After you’ve started making your own sushi, you’ll want to start buying and cutting your own fish. At this point, you need Masuo Yoshino’s Sushi: The Delicate Flavor of Japan. It has taught me more about fish and fish cuts than any other resource.
Amazon.Com does not carry this book. I found my copy at a Japanese bookstore in the cooking section. Find a Japanese bookstore in your area and call them to see if they have it; it’s totally worth it.
Sushi: The Delicate Flavor of Japan by Masuo Yoshino, has all the regular items you’d expect from an introduction about sushi. But if you’re looking for a step-by-step guide, you’re better off with Yoshii’s Sushi. The pictures are larger, and the explanations are more suited to the beginning Westerner.
However I’ve never seen anything compare to the Yoshino book and it’s coverage of fish. Yoshino’s book really should be renamed Sushi Fish Encyclopedia. It’s awesome. For each species of fish, it goes through all the crucial things you need to know about each fish, including:
- a black and white line-drawing of the fish (this is really neat, since I never see the fish except on my plate),
- a description of the taste of the fish, and it’s unique characteristics,
- when each fish is in season,
- which parts of the fish are edible,
- how to tell a fresh fish, if you didn’t catch it yourself (:-),
- how to prepare the fish, from scaling the fish to preparing each slice, and
- a picture of the prepared/served fish.
The second real gem in this book is the list of recipies in the back. There are a number of unusual dishes, complete with pictures which should keep you busy for quite a while.
I’ve spent many hours looking through the cooking sections of bookstores for good sushi books that describe fish, and this is the best one I’ve found. I highly recommend you find it, and start taking it shopping.
Sushi: The Delicate Flavor of Japan by Masuo Yoshino is published by Gakken Co., LTD. in Tokyo, Japan. ISBN4-05-151404-8.