Oshizushi is one of the types of sushi you can make at home (either have the mold or you improvise equipment for it), and since temari sushi is far more simple in comparison it’s one of those things I’ve put on the “when I have the time” and “if I can be arsed” categories. Let’s just say I’ve suddenly found the time; and the “can be arsed” happened as the results of Japan Centre’s sushi idea contest were announced*, where the prize consisted of a proper oshizushihako.
Given that I live in an area poorly provided with fresh seafood (and it seems like I am a masochist) I went straight for appropriating the complicated looking ‘recipe’ in Sushi: Taste and Technique by Kimiko Barber & Hiroki Takemura from memory which uses smoked salmon and cucumber. Instead of “cutting the cucumber into thin strips”, to maximize my small cucumber I made cucumber sheets. Also to maximize the amount of salmon-to-rice I made the cucumber and salmon completely overlap so the entire sushi had both ingredients. Rather than keeping the sushi rice plain I put slices of avocado and toasted sesame seeds in the middle layer and finished the bottom with nori (which makes it easier to move around on your plate once it was all completed).
After slicing carefully separated smoked salmon sheets and the cucumber sheets into the stripes to fit exactly in the mold I prepared the oshizushihako by lining it with cling wrap since I didn’t enthuse on having to wash it afterwards. Once completing the fiddly part of placing the toppings at the bottom of the box, the actual process is rather speedy that one can see why some people reuse the mold for spam musubi (which I dare not make at home out of principle). In the end when slicing the oshizushi into pieces the cling wrap helps keep the toppings in place in the same manner as for uramaki.
As I’ve not had to travel, I decided to have some oshizushi for lunch:
Top tier: BBQ eggplant with hatcho miso sauce, tomato, stuffed squid marinated in ginger & soy sauce, garlic sauted runner beans, fish ball
Bottom tier: oshizushi (smoked salmon, cucumber, wasabi, avocado, toasted sesame seeds, nori)
From how this turned out it looks likely I’ve an idea for my Christmas pot-luck dish..
* At the time of writing, the announcement is yet to be publicized. So what did I submit? It was for the haggis sushi I made for lunch after Burns Night