Every time when I teach sushi and sake pairing class, the most frequent asked question is “where can I get the ingredients/sake?” Once you’ve learned the skill set, the next step is to get the right tools and ingredients so you can start rock and roll some makis at home, and pair them with delicious sake. I hear you! Here is some information. I hope you find it helpful. In the future, I will write more post and be more specific about sake or ingredients for certain kind of sushi. This post is a general shopping guide. If you have any question, please don’t hesitate to contact me!
Sake Shopping in Boston Area
Many of you have tried Dovetail Sake at my sushi and sake pairing class. As I mentioned before, unpasteurized sake (nama sake) usually has distinctive floral and fruity aroma. They must be kept in fridge for storage all the time. Due to this reason, it is not easy to find fresh nama sake in USA. Sake in general should be enjoyed when it is young, aged sake is an exception.
It takes months for nama sake to be shipped to USA. Keeping it in fridge during the shipping also makes the process more difficult. Fortunately, there is a local sake brewery right in Massachusetts! Dovetail Sake produces premium unpasteurized Jumai 純米 and premium coarsely filtered Nigori Sake. Their most recent hit is Sake made by maple water in Maine! If you’re interested in trying Dovetail sake.
Several great places in Cambridge, like City Liquors and Cambridge Wine and Spirits, carry their sake! Check out their zipcode finder.
Where to buy sushi grade fish in the greater Boston area?
Quarterdeck Seafoods is a fresh fish market located just west of Boston that you must check out and explore. The owner, Chris Basile, picks up fresh fish daily from the historic Boston Fish Pier. What’s in stock may vary depending on the day’s catch. So, make sure to call ahead to ensure your desired fish is available. While they stock a lot of the common fish, they do their best to continue bringing in unique fish for our more adventurous customers. So, they will also fill custom orders for anything they don’t carry, so don’t hesitate to call in ahead of time! Don’t forget to tell them you took Sushi class with Chef Melissa and get 10% off your first order!
In the US, per the USDA, all fish that is going to be eaten run MUST be frozen so there is always a great selection of fish at Hmart in their freezer section as well.
Where to get my Hangiri?
A good Hangiri has distinctive cedar aroma and will enhance the flavor profile of your sushi rice. You can find a nice one on Amazon.
The one I ordered was 13″ (33cm).
Where to get my sushi hand roll stand?
I still remember how many of you enjoyed making Temaki Sushi (Hand Roll) 手巻き寿司. You can be creative with the fillings of your Temaki Sushi (Hand Roll) 手巻き寿司. If you’re a vegetarian, you can use different kind of vegetables, such as carrots, cucumber, red bell peppers, yellow bell peppers and asparagus. The more color the better. It’s not only visually pleasing, but it is also better for your health. Different color of food means different vitamins. The hand roll stand I used during the class can also be an ice cream cone stand. How nice! It’s perfect for sushi hand roll party and there are three sizes for you to choose. I ordered mine from Amazon.
Where to get my special spice for wasabi mayo and sriracha mayo?
I usually use two spice blend from La Boite for my wasabi mayo and sriracha mayo. The one with distinct lemongrass flavor is Noga. The other one I used was Pierre Poivre N.7. I purchased that from the special spice shop called La Boite in NYC. La Boite have been featured in publications including The New York Times, Vogue, In Style Magazine, Every Day with Rachel Ray, Food & Wine Magazine and the SAVEUR 100. Lior Lev Sercarz is the chef, spice blender and owner of La Boite. He has worked with many celebrity chefs, including Daniel Boulud, to create the special blend for their flagship restaurants. I learned how to use their spice when I worked with Chef Fernanda at Comedor, a Chilean restaurant in Newton Center. Chef Ana Sortun, the owner of Sofra Bakery, Sarma, and Oleana also loves spice from La Boite. You can buy some spice from La Boite from Sofra Bakery or Eataly Boston. The selection is limited in both locations. Another way to explore their spice is to go online: http://laboiteny.com. If you have any questions, email Christian Leue (firstname.lastname@example.org) He is like a spice dictionary and will explain which spice will suit which dish/cuisine the best for you.
Where to shop for Bento Box Tools?
Amazon.com – Believe it or not, you can find almost all the tools we use during the class from Amazon.com. I have even better news for you. Nearly everything includes free shipping for prime members. So if going to an Asian supermarket is too much for you, just turn on your computer and click your mouse.
Where to shop for general sushi making ingredients in the greater Boston area:
Wegmans – If one of the Asian supermarkets below is too far for food shopping, you can go to Wegmans. They don’t carry the all tools and ingredients we need during the class, but they do carry many types of Asian spice, noodles, snacks and seasonings.
Hmart – If you’re used to a bright, clean supermarket with wide aisles and things organized nicely on the shelf like Whole Foods, Hmart is the right place to go. Also, everything will be labeled in English. You can find the tools for making rice ball and learning chopsticks here. They sell learning chopsticks for lefties and righties. If you’re a big fan of Kimchi, you will be amazed by the variety of Kimchi they offer at Hmart. Also, don’t miss Tous les Jours, the bakery at Hmart. They sell tasty French pastries with an Asian twist.
Super 88 Allston (also known as Hong Kong Supermarket) – If you want to go out for an adventure, Super 88 is definitely fun to go. It’s not so bright, and the aisles are not so wide. The products are not organized very well and the staff doesn’t speak much English. However, you will find many interesting Asian food and snacks. The fun part is the food court at Super 88. Try Taiwanese fried chicken and bubble tea. I promise it will be a special fun trip!
I’d love to show you how best to use these fresh and authentic ingredients! If you’d like to book a private sushi and sake pairing class in your own home, book here.