Making sushi rice
Su-meshi (vinegared rice) is the base for all kinds of sushi and it is essential to correctly cook the rice. This involves cooking sushi rice with Konbu, adding Japanese rice vinegar, sugar and salt, and then cooling.
Rice tastes best when freshly harvested. Although it keeps for a long time it is better to eat it as soon as possible. Store in an airy, cool place away from direct sun.
Preparing dried shiitake mushrooms
Dried shiitake must be soaked in tepid water for about two to three hours or overnight. If you’re short of time, soak them in warm water with a pinch of sugar for 30-45 minutes. However, it’s said that cold water best brings out the flavour of shiitake mushrooms.
Dried wakame must be softened before use. If using a whole wakame with its stem intact, soak it in tepid water for about 15-20 minutes. If using instant wakame, soak in plenty of water for about five minutes. Drain and pour boiling water over it, then immediately plunge into cold water to preserve the green colour. Some types of dried wakame can be added directly to soups.
What to look for in fresh fish
Seek out fish that have firm flesh, clear bulging eyes – a sign that the last time they had contact with the water was when they were swimming in it (by dry-filleting fish you avoid bloating and any taint from chemicals such as chlorine).