The Complete Book of Sushi

A Book Review by Franz Scheurer


When you eat Hideo Dekura’s food you know why in Japan preparing food is an art form, when you watch Ryuichi Yoshii’s knife skills you realise it’s a dangerous art form and when you see Brigid Treloar keep up with the Japanese masters you know it’s an art form that’s achievable… although it might take a lifetime. Combine the talents of all three, compile it into one book and you have ‘The Complete Book of Sushi’.


The book is incredibly comprehensive, covering ‘Sushi Etiquette’, customs, how to serve and eat sushi, utensils and equipment, knives and more importantly how to maintain the cutting edge, ingredients, fish and seafood used and of course recipes for more sushi styles than you’ve ever imagined exist.


You learn about the differences and how to make: thick or thin sushi rolls (Futomaki-zushi and Hosomaki-zushi), inside-out sushi rolls (Uramaki-zushi), topped rice sushi (Nigiri-zushi), hand-wrapped sushi rolls (Temaki-zushi), battleship sushi (Gunkan maki-zushi), and all about tofu pouches (Inari-zushi) and sushi in a bowl (Chirashi-zushi). They teach you how to make sushi soups, how to decorate sushi, tell you all about sashimi, sauces, condiments and accompaniments.


Recipes are described in clear, logical steps, each one illustrated by the fabulous photographs taken by Louise Lister and Mark O’Meara. This is a book that can be a reference in your library, entertainment as you read it at the breakfast table, or an invaluable guide if you actually recreate the recipes. It explains and introduces you to all the traditional methods and time-honoured flavours but then branches out to incorporate ‘new’ sushi, an entirely different world of flavours and textures, unthinkable only a few years back. These guys have mastered the tradition, know all the rules and have every right to break them and create something new and exciting. Surprise your friends with ‘Cajun-style spicy rolls’ or ‘Indonesian-flavoured coconut rolls’ or even ‘Couscous inari’, a tofu pouch filled with a very Japanese-flavoured couscous highlighted by tobiko (flying fish roe). One of my favourites in the book has to be the ‘Habanero Chili Sushi’, served in a bowl, which is both a powerfully flavoured dish and a textural sensation. The prize for the prettiest dish has to go to the ‘Pink Rice Rolls with Chili Jam’, a study in presentation and colour.


The book is a compilation from Hideo Dekura’s books ‘Sashimi’ and ‘Sushi Modern’, Ryuichi Yoshii’s ‘Sushi’ and Brigid Treloar’s ‘Vegetarian Sushi’ and it is aimed at everyone from beginners to accomplished cooks. If you love Japanese food this is a must-have in your library. Available from Landsdowne Publishing (02) 9979 0263 RRP $34.95 (plus $5 postage and handling)

ISBN 1 86302 814 5