In Denver, Sushi Den is the best sushi place I have ever eaten sushi. In Japan, cooking rice is taken seriously (like baking a perfect banquette in France) and is the first job assigned to any aspiring sushi chef. It usually takes 2-3 years to get promoted to from rice to a sous chef position of then cutting vegetables. After several years of then doing the vegetable prep, one might apprentice as sushi chef, which is mastered after 5 years or more in the apprentice position. So keep practicing!

For the fish: If shopping in Denver, go to the Sakura Square Japanese grocery store, and buy:

  • Yellow Tail belly
  • Tuna belly
  • Salmon belly
  • Eel
  • Red Snapper
  • Any other sushi cuts of sea foods you fancy, such as giant clam, eel, etc.

You should plan on 1/4 lb. of each fish, as you can expect 1 lb of sushi fish per person. Make the sushi rice, cut the fish accordingly (a whole book in itself, see Sushi Made Easy) and form sushi pieces.

If making California Rolls, use seaweed paper, rolling tool, and seedless cucumber, pickled radish, wasabi paste, soy sauce, etc., to form the proper wrap.

For the Rice: Go to an Asian specialty grocery store (the Sakura Square market in Denver on Mondays and Wednesdays, when the fish is flown in) and get some Kokuho Rose Koda Farms Rice. Yes, it’s the most expensive, buy a few bucks, but it’s the best by far. Cook according to directions: Place 1 part rice to 1 ¼ part water (I use a big coffee cup which is enough for 2 persons) in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer and simmer for 20-25 minutes.

Making Sushi Rice: While your rice is cooking prepare the vinegar dressing. For 5 c. of dry rice, combine in a bowl stirring until clear: 7-8 T. rice vinegar 1 T. salt 2-3 T. sugar Wet a large mixing tub with water. Allow the rice to cool for about 10 minutes with a rice paddle, through the mound of rice to mix the dressing and rice evening. As you mix, fan the rice to cool it. An extra hand will make this operation easier. Fanning the rice will give it a pearly luster. Brush off any rice that sticks to the side of the tube with a cloth dampened with vinegared water. Once the rice has cooled to a body temperature it is ready to use.