To make sushi vinegar, add the sugar and salt into the vinegar and stir well to dissolve them completely.

7. Throw away the water in the sushi tub and wipe with a cloth. Remove the Kombu from the rice cooker and put the rice into the tub. Pour all the sushi vinegar over the rice. With a rice scoop, mix the rice and vinegar using a slicing motion until the vinegar is evenly distributed. Do not stir or mix too hard, otherwise the grains will be mashed up. Spread the rice evenly in the tub and cool down by fanning with a hand fan until the rice is shiny and slightly warm, which should take about 20 seconds or so.

8. To assemble the dish, add to the rice the pickled ginger, 1/2 of the Shiso julienne and 8 Tbsp of the marinade, and gently mix them together. Place a portion of rice on a plate and sprinkle 1/4 of the Kinshi-Tamago. Lay out the marinated sashimi beautifully on top of the Kinshi-Tamago. Garnish it with 1/4 of the remaining Shiso julienne, and then 1/4 of the Nori julienne. Finally sprinkle a pinch of the roasted white sesame seeds.

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