Searching for Sustainable Sushi
A highlight from the 2011 Cooking for Solutions event at the Monterey Bay Aquarium: Chef Brandon Hill of Portland’s Bamboo Sushi demonstrating how to create sashimi, nigiri sushi, and several types of rolls while discussing the importance of eating sustainably harvested fish. Ninja knife skills indicate how seriously Chef Brandon has dedicated himself to becoming an outstanding sushi chef. [View more images below]
During the demo, he discussed his background including how he came be involved in the first certified, sustainable sushi restaurant in the world. Many counselors along the way thought that a sustainable sushi restaurant could never work, but Bamboo Sushi’s success shows how it can be done. Their mission: to provide guests with “the freshest fish, meats, and produce available while adhering to the highest standards of marine stewardship and sustainability.
More info: Bamboo Sushi
Chef Brandon’s sense of humor balanced well with his serious focus on the ingredients and tools arrayed on the table before him as he skillfully integrated fish, rice, and vegetables with sesame oil, Sriracha, and other complex flavorings. In addition to a demystifying discussion of appropriate knives, we learned best practices for infusing the sushi rice with a vinegar mixture, creating matchsticks of cucumber, and getting the ideal ratio of fish to rice in a perfect piece of sushi (18 grams fish to 12 grams rice). In true learn-by-doing fashion, Chef Brandon also invited members of the audience to try their hands at making some rolls using skills he had just demonstrated.
This chef serves as a model for overcoming obstacles along the path to doing the right thing, especially sourcing fish harvested in a way that ensures the long-term health of fish and human populations. We’ll be sure to visit Bamboo Sushi on our next trip to Oregon.
Sustainable Sushi in the Central Coast?
Using Seafood Watch recommendations on the most sustainable choices when ordering sushi, we’re going to explore the Central Coast for those restaurants offering sustainably-harvested fish. Stay tuned.
Know of any restaurants serving gindara, iwana, iwashi, mirugai, shiro maguro or other options on the Best Choice list? Let us know.