News and Events

On the pass: sushi

30-Apr-2013

Sushi at Pinetrees

Sushi is the new spaghetti Bolognese. Yes, really. It’s the one thing we serve every week that most people eat (well, actually devour). While we don’t have hard data to support this, we do have years of anecdotal evidence – that is, we watch how much people eat and we listen to their feedback. Thirty years ago when we started serving sushi and sashimi, only the adventurous or well-travelled guests could cope with “raw fish!”, but now babies, kids, nannas, pops and just about everyone else has a go. We do have to keep an eye on the wasabi since it sometimes gets mistaken for avocado dip (with unpleasant results). It’s amazing how food trends can take an entire population with them.

Sushi is part of our signature 'fish fry' dinner, which has been served for over 70 years. It's a famous Lord Howe tradition. It was once deep-fried kingfish and chips, but has evolved into 5 courses of indulgence. We start with a soup of the day - often a light miso with poached salmon, and then move on to our spectacular sushi and sashimi platter. First time guests can't decide if they should take photos of it or eat it - suffice to say they do both. We source yellowfin tuna, kingfish, wahoo and trevally from our local waters and often have them all available to taste on our sashimi plates. The best can be a matter of debate for hours.

According to our Executive Chef, the trick to good sushi is in the preparation of the rice. The following recipe reveals one of our secrets.

1. Rinse 1kg of ‘sushi’ rice 4-5 times in clean cold water, and discard the water after each rinse.
2. Add 1150ml of water to 1kg of ‘sushi’ rice and let the mix sit for 30 minutes.
3. Bring the rice to the boil, then remove from the heat, cover the pot with foil and a lid, and let the mix sit for 40 minutes.
4. Cool the rice on a flat wooden bowl (or baking tray).
5. Dissolve 60g of sugar, half a teaspoon of bonito paste and half a teaspoon of salt in 120ml of mirin or rice wine vinegar.
6. Gently mix the liquid through the rice and avoid breaking the rice grains.
7. Now, let your imagination take over. On a sushi mat, lay out Nori seaweed, rice and any combination or tuna, kingfish, smoked salmon, cucumber, capsicum, avocado, spring onion or sesame seeds. You can roll the Nori on the outside or inside, and then slice each roll into 2cm thick portions.
8. Serve with wasabi, soy sauce and pickled ginger.

It’s relatively simple and makes a perfect lunch or dinner, particularly with fresh tuna sashimi and a glass of crisp Tasmanian Pinot Gris.

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