Chef Michael Marcus
Bizen, Great Barrington, MA
- Cutting board
- Plastic wrap
- Makisu (bamboo mat used to roll sushi)
- Water bowl
- Sharp sushi knife
- Platter or dish for presentation
- Nori (layer seaweed used to roll sushi)
- Sushi rice seasoned with awasesu
- Roasted sesame seeds
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced
- Pickled ginger
Lay a sheet of nori on the bamboo mat (shinny side down). Next, press rice evenly across the nori. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of the rice. Line the avocado slices lengthwise, along the midline of the nori sheet.
Using the mat as an aid, tightly roll into a cylinder. Cut into eight 1-inch pieces.
Place on a serving plate facing upwards to reveal the ingredients. Serve with wasabi and pickled ginger. Serves 2-4
Recommended wine/beer for Sushi: Avocado Maki Roll:
Rihaku “Wandering Poet” Junmai Ginjo Saké [Shimane, Japan]
Why should one resist the overwhelming temptation to pair high quality sushi rolls with the finest of modern Sakés? Though Saké is often called rice wine, it is actually more akin to brewed beer. The character of modern Saké is derived principally from the quality of the rice and the quality of the water that are used in its brewing. The ultimate key to Saké’s excellence comes from milling or polishing the rice so as to eliminate the impurities on its exterior and to unlock the desirable starches at the center of the grain.
Junmai Saké has had a minimum of 30% of the rice milled away, whereas Junmai Ginjo Saké is polished so as to remove at least 40% of its husk. If 50% is milled, it is classified as Junmai Daiginjo Saké. These costly artisanal methods represent only 10% of all Sakés produced—the remaining 90% has more in common with an industrial product.
Rihaku “Wandering Poet” is a Junmai Ginjo Saké. If you wish to sample the best Sakés imported from Japan, at the very minimum, you should make sure you secure a Junmai Ginjo. In a recent issue of The International Wine Cellar, Steven Tanzer noted “that experienced saké lovers in Japan…do not use wine language to describe saké…, [though] they seek out subtlety and cleanliness of aroma and flavors…, they are more likely to prize roundness, texture and overall harmony…. Interestingly, length on the finish does not seem to be a requirement of a great saké. On the contrary, the finest examples finish clean and literally vaporize on the tongue, and disappear, like melting snow.”
Served chilled, “The Wandering Poet” is full-bodied and crisp and provides both rhyme and reason enough to feast on these Dragon Rolls.