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手握壽司,又名江戶前壽司,到目前為止,圍繞“江戶前”這個詞,人們進行了各種各樣的解釋,而且似乎也引起了誤解。

江戶前”一詞原本是指“江戶城前的河灣”,曾經把在那裡捕獲的鰻魚稱為“江戶前的鰻魚”。
直到100年前,如果店名寫著“江戶前”,那就是一家鰻魚店。

隅田川和荒川等河流流入的江戶灣中含有很多營養成分,為了尋找這些營養成分,很多海鮮棲息在這裡。
隨著時代的變遷,江戶城前的河灣被填河造地,雖然原本的“江戶前”消失了,但作為在江戶灣捕撈海鮮的產地,“江戶前”一詞的含義不斷擴大。
非江戶灣產的海鮮被稱為“旅行之物”、“不合時宜”等,被明確區分開來。

在初次誕生手握壽司的江戶時代,讓壽司材料長久保鮮是頭等大事。
於是醋浸小鰭魚、竹莢魚這類“發光體”,除了用醋浸白肉魚,還用海帶、醬油醃漬,以保持食品的新鮮度。
就連金槍魚當時也用醬油醃漬,被稱為“Dtsuke(鹹菜)”,這在壽司愛好者之間是很有名的故事。
醋浸的材料可能會太酸,在這種情況下,在醋飯和材料之間撒上魚肉鬆(把沙蝦仁磨碎調味,翻炒煮熟做成),酸味被甜味中和了。

隨著冰箱的出現,這種保存的方法和技術發生了巨大的變化。
從“生魚片”成為一種美食料理也可以看出,僅僅是新鮮的魚就能提高其商品價值。
於是隨著從冰櫃到電冰箱的發展、道路維護和運輸系統的建立,許多作為保存壽司材料的“工作”開始慢慢被淘汰。
在20世紀80年代,與江戶時代工作無關的壽司,終於又興盛起來。

但是,1990年以後掀起了美食熱潮,當人們重新認識到壽司師傅精心製作“工作”的價值時,這樣的壽司被稱為“生魚片壽司”、“海鮮壽司”,與傳統的手握壽司有了很大的區別。
在這種壽司“江戶回歸”潮流的背景下,“江戶前”這個原本指鮮魚產地的詞語,現在,作為表達“用傳統方法製作的壽司”甚至是“手握壽司的哲學”的詞語而重新普及開來。

江戶前經典的壽司材料① 小鰭魚

反而是被稱為江戶前壽司材料“橫綱”的小鰭魚,是在壽司以外領域難得一見的食材。

小鰭魚是一種變名魚,魚苗時期被稱為幼魚。
後來,根據長大的大小,稱呼也從小鰭魚,Nakazumi變為斑鰶。
在江戶時代,“品嘗斑鰶”與“攻下這座城堡”有相通之處,因此經常有人介紹,武士對此很忌諱,結果小鰭魚比斑鰶更受歡迎。

全年都在市場上銷售在日本各地捕撈的小鰭魚,因此您可以隨時在壽司店品嘗,而原本是從冬天到春天才可以品嘗到。
據說,以前在這個時候,只要購買夠一年使用的小鰭魚,就會去除內臟,放入罐中,用醋和鹽醃制,蓋上蓋子,存放在地板下或廊下。

即使現在,仍然加鹽和醋,但在割開的小鰭魚上撒適量鹽,這種工作被稱為“撒鹽”,需要熟練的技巧。
嚴格地說,每尾割開的小鰭魚所需的適量鹽量都不同,因此,要想在整齊排列的小鰭魚上撒適量的鹽,需要年齡和直覺。

撒過鹽的小鰭魚會放置一段時間,但在夏季和冬季會改變放置時間。
接著用水洗掉鹽,瀝幹後,用醋醃制。
準備這樣小鰭魚不僅步驟繁瑣,每家店都不相同。
那是因為每個店主認為理想的小鰭魚都不同,因此小鰭魚也就成了“店鋪的門面”。

江戶前經典壽司材料② 蛤蜊

雖然蛤蜊是江戶前壽司的代表性食材之一,但令人意外的是,問到蛤蜊,店家卻含糊其辭地說“對不起,蛤蜊。。。。.”,結果有很多壽司店不做蛤蜊的料理。
但是,因此相反,我認為有無蛤蜊可能成為衡量是否具有江戶前壽司店潛力的尺度。

作為壽司材料的蛤蜊,又名“煮蛤蜊”,由此可知,在準備階段就加入了“煮制”這一步驟。
但是蛤蜊一煮就會變硬,無法品嘗到從那種令人愉快的柔軟中滲出的蛤蜊美味和爪子的甜味之間的平衡。
於是,在江戶前的技法中,在流水中取出蛤蜊肉和粘汁,放入沸水中快煮,仔細去除內臟和肌肉後,用菜刀將其打開。
放入蛤蜊肉,也就是在煮完蛤蜊的湯中加入糖、醬油和甜料酒,然後小心醃制,燉煮。
所以,它具有“醃制蛤蜊”的含義,但自古以來,人們就一直習慣稱之為“煮蛤蜊”。
這樣的工作在江戶前的“工作”中也屬於最麻煩的一類。另外像以前那樣輕易就能購買到高品質的蛤蜊的狀況也一去不復返,這也是越來越多壽司店不製作“煮蛤蜊”的原因之一。

江戶前經典壽司材料③ 星鰻

準備星鰻,是在醬油中加入甜料酒、砂糖等煮制。在剩下的湯汁中加入砂糖和甜料酒熬煮,就能做出該店獨有的味道。
據說,為了不煮焦,最重要的是一邊用刷子攪動一邊熬煮。
多數情況下,星鰻會呈現略帶棕色的色澤,而江戶前的技法中也有“澤煮(清淡多汁)”的煮法,即用淡醬油、或不使用醬油和甜料酒,只用酒和白砂糖熬煮,即可做成白顏色。

說到星鰻,這是與金槍魚、小鰭魚並列的江戶前壽司的代表性食材,每家店都有秘方。
所以也可以說每家壽司店中最常看到的材料是每家壽司店的堅持。
爪子是星鰻的經典,但近年來,越來越多壽司店不在爪子的部分撒鹽。
順便說一下,習慣上以一條星鰻頭部上半部分眼皮朝上、尾部下半部分身體朝上的方式握住星鰻,因此很多壽司店為了讓客人可以品嘗兩種美味而建議點兩貫。

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Comments Icon comments 20b52f1dd59ace07b92433da2a385e6f7392eb2937032eebc2a0bd0b67c69516 1


Leo Saito

chief editor, TokyoTableTrip

I'm going to explain the meaning of the word "edomae," something that seems like it's common knowledge but is surprisingly unknown.

大约一个月 ago

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User default d6f8776075bbcbf91b3886fd7b0aeb86c94956e290bd9b9223466618a8cd47a2

ChuToroZuke

A fantastic article, thank you Saito san!

I want to add a few more things from what I've encountered elsewhere and feel free to correct me any of the information below are incorrect.

The red colored vinegar that has been more commonly encountered in sushi restaurants for shari (especially the darker shade of red/brown) these days is sake lees (sake kasu 酒粕) vinegar. The key ingredient is the lees from sake production, which is the remainder of pressing the mash (rice, water, yeast, koji). Sake lees is naturally white in appearance. During the Edo period, rice was a prized and pricey commodity, thus rice vinegar was costly to produce.

Demand for sake grew also around the Edo period, and izakaya were also very popular then. The sake lees, although a by product of sake making, was readily accessible and wasn't used for much other purposes (unlike today where some cow farmers might feed their cows sake mash by Dassai for marketing purposes). Someone came up with the idea of using sake lees as a replacement for rice for vinegar production. They added water to the lees to try to make rice vinegar (sake lees already has some alcohol so it would be less processing than fermenting rice), but the resulting flavor turned out be too light. There was not enough sugar content in the lees to induce more fermentation to achieve the desired result similar to a good rice vinegar for sushi. It is said that by aging the sake lees for at least a year improved the aroma, complexity, and flavor drastically, and resulted in a darker crimson shade of color. Then vinegar production began with the aged lees and it turned out to be successful (what we call akasu these days).

Some say that Hanaya Yohei was the first to use this vinegar, but I do not know who really came up with this idea. I suppose Mizkan's well known Yokoi Yohei Akasu brand that is quite popular in Japan, probably attributes akasu and its origins to Hanaya Yohei in that case. Yokoi Yohei akasu is actually aged three years before release. Iio Jozo's akasu, used by a number of well respected sushi restaurants across Japan, is aged upwards of ten years before release.

As the original akasu became popular, it was recognized as the vinegar (or sushi rice vinegar) of the Edo period.

And some say that during the economic boom in Japan, chefs decided to switch away to rice vinegar instead of sake lees vinegar (akasu), and some specifically wanted to move away from the image of sushi as peasant street food and associated akasu with that. But now we are seeing a lot more chefs using akasu in the last 10++ years due to either following a trend or their attempt to return to roots. Or in some cases, blending traditional with modern style. Some more successful than others. Although I am curious, who was the first to re-introduce akasu when komesu was the dominant vinegar to season shari. One more thing to note though, akasu by itself is aromatic and naturally sweet in some ways. Komesu has more punch and acidity/sourness. This is why some chefs these days blend the two, use just a blend of akasu, or season the akasu further to bring up the flavors and balance. The combinations can be many, but takes a lot of skill to perfect and maintain.

On a separate note, there seems to be periods in time when there was a prevalent practice of chefs serving maguro or chutoro as the very first piece of sushi to start the meal, can someone confirm? This was even mentioned briefly in Jiro Philosophy book. And this pre-dated Jiro Ono's decision to start with shiromi/white fleshed lighter flavored neta for sushi.

Also the original Edomae tamagoyaki is a very thin layered piece, where you can still find this style to this day at Bentenyama Miyako Sushi and of course Shinbashi Shimizu.

大约一个月 ago
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Leo Saito

chief editor, TokyoTableTrip

Wow! What a fantastic note!
>ChuToroZuke
Thanks!!!

大约一个月 ago
Blackglasses1

Menchikatsu

Thank you for the very educational read Saito-san. The topic has depth, and goes much deeper than one can grasp in one sitting.

Hamaguri is the most memorable sushi I ate at Shimizu. I did not realize how painstaking the preparation was. I will also pay more attention to the sensibility involved in making Kohada from now on.
Anago tsume has been a topic I've been reading on the past year. A rather ambitious sushi chef friend of mine showed me this week, has been steadily working on an anago tsume, that's been simmering in a pot for about a year (with the bones, konbu, katsuo, etc...). I think, at a certain time, he adds it to another batch, which contains an ongoing sauce he's been protecting for about 8 years now. Admittedly, he says not many people knows he does this amount of work, and I was really taken in on how much of a lost art this is.

ChuToroZuke, a while a go, several years, I noticed that most English translated sushi guides would refer to the rice of fine sushi restaurants as being prepared with 'sake lees'. That was what was literally translated. Nowdays, I see the word more often translated simply as 'akazu'.
On your note about tuna, I don't know when I started thinking this, but I somehow always expect tuna to appear earlier in the course at the beginning, and find it a bit off when it doesn't. It seems to be something that made sense for me at some point.
Regarding tamagoyaki, I admit I've found myself being much more impressed with the castella style version, especially if it has shrimp. I also quite like the shape, if it's made properly, and not watery. But when I ask many sushi chefs recently, they prefer to old fashioned style.

大约一个月 ago
User default d6f8776075bbcbf91b3886fd7b0aeb86c94956e290bd9b9223466618a8cd47a2

ChuToroZuke

It's interesting to see how Edomae sushi has evolved since its inception. Things improved upon, and other techniques or ingredients either phased out, substituted for something easier/faster, or replaced. Then you have the different schools and innovators, all of which adhere to some basics, but not really following what was done the old way as much.

It is no wonder that Japanese media keeps focusing on the same chefs to showcase when discussing Edomae sushi and techniques, all coming from a historical context, in addition to the labor intensive work that showcase skill over just selecting premium ingredients.

The old school method of "zuke" for tuna is placing a cloth over the block of tuna, pouring boiling hot water over then quickly immersing in ice (to arrest the cooking process), then placing the block in the "zuke" marinade. This creates a barrier on the exterior to slow down marination and prevents the fish from being overly pickled. Many modern chefs no longer employ this method (as many feel this is a waste of premium tuna), and instead choose to slice tuna (or other fish) then drop the neta into a bowl of the marinade for upwards of 20 minutes, then dry it with a napkin before pressing to nigiri. But some of the modern chefs might have no qualms searing otoro... a good solid old school maguro zuke is so delicious if done right.

Ono Jiro probably came up with the castella style tamagoyaki. I like that version as well, but it is a treat to be able to the taste the original more simpler thin style original Edomae tamagoyaki and some say it's more work. Kusakabe in San Francisco does an interpretation of this but they add in lobster dashi (very subtle though) and serve it rolled with rice inside. Now you also have a lot of foreign visitors that have shellfish allergies, and even the castella tamagoyaki (or custard version a la Sushi Kanesaka/Saito) recipe has changed for many high end sushi chefs from not using shrimp to instead incorporating fish (e,g. madai or amadai)...thus affecting the texture and moisture content. So even the original flavor of a modified unique item has changed yet again. But I suppose if you go to shops that don't cater to tourists hopefully one can still find shiba ebi tamagoyak in Japan. Overseas you run the ask of alienating customers by not making an allergy free item.

Tsume/Nikiri - now this part is interesting because at some point both were important but during the economic boom for some reason nikiri shoyu was phased out so customer would use shoyu and wasabi (if need be), then nikiri shoyu became associated again with high end (just like akasu for shari). I've also heard the term dashi shoyu being used in the 90s. Serious shops would have one tsume for anago and another for hamaguri (Hama tsume) and when in season maybe a few shops would have a specific tsume for awabi. Big fans of tsume should try Sushi Bun (yes the one that attracts tourists that was at Tsukiji Inner Market / Nihonbashi for 100+ years) and has now moved to Toyosu. Their tsume or baseline, is as thick as molasses, as it has remained the soul of the family of chefs that made it, handed down the generations, and continually reduced upon/added to it...very dark and rich/robust in flavor. I recommend going there just to try it (must be thickest and richest in the business), but you need to overcome the hurdle of their minimum order: either a nigiri combo or if you want to save stomach quota, get a sashimi combo, then add on ni-awabi, ni-hamaguri, and ni-anago sushi. The crafting and shape of the nigiri looks a bit rounder and the ratios might be off, but still quite tasty (also do not mind the softer and stickier rice, that is the style). It is seriously worth it just to experience tsume like this. Then there's also Izumi near...Musashi Koyama? Master has upwards of six to eight tsume/nikiri for various applications, don't think anyone else is doing this....on my to try list, but not foreign visitor friendly it seems unless you speak fluent Japanese. The master is also older too.

For anago, Japanese media also mentions Sushi Noike in Sendagi/Nezu area. Master is probably as old as Ono Jiro....for some reason his anago is famous. But interestingly his other sushi are not mentioned much or if at all. Really curious why his anago is so important from a history discussion standpoint or chef's background. Not a tourist destination though. In the USA, a few months ago I tried two similar preparations of anago that combined the traditional cooking method with the addition of sake from the sawani style of cooking. Possible one of the preparations used usukuchi shoyu (and sake) that resulted in a lighter version of anago (before tsume was added), like a very light shade of brown.

Kohada - in addition to the different pickling methods from each chef (or degree of pickling affecting the flavor profiles), the knife scoring, presentation in nigiri form has so many variations. It's so hard to keep up with them all. I would love to know the correct names or terminologies for each style of scoring/presentation. It's interesting also now how most of the great kohada comes from west wide (e.g. Amakusa).

大约一个月 ago
Blackglasses1

Menchikatsu

Just a small point. The first portion of the zuke preparation you've described, is it not exactly the same as 霜作り shimozukuri? I recognize it, because I once forgot what it was called, and went through a painstaking day to locate the word again.

I've also taken points of the other notes you've made, and listings of these old school sushi shops. Thanks again ChuToroZuke.

大约一个月 ago
User default d6f8776075bbcbf91b3886fd7b0aeb86c94956e290bd9b9223466618a8cd47a2

ChuToroZuke

You got it partly and half right, the term is actually called yushimo zukuri 湯霜作り. The first kanji "yu" 湯 referring to scalding hot/boiling action and shimo 霜 meaning frost (like shimofuri, frost falling), here referring to the action of immersing in ice. But that's part 1 of 2 of Edomae zuke, with part 2 being immersing in marinade.

If speaking from a shokunin technical standpoint, the term yushimo zukuri, 湯霜作り is what a chef would do to make really firm skinned fish to be softer/looser, create more separation between fish and skin, and be able to incorporate the skin of the fish when serving nigiri, especially sea bream family and that also includes kinmedai.

Old school zuke is still referred to as zuke. It's the additional step of yushimo zukuri that's employed that makes it old school. I remember seeing it in Osaka and the chefs referred to it as "maguro tattaki" perhaps a play on katsuo tattaki (I can't remember if that maguro was smoked also). So I don't think yushimo zukuri is the right term for old school zuke or if you only use it like that.

大约一个月 ago
Blackglasses1

Menchikatsu

Ooh, ok! Thank you for clarifying that. I will add it to my notes. From the times I've seen the technique, I thought it was to tense up a fish, prior to serving it as sashimi. It also seems an excellent technique for cooking shrimp rare. I did not know it was a component of a zuke process.

大约一个月 ago