Because of the big operation I used to see at grandmother's kitchen, I had long thought making this sushi would be too much work. But when I finally made a satisfactory one, it was surprisingly easy -- why couldn't I make this before?
As with masuzushi pressed salmon sushi, making this -- especially mackerel prep and pressing after assembly -- takes a bit of time. It tastes better the next day, too, so plan ahead.
Whole recipe: 1,212 calories; 32.9 g protein; 28.9 g fat; 187.9 g carbohydrate; 185.4 g net carbs; 443 mg sodium (with shiokoji salted rice malt for sushi rice); 69 mg cholesterol; 2.5 g fiber
1/9 cut: 135 calories; 3.7 g protein; 3.2 g fat; 20.9 g carbohydrate; 20.6 g net carbs; 49 mg sodium (with shiokoji salted rice malt for sushi rice); 69 mg cholesterol; 2.5 g fiber
Sumeshi sushi rice made with 1.5 cups (270 cc) rice (more vinegar is used; see Notes)
1/3-1/4 of grilled saba mackerel; salted, desalinated, grilled, and broken up (80 g)
Pinch salt (to mix in mackerel, as necessary; not in photo)
7-8 kinome sansho leaves
2 sheets of nori seaweed; cut to fit mold
Prepare saba mackerel.
On the day of purchase, salt mackerel (1% by weight; see Notes) after removing head and guts (or filleting).
Before grilling, desalinate in 250 cc water, 2 tbsp sake and 1-2 tsp mirin for 1-2 hours (see desalination of shiozake salted salmon).
The recipe uses 80 g of broken-up grilled mackerel.
Save the rest for other use.
When mackerel preparation is almost done (ready to grill), start preparing sumeshi sushi rice.
Line mold with plastic film (for easier removal; not needed if using wooden mold with removable top and bottom), and place nori with shiny side out and rough side facing up/inside.
Put mackerel, then sansho leaves.
Put remaining half of sumeshi, and press with spatula.
Place plastic film (not needed if using wooden mold), and cover.
Wait 5+ hours to overnight.
- Make sure to grill mackerel on wire rack or griddle to get rid of excess oil or fat. If neither is available, pat off all excess oil on surface with paper towel after grilling.
- Sumeshi sushi rice needs to be warm when assembling.
- When rice surface is completely covered with mackerel, finished sushi tends to crumble when cut or eaten.
- I used mackerel weighing 510 g (without head and guts but including bones and skin; 380 g fillets). I sprinkled 3 g salt on the surface, refrigerated it overnight, filleted, sprinkled 0.3 g salt on flesh side, let sit for 30 minutes, desalinated for two and a half hours, then grilled. Mackerel did not have clear saltiness, because of having been desalinated a bit too long, and I sprinkled 0.1 g salt on 80 g of broken-up mackerel and mixed it in before assembly with sumeshi sushi rice.
- For sushizu sushi rice vinegar, use 2 tsp more rice vinegar than the usual recipe (use 3 tbsp & 2 tsp [instead of 3 tbsp] rice vinegar, 2 tsp sugar, and 1 tsp shiokoji for 1.5 cups/270 cc of rice); otherwise, the sushi rice would taste bland at the end. More vinegar also helps to counter the lingering greasy taste of mackerel.
- Typically, this sushi is cut into palm-size rectangles.
- Leftover pieces can be grilled -- my favorite way of eating them in cold seasons.