Shime saba zushi
Surprisingly very easy, just takes some time and love
Written by Doobydobap
Many people have a preconception that mackerel is not fit to eat as sushi! Through the salting and pickling process, there is very little to no chance of any pathogens living on the fish. However, make sure to get fresh fish from your local fishmonger!
- 1 cup kosher salt (or enough to cover the fish)
- 2 mackerel fillets
- ½ cup rice wine vinegar (or enough to submerge the fish)
- ½ cup distilled white vinegar (or enough to submerge the fish)
- ½ cup kombu dashi stock
- 1 cup short-grain sushi rice (I used rice from Toyama province)
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup kombu dashi stock
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
** Microwave or heat up to dissolve the sugar
Pickling the mackerel
- Cover the mackerel fillets with salt in a cool shaded place in your kitchen. This process helps draw out the moisture from the fish and helps the meat firm up.
- After 1 hour, rinse the fish in cold water. Dab off any excess moisture with a tea towel.
- Mix the vinegar and dashi stock together. Gently drop the fish fillets into the vinegar mixture. During the warmer months, make sure to put it in the fridge to ensure the mixture is cold. This process essentially “cooks” the fish fillets. You’ll see the meat turn slightly opaque after 1-1.5 hours.
- Dab off any excess moisture on the fillets.
- Gently peel off the translucent film on the skin of the mackerel with your hands.
- Using a pair of tweezers, pull out the bones in the spine of the mackerel. Use your fingers to feel for any abrasiveness. Gently pull out the bones by pulling it in against the direction it’s facing.
Full Proof Sushi Rice
- Clean the rice under cold running water and rub the granules against each other. Repeat the process another 7-8 times or until the water is not opaque.
- Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes.
- Drain the rice and add the kombu dashi stock and water into a clay pot.
- Place the kombu on top of the rice.
- Cover the lid and heat on high.
- Gently open the lid to peek if the rice is simmering. When it is, close the lid and drop the heat to the lowest setting.
- Cook the rice for 10 minutes.
- Once the rice has absorbed most of the moisture, turn the stove off and let it steam with the residual heat for another 10 minutes.
- Take the rice out in a large bowl and let some of the excess steam evaporate.
- Pour the sushi vinegar over the rice and gently combine to make sure each granule is evenly coated.
Pro tip: if the vinegar mixture isn’t cold, when you’re peeling the translucent skin of the mackerel, the vinegar will dissolve the skin and take off the shiny beautiful skin on the mackerel.
Assembling your zushi
- Optional, but cut the ends of the mackerel to have a rectangular fillet.
- Slice the mackerel at a 45 degree angle from the center on each side to create “flaps”.
- Fill the middle of the mackerel with pickled ginger and wasabi.
- Form an oblong rice log to fill the mackerel.
- Using a sushi roll (even better is just cling film!), gently roll the saba zushi and form into your desired shape.
- Cut the saba zushi into 2cm / 1 inch thickness.
- Enjoy 🙂
Hi, I’m Tina aka Doobydobap!
Food is my medium to tell stories and connect with people who share the same passion. My recipes are a culmination of my experiences. I hope you enjoy recreating them at home, and if you do, make sure to tag me on Instagram!
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