Making sushi for my son’s birthday

My eldest son, Daniel, just turned 22. Sushi is his favourite food, but of course we couldn’t take him to a restaurant during the Coronavirus crisis — and even in peacetime, the nearest good sushi restaurant to us is 67 miles away in Solihull. So I prepared his birthday meal.

Here, I am making the last of the nigiri — mostly salmon, some tuna. In the middle of the plate is a roll of my own invention, inspired by Peking duck pancakes in Chinese restaurants. It’s shredded chicken, sliced spring onions, hoi sin sauce and avocado. It was a big hit.

My workstation (also known as the kitchen table):

On the left side of the table as we look at it: rice in the big bowl at the back; walnuts, avocado and pickled daikon in front of the bowl; one board for rolling on and another for chopping; and at the front, a bowl of spicy crab mixture and the as-yet unused second salmon fillet, sitting in the pan where I defrosted it. On the right side of the table, Jonno’s maths revision and two half-completed plates of sushi.

Here are those two plates in their completed form:

On the left of the top plate, and also running down the middle of the bottom plate, we have your straightforward salmon-and-avocado roll, with pickled daikon radish. On the right of the top plate and the left of the bottom plate, similarly straightforward tuna-and-avocado rolls, also with pickled daikon.

The remaining two rolls are a variant of “spicy crab”: that is, shredded imitation crab mixed with paprika and mayonnaise, in this case with walnuts added. That’s another of my own touches, and another that works really well: do try it! The upper one is done in “caterpillar” style, with avocado layered on top; the lower one has it inside.

And here we are, about to enjoy it:

From left to right: Fiona, Jonno (our youngest), me, Beth (Dan’s girlfriend) and Dan himself. (Matthew, our middle son, is still at university.)

I leave you with this short video of rolling and slicing a tuna roll …

… and with this picture of me looking characteristically pleased with myself:

May you all eat equally well during these troubled times!

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