Sushi is an art form. Ever since Yokohama-born Endo Kazutoshi can remember, it's been an integral part of his life. Growing up with his family's traditional restaurant, he would often accompany his grandfather to the local fish market to pick the freshest catches, before observing the masterful cutting techniques and nigiri presentations following. His upbringing and fascination for the Japanese delicacy are what inspired him to continue his culinary career path. He's worked with omakase restaurants and his own family unit, before joining the prestigious Zuma and in 2019, his own venture, the Michelin-starred Endo at the Rotunda in London. Tables are often booked out for months in its unexpected – but very stylish – former BBC television centre location. Three years on since its opening and a cool Michelin star later, Kazutoshi shares with us his top five sushi tools for every kitchen.
There are many knives used when preparing sushi. My favourite is the Takohiki as my master and father used it. I use this for about 60% of all fish, such as squid, scallop, akami tuna and yellowtail.
Dexterity with your hands is essential when making sushi. Many of our dishes are served directly from my hands. It took me 20 years of training to feel confident opening my restaurant. There are some skills only time and practice can teach. I used to play the guitar, but my master wouldn’t let me if it damaged my hands.
3) Binchotan Charcoal
We use a particular Japanese grill using binchotan charcoal, which burns very hot but is not too aggressive. It gives our dishes a clean, toasted flavour, not burnt or carbonised. As it’s small and portable, it’s perfect for finishing dishes in front of the guest. We use it to toast nori seaweed, for example, lightly.
Temperature is just as important as taste, texture and aroma when making sushi. We are very precise with our temperatures and use an infrared thermometer to test the temperature of dashi stock and our fish and meat, but perhaps most importantly, our rice.
5) Artisanal Ceramics
Artisanal ceramics are significant to me and to the way we serve. We take exceptional care to source the most beautiful and rare pieces. Any broken ones will be fixed using the kintsugi method, becoming even more attractive. Some of our pots are made by artisans who are so booked up that they take no more bookings for the rest of their lives. I have them made for my specifications, all Japanese made, of course.
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