Hideki Hiwatashi's seared nigiri sushi recipe makes a wonderfully elegant seafood starter if you're looking for something a little different, with vibrant salmon roe and decadent caviar adding an extra touch of luxury to this classic Japanese dish. It's worth sourcing the highest quality fish you can for this dish, and avoid any seafood which has previously been frozen if using it for sashimi.
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Begin by preparing the sushi rice. Place the rice in a medium pan with a tightly fitting lid and rinse thoroughly with cold water 5 or 6 times. After the final rinse, refill the pan with water and leave the rice to soak for 20 minutes
150g of sushi rice
Carefully drain the soaked rice and pour over the measured water. Bring up to the boil, then cover the pan with the lid and reduce the heat until very low. Leave the rice to steam and simmer gently for 20 minutes
180ml of water
When the rice has nearly finished cooking prepare the sushi vinegar. Combine the vinegar, salt and sugar in a large bowl and place in a microwave for 10 seconds. One warmed through, stir well to combine
12ml of rice vinegar
3g of salt
7g of sugar
Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the cooked rice to the mixing bowl with the sushi vinegar. Mix together to combine, then set aside and leave to cool to room temperature
Meanwhile, prepare the fish. Thinly slice the salmon, tuna, eel and hamachi into even strips, each weighing 10–12g. Carefully peel the botan prawns and set aside until required
50g of salmon
50g of eel, freshwater (unagi)
50g of hamachi fillet
4 botan prawns
50g of tuna, preferably medium fatty tuna (chūtoro)
To assemble the sushi, weigh out 20 portions of sushi rice, each weighing 12g. Using the palm of your hands, shape the rice balls into even oblongs and place on a baking tray
Lay the fish pieces on top of the rice and sear with a blowtorch until lightly charred. Once seared, divide the nigiri evenly between serving dishes
To serve, top the tuna nigiri with 2g each of caviar and the salmon nigiri with 2g each of roe. Sprinkle a small pinch of sanshō over the eel, a little sudachi zest over the prawn and garnish the hamachi nigiri with sprigs of shiso cress. Place a little sushi ginger and wasabi on each plate and serve immediately
8g of caviar
8g of salmon roe
0.8g of sudachi, zest only
0.4g of sanshō
4 shiso cress leaves
4 tsp wasabi paste
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