October 27, 2010

Temaki 101

Photo Blog Amy Rosen Sushi Japanese Temaki Vegetables

The next wave of communal dining has hit Toronto’s Drake Hotel like a fun, family-style tsunami. Large platters of food are set down to share, along with crisp nori (seaweed) sheets and sundry sauces for making your own hand rolls. From the fresh sashimi slices to the panko-fried shrimp and more (and more and even more), here are some temaki tips:

Photo Blog Amy Rosen Sushi Japanese Temaki Vegetables

1. It’s all about sharing, creating unique flavours with each roll, and bringing out your inner sushi chef.

2. While temaki is very popular at Japanese house parties and picnics, the concept is just popping up at the commercial level in this country. Served à la carte in virtually every Japanese restaurant in Canada, the make-your-own variety is new. Think of it as a modern take on Taco Tuesdays.

3. The Drake uses the choicest fish (in both raw and cooked forms), seasonal raw veggies, and even lobster on their pretty platters, but just about any food can be added to give temaki your own unique spin.

4. Use the highest grade nori for the wrappers. Delicately seasoned sushi rice is also a must for that perfect balance of sweetness, tanginess and texture.

5. Like they do it at The Drake, serve your temaki with at least three sauces: savoury (such as soy), spicy (wasabi mayo), and sweet (mirin-based or sweet mustard).

Photo Blog Amy Rosen Sushi Japanese Temaki Vegetables

At The Drake the temaki is meant to serve two to three people or be shared as an appetizer for groups. But if they had let me have my way, I would have eaten the whole damn thing by myself.

Click here for more Japanese recipes, including a Hot & Sour Soup, Sushi Rice Salad and Edamame Salad.

Photo credits:
1-3. Connie Tsang for The Drake Hotel