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Smoking Lobster Recipe: Sea Bass Nigiri with Pickled Chilli

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If you’ve ever fancied rolling out your bamboo mat and making your own sushi then this masterclass is just the thing for you. Wanting to learn the basics, we dropped by to see local expert GC Giancovich, Executive Chef of the Smoking Lobster group, fresh from a morning of bass fishing off the Ventnor coast. GC first learnt his sushi techniques from experienced Pan-Asian chef Neil Witney (of London’s Ricker Restaurants) and has continued to teach himself year after year, refining and evolving his techniques along the way. Today, he’s showing us how to make a simple entry-level nigiri topped with raw sea bass

  1. Get the freshest sea bass you can and ask your fishmonger to fillet it into thin ‘D-Cuts’ as is often done for salmon. Then dry it out by leaving it in the fridge uncovered for about 30 minutes.
  2. In a sieve, wash the sushi rice until the water runs clear, when you know you’ll have removed most of the starch. Then add equal parts sushi rice and water to a saucepan and bring to the boil. As soon as the water begins to boil, reduce to a simmer and cover for 10 to 12 minutes until the water has all disappeared.
  3. Next, cool the rice as quickly as possible by laying it out on a cold tray. Season the rice with sushi vinegar, which will both add flavour but also preserve the rice by bringing its pH down, making it safe to use in the sushi.
  4. Now, to make the nigiri, take about 20g of rice, cup it in one hand and press with three fingers from your other hand to form into a long, oval shape. You’ll need some cold water on the side to dip your fingers into as you press down on the rice, so it doesn’t stick to you. Repeat until all the rice has been used.

5. Lay a thin slice of the raw sea bass on each nigiri and glaze with soy sauce using a brush.

6. Finally, add a little pickled chilli on the very top. If you can’t find pickled chillies, you can use some wasabi paste instead.

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