Kumamoto oyster nigiri, sudachi, chives

Adapted by StarChefs.com
March 2019
Yield: 45 nigiri
"Rice is the most important part of the sushi. It is the most technical aspect, and good rice is what makes the difference between between good sushi and great sushi. Alternatively, bad or cold rice does the fish a great injustice." - Jesse Ito

INGREDIENTS:

Nikiri Shoyu:
300 milliliters light soy sauce
30 milliliters mirin
120 milliliters sake
1 dried Shiitake mushroom
Sushi Rice:
2 cups short grain rice
1.6 ounces rice vinegar
13 grams salt
31 grams sugar
To Assemble and Serve:
45 Kumamoto oysters shucked, rinsed, and held on paper towels
1 bunch chives, finely chopped
Fresh wasabi
1 sudachi lime, halved

METHOD:

For the Nikiri Shoyu

In a small pot, cook the alcohol out of the sake. In a nonreactive container, combine sake with remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove mushroom the following day.

For the Sushi Rice

In a bowl, wash rice thrice in cold water, stirring with your hands for about 1 minute each washing. Between each wash, strain rice. Do not stir too hard, especially on the third wash, or you will break the grains and release starch, which will result in very sticky rice. In the strainer, set washed rice aside for 5 minutes to drain. Presoak rice and fire up a gas-powered rice cooker. Add rice to cooker with appropriate amount of water. While rice is cooking, in a bowl, combine vinegar, salt, and sugar, stirring until the solids dissolve. When rice is cooked, immediately transfer to a large bowl. Use a rice paddle to pour the vinegar mixture over the hot rice. It should look like you are making it rain on the rice. After all the vinegar mixture has been added, use the paddle to mix the rice so that every grain is coated with vinegar. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool. Turn rice and set aside for 5 to10 minutes more. The rice is ready for work.

To Assemble and Serve

“Nigiri” literally refers to the gripping and molding of the seafood onto the rice. For setup, make sure you have a bowl of water for your hands and a dry towel. Dip your dominant hand into the water and wipe some of the water off with the towel (your hand should be wet, but not dripping). Grab a ball of rice and begin forming it in your hand. Do not squeeze too tightly, as that will create a gummy texture. Lay the rice ball on a cutting board. Apply wasabi. Now take the oyster and place it on top of the rice ball. Using a brush, dress the oyster with a light amount of Nikiri Shoyu. Squeeze a couple drops of sudachi on the oyster. Garnish with chives. It’s ready to eat.