For the rice: Wash rice at least 3 times or until water is clear. Fill rice cooker with water to about 1-inch over rice. I highly recommend a rice cooker -- there's a reason more than 2 billion people in Asia use them. Slowly heat vinegar, mirin and sugar until very hot but not boiling. Fold in 'su' (vinegar and sugar) with the hot rice, add enough so that the rice has a tart/sweet taste. Rice should be shiny, not mushy. Carefully clean inside rim of bowl with damp cloth, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
For the maki-sushi: In a bowl, whisk together honey, mustard, lemon juice and oil. Add crab, herbs and minced shallot. Season with salt and pepper and check flavor.
Lay nori, shiny side down on sushi mat and lightly pat on rice on bottom half of nori, 1/4 inch thick. Place crab filling 2/3 up on rice. Roll, moisten end to seal and let rest.
For the hand rolls: In a bowl, mix flour with togarashi, or chili powder, and whisk in club soda until a pancake batter thickness is achieved. Dip the shrimp and scallions in the tempura batter and fry until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Lay the nori vertically with the shiny side down. Using wet hands, lightly place a 1/4-inch thick layer of rice on the bottom half of the nori. Place one shrimp and scallion fan diagonally across the rice from the top left corner to the bottom right. Lay daikon sprouts on top and add a touch of wasabi oil. Roll a cone by bringing the bottom left corner of the nori to half way up the right side edge then roll over. Moisten the top edge to glue. Repeat process.
For the plating: On a huge white platter, drizzle soy syrup, wasabi oil, sesame seeds, gari and scallions all over. Slice maki-sushi using both bias and straight cuts. Place hand rolls leaning against sushi.
In a stainless steel bowl, whisk together wasabi, mirin and sugar. Add water until a loose puree is achieved. Whisk in oil. For extra heat, use less oil.
Combine all the ingredients and reduce at a simmer until a syrup consistency is achieved, about a 60 to 70 percent reduction. Let cool.
The Mt. Fuji method is a way to determine the correct amount of water for any quantity of rice. First wash the rice till the water runs clear to wash away all the starch. Then you put it in the pan, put your hand flat on top of the rice, and fill the pot with water until it reaches the first knuckle of your index finger (knuckle nearest your palm). It always works, no matter what the size of your hand. Wine Suggestion: Haru Junmai-Ginjo Sake
Copyright 1999, Ming Tsai, All Rights Reserved