Author: Prof. Dr. Murray Hunter
One of the most appetizing and ‘glamorous’ fast food is sushi. The ‘sushi’ culture is big time in most international cities around the world. It’s a gourmet status symbol saying ‘that you have made it’ in the urban culture.
However until now, sushi is something that an entrepreneur has to invest in. It’s not just the sushi, but the surroundings you prepare for your customers swinging in and out of your bar.
But now it’s time to bring sushi to all the people in the markets of the world. Why can’t sushi be available in that Sunday market in Camden, the weekend market in Brisbane, the night markets or pasar malams in Malaysia, or the vege-market in Durban?
This is the ideal place to serve sushi where people are on the run and want just that one or two minute culinary treat. Enter sushi.
Sushi will add life and vitality to any marketplace, and if it’s not already there, “(s)he who dares, wins”.
So what do you have to do to become a sushi master?
1. The sushi
Sushi is one of the true culinary arts of this world and it takes lots of practice to get perfection.
Most of the ingredients are available – you just have to bring them to life and give them your interpretation.
Sushi rice is made with a good quality short grain rice that gets a little sticky upon cooking. It needs a good clean and soaking before its cooked. After the rice is cooked, keep steaming it for another 10-20 minutes to get the best texture.
The taste of rice without special sushi seasoning is rather bland, so you have to add a sushi vinegar to the rice to give it that real sushi taste. You can make your own sushi vinegar by mixing a blend of rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a sauce pan with low heat – you only need a small amount of sugar and salt here. Once the sugar is dissolved allow the mixture to cool.
Then comes the art of sprinkling the sushi vinegar over the rice until the rice has a shine upon it. Some sesame seeds can be added to enhance the taste and give effect.
Once the rice is ready put a nori sheet (seaweed sheet) over a sushi mat (makisu) with the slats running horizontally and place the rice over it. In the centre you can put your fillings which can come from a wide range of ingredients;
Salmon, tuna fillet, prawn, avocado, pickle, carrot, cucumber, radish, egg, etc.
A drop or two of lemon juice over these choice ingredients will bring out the taste more when they are inside the sushi.
Then you roll and its ready to serve. There is nothing like rolling sushi in public that attracts attention and creates the urge of people to buy some. So you set up a little bench where people can see fresh sushi being made, ready to serve.
Make sure you have little packets of wasabi and soy sauce prepared to pack with customer orders.
What size you cut your sushi greatly depends upon your customers. In the US and Australia, sushi rolls are the go and are almost a little meal. In Asia sushi is cut down to about 2 cm width. This way you can prepare and price your product according to what best suits your market.
2. The stall.
You need a nice stainless steel looking stall where the sushi is on display under a glass screen. People can made their selection for purchase. Behind or beside the selection glass is a little area for rolling sushi. You might. make sure the sushi maker is not disturbed by customers, and the art of making sushi becomes a show that will surely attract a crowd.
Finally it’s a matter picking out a nice descriptive brand and colour for your sushi stall. Combined with the sushi making demos, your stall is bound to attract a lot of attention.
Sushi at the market is something most people can do. It’s not a terribly high investment, but will require some practice at home until you get the recipe right. There are lots of websites offering good advice for those who want to experiment. Probably the two most difficult issues are finding all the ingredients, and getting a good place at a market to demo your sushi making abilities.
Sushi at the market has plenty of potential to grow into a very popular fast food choice. The author has seen this concept boom at some of the night markets in Thailand, where most sushi on offer are primarily vege centres, thus keeping the price very affordable.
Once you get the art of making sushi right, prime business success will depend upon giving customers what they want, and in the right place where they want it. Get those two issues right and maybe you will have a very successful little business on your “sushi” hands.