Friday, 15 July 2011
This time last year, I was trawling the food markets of Bristol and whipping up mayonnaise in search of a suitable birthday tea for The Boy. You may (or may not) know that The Boy has a passion for sushi - we're regular Yo Sushi dwellers (despite his best intentions) and he has been a domestic sushi master since a course earlier in the year. He loves the process of making maki and California rolls as wells as quick-and-speedy hand rolls.
This year, I ordered some fresh sushi-grade fish from the amazing Source in Bristol who have a fantastic selection of fresh meat & fish as well as lots other delicious and tempting things on offer. You can get everything from nori and local chili sauce to freshly baked cakes and marinated olives. It's amazing and, to top it off, the staff are friendly and pretty knowledgeable too. It's well worth a visit. They also have a café restaurant that I'm dying to try. One day! Anyway, I went to pick up my order of filleted mackerel, salmon and scallops but a handful of samphire and a piece of salted caramel and cherry brownie somehow found their way into my basket. I really couldn't resist!
Samphire is a fantastic post-season alternative to asparagus. It's actually a kind of seaweed which is in season from June until September. It's a natural partner to fish but it's also great with meat too. It's versatile and really refreshing if you cook it right - thankfully, this isn't difficult. I would recommend picking through the samphire when you're ready to cook and removing any brown or squishy bits. I thought that it'd be a lovely texture in the sushi so I blanched it for minute and then refreshed it in cold water to keep it succulent.
The Boy and I then spent a very companionable half hour making sushi. It's therapeutic and difficult in equal amounts - if you're a perfectionist, it may drive you mad but you do get to eat your attempts whether they're millimetre perfect or not. We made maki with raw salmon and samphire which was absolutely delish as well as mackerel california rolls and scallop nigiri.