Sunday, 18 January 2009

Meat sushi - "Mooshi"


I love sushi, however I know that some people shrink from Japanese cooking because of the unfamiliar ingredients and fear of raw fish! This post attempts to introduce people to the sushi experience using only foods that are familiar to them.


Here are the familiar ingredients. You will need:
  • potatoes
  • worcester sauce
  • parma ham
  • onions
  • streaky bacon
  • eggs
  • steak
  • horseradish sauce
  • milk
  • a knob of butter
Mooshi "Rice"

Sushi rice is a form of glutinous rice. In order to mimic the texture and consistency, it was decided that a good substitute would be onion mash.

Peel, chop and boil the potatoes for 20 minutes in lightly salted water.


Meanwhile, chop the onion finely and fry until golden.


When the potatoes have been boiled, drain, then mash the potato with some egg immediately so that the hot potato cooks the egg. Add the butter and a little milk too. Add the fried onions, season with a little salt and pepper and voila! Fried onion mash!


Mmm, fried onion mash. You'll notice that I've made it a little too liquidy by adding too much egg and milk. We shall see the consequences of this later - don't add too much egg and milk, kids! Let the mash cool for about 5 minutes.


Mooshi "Nori"

"Nori" is the Japanese term for seaweed. It is also used to describe the most popular kind of sushi - the Nori roll which is held together by a flat sheet of seaweed. We shall be emulating that here with two experimental methods!
  1. Parma Ham
  2. The Bacon Lattice
Parma ham is an easy substitution . . . The bacon lattice, however, must woven from strips of streaky bacon!


You will notice that I've not cooked the bacon to crispiness - it needs to still be bendy for making into a roll!

Contents

Cut up your tasty steak into strips


EXPERIMENT #1
- Parma Ham and Raw Steak

Lay out your parma ham in a sheet on your sushi rolling mat. Spoon a line of onion mash and lay the beef strips on top. Use a little horseradish sauce as a substitute for wasabi and spread it across the exposed areas of the parma ham.


Now comes the tricky part - roll up the parma ham into a sausage shape with the mash and meat in the middle!


EXPERIMENT #2 - Bacon Lattice and Cooked Beef

The procedure was carried out as in experiment 1, except with a bacon lattice and some cooked beef (for the whimps!)


Experiment #3 - Beef "Nigiri"

Another popular sushi format is Nigiri, where you sit a topping on a base of glutinous rice. Here is our beefy-mashy version!


Testing

The rolls were chilled in the fridge and then sliced into pieces and served with horseradish sauce and Worcester sauce (our substitute for soy).


Some eating and reactions:

Tom is tentative


Amy finds the raw steak a little chewy, and the Nigiri annoyingly impractical


Dom's just happy to be here!


Phil approves!

The Final Analysis

  • Appearance - [2/5]: Well, it's cool that it looks like sushi, but apart from that it's a bit minging really.
  • Smell - [3/5]: Mmm, fried things. What's there NOT to like about that smell?
  • Texture - [1/5]: The texture is the big thing which lets this down. The mash I made a little too liquidy and so the rest suffered as a consequence. Also, raw steak is incredibly hard to chew and so it impractical in large pieces, but worked fine in the smaller rolls.
  • Taste - [3/5]: The nigiri and parma ham versions were just a bit odd, however, the bacon lattice mooshi was delicious!
  • Adventure! - [4/5]: The ingredients may have been plain, but the spirit of adventure was clearly evident in this meal.
  • Overall - [3/5]: Meat sushi is a good thing! Maybe make it as an interesting buffet food for your fussy friends? The only thing I'd change is that I'd probably serve it hot, but maybe that's too far removed from the sushi experience?
I'd like to thank my patient housemates and Niall Oswald for photography and yet more patience!

26 comments:

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  2. Hey dudes, excellent work loving the experimentation. It in a similar style to my culinary blog, check out http://www.flavoursmash.com/ have a look at my experiements in creating healthy version of fast food favourites. My Diet KFC is legend. Nice one.

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  3. A few pieces of advice: use fillet steak. It's by far the most tender cut and eating raw beef is all about the texture. After all, raw beef doesn't really have a huge amount of flavour. Steak tartare gets all its flavour from the tangy ingredients that are put with it. Also, if you're going to use strips of beef (as opposed to cubed/minced), be careful which direction you slice it. You want the strips to be cut across the muscle fibres, rather than parallel to them.

    Other than that, acidic and tangy flavours go well with raw beef (as with raw fish). "Sushi" after all refers to the soured rice, not the fillings. Capers or pickled gherkins would be my preference. Mashed potato is also wrong for this dish: the creaminess of mash needs rich, strong flavours and raw beef is way too subtle.

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  4. From a brand-new meat-eater who always ate sushi: I don't think this will ease my fear of meat. But I admire the whole effort.

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  5. Dude, your housemate Amy is hot!

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  6. This is irresistibly new to me. I'm trying to make this tomorrow. I think I will try to shoot it, but I don't think it will be as pretty as your picture.

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