Join us for a lunch at Sashimi- the hot new sushi joint located in Beit Shemesh,Israel.
Peanuts in the sushi?
Is what I was thinking when lunch got to the table.
Tiffany and I were practically drooling after a half hour of photos and questions for Yossi Roth- the sushi chef at Sashimi. Almost unable to contain ourselves watching roll after roll be….rolled.
Bright green avocado, freshly chopped tuna with spices made on the spot. Tempura sweet potato. But peanuts?
Yossi, our sushi chef, came from the kitchen carrying a black granite slab piled high with a beautiful array of colors. Sushi of the Gods! He set it down in front of us. It was almost too pretty to eat- but only almost(it is never too pretty to eat!!!!!).
My hands were jittery I was so excited to eat, but we somehow managed to take some great pictures. We decided together on a roll to start with, and dug in.
The Disco roll- stuffed with fried sweet potato and chopped salmon, and topped with thin slices of seared salmon and black sesame seeds, had a surprising crunch of peanuts.
“I think that’s your favorite roll”, Tiffany said, watching me eat.
I only nodded and rolled my eyes(I may have groaned just a little)- cause those peanuts really got me.
Welcome to Sashimi. This up and coming sushi spot located in the rapidly growing city of Beit Shemesh(central Israel) is a crack in the wall joint. It is not a fancy shmancy outing for you to wear high heels to. It is not an expensive Japanese restaurant where the sushi rolls are basically appetizers they are so small. It serves, in fact, the largest rolls I may have ever eaten.
Yossi says it’s all in the rice. “Tell us more!!!!”
“A lot of recipes tell you to cut the rice, and people just skip that step-CUT YOUR RICE!”
Cutting the rice- use a wooden spoon here, as per Japanese myth, metal changes the rices flavor-ensures that each piece of rice gets seasoned evenly and there are no clumps.
Per a request, I asked about making sushi rice at home.
“You have to use a rice cooker” -what if I don’t have one?- “You can buy one next door, they’re only 150 shekel… it’s a great investment even if you’re only using it once in a while. When you cook rice in a pot, you have to always fiddle with the temperature and make sure you shut it off just in time- with a rice cooker you turn it on and it does the rest.”
Let’s talk about how it’s done.
Step 1-rinse the rice. Put your measured rice in a strainer and run cold water over it until the water turns pretty clear. It will be white for a while! This is to remove starch.
Step 2– pour the rinsed rice and measured water-Yossi is making enough rice for 100 rolls so I won’t offer you measurements- cover, and turn the cooker on.
Step 3– when the rice cooker turns off, add in rice vinegar, salt, and white sugar(he’s not measuring but we probably should), and start cutting your rice!
Step 4– we want the seasoned rice to cool as soon as possible. For that to happen, place the rice in(again, nothing metal, plastic is fine) a long container that lets the rice spread out. What’s on the bottom is very hot and if left to cool off it will turn mushy. So, every 10 to 15 minutes you’re going to come back and mix the rice again, for a total of 3 times. Don’t try to use it when its warm!
Tiffany, fellow foodie, and I, watched as Yossi rolled all the sushi for a couple orders before deciding what we wanted. It was hard. We were starving.
Some tricks we noticed as we watched:
Tip #1– Buy a large bamboo mat. There are a couple sizes you can get so choose the larger one. Wrap a couple times in Saran Wrap and nothing will stick! ( I was smacking myself on the forehead for not doing this myself- it is incredibly annoying to make an inside out roll and lose half the rice to the mat). Yossi says you can place your mat in a ziplock bag but he prefers plastic wrap because it is tighter. 2x.
Tip#2– Use a vegetable peeler to thinly slice avocado. Specialty rolls look incredible, and for whatever occasion you’re making sushi-a party, shabbos lunch, a DIY dinner with friends, they will take the cake. Peel the avocado first and then peel slices and place on your finished roll, then give them a squeeze with the bamboo mat so the avocado sticks all around.
Tip #3– Quit the panko crumbs if you want a lighter fried roll. Yossi makes a batter of flour and water for a fried roll that doesn’t taste heavy, and it gets a league of its own. For a bigger, crunchier finish, it is dipped afterwards in panko crumbs. You may not have considered making tempura rolls at home, but it’s really quite easy. Once you’ve rolled out the sushi, simply dip it in batter and place in the deep fryer, then slice as normal.
To get what we got:
- Spicy Salmon Tempura Bites. These really brought on the spice! Served over a bed of sushi rice and garnished with spring onion, these were perfect. Next time we’ll try the mushrooms…
- Disco– filled with chopped salmon and crunchy peanuts, topped with grilled salmon, this was one of my favorites.
- Tokyo Roll– filled with made-on-the-spot spicy tuna, and dipped in tempura. Pillowy soft. If you want this extra spicy- just ask!
- Rainbow Roll-a beautiful array of avocado, salmon, and tuna adorned rolls.
- Sashimi Crunch-that lovely middle roll pilled high with crunchy sweet potato chips.
Next time you’re in the area, head over to Sashimi for an amazing lunch, or call to cater your next event with lovely decorated sushi platters!
I’d like to offer YOU a 10% discount for your next sushi date at Sashimi – tell your server you would like to use the code SashimiontheBlog at checkout.
*Writer and friends were guests of the restaurant