SUSHI ART COOKBOOK: THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO KAZARI SUSHI
By Ken Kawasumi (North Clarendon, Vt.: Tuttle Publishing, 2017, 128 pp., hardcover, $18.95)
If you are a serious foodie interested in food art or sushi, this book might be for you. But this book is definitely for you if you’re a chef or aspiring chef, or an experienced home cook looking for new ways to impress people at an event or dinner party. “Sushi Art Cookbook” gives traditional sushi an innovative new spin, showing us how to prepare rice, fish, nori (seaweed) and vegetables and transform them into edible works of art.
Ken Kawasumi is clearly an artist and a chef, as every recipe is visually delightful, yielding results that look almost too beautiful to eat.
The book is full of examples of beautiful kazari-sushi (decorative sushi) from very simple to the more complex, with careful step-by-step instructions and color photos on every page. Some of the techniques that Kawasumi employs are impressively creative, and he includes detailed instructions on how to handle, prepare and roll different kinds of sushi, and ultimately, how to create special occasion sushi and sushi art. Kawasumi introduces readers to a variety of rolling techniques and fun, creative designs including flowers, animals, words and even an adorable Santa Claus roll. The book also has a section on vegetable nigiri (bite-sized), for an artistic vegetarian alternative, as well as techniques in creating vegetable art.
If you’re starting out with making sushi as a beginner, generally following the book in order should help. Every recipe requires a degree of manual dexterity and practice for the average person, so be ready to take your time, and not be disheartened if your first cat-face chirashi bowl looks a little cross-eyed at first. But with fresh ingredients, a little patience and this book, you too can learn how to be a sushi artist.