Introduction: The Great Peruvian Sushi: Uchu Sushi
Peruvian cuisine is one of the best in the world and it is known not only for its exquisite taste, but also for its variety and ability to incorporate the influence from different times and cultures.
The Peruvian cuisine is an important expression of its own culture and tradition. It embraces new trends and influences and fuse them into something uniquely Peruvian. In fact, like Chinese and Italian, Japanese is one of the great late 19th and early 20th century migrations to Peru. The Japanese immigrants began opening seafood centered restaurants that inspired a resurgence love of fish and consequently the development of the “Ceviche” and “Tiradito” we know today.
The mayors of the ingredients found in every Peruvian dish are rice, potatoes, chicken and fish. Most of these meals include one of the different kinds of "Aji", or peruvian hot pepper, which mainly are: yellow aji pepper, red aji pepper, red rocoto pepper, and many others. Most of these kinds of aji are difficult to find in any other country. The Quechua word for Aji is “Uchu”.
Uchu Sushi is an amalgam of Peruvian and Japanese cuisine that goes beyond Sushi. It is a mixture of flavors that integrate Peruvian and Japanese cuisine at its highest level. The local ingredients and seafood from the Peruvian ocean creates an exquisite plate.
Step 1: Ingredients and Directions
Uchu Sushi: (serves 4 people)
1/4 kg of fresh Anchoveta fillet (Peruvian fish).
2 cups of Peruvian white rice.
4 Yellow Aji (Peruvian hot pepper).
1 Red Aji (Peruvian hot pepper).
4 Leaves of Acelga (Peruvian plant)
Slice the Anchoveta into rectangles, about a quarter-inch thick. Place the Yellow Aji in boiling water for 3 minutes, then transfer to ice water. When cooled remove the veins and keep the shell. Place one slice of Anchoveta and one red aji strip on the leave of Acelga and roll to form a cylindrical shape. Using your hands, take the yellow aji shell and form a cylindrical shape to match the previous roll. Take a small amount of the Peruvian white rice and place the rice block on top, and press gently to shape the sushi. Roll the sushi and cut into slices. Decorate the plate with Cilantro leaves. Serve with Aji Amarillo Sauce, Soy Sauce and a cup of Pisco Sour.
Aji Amarillo Sauce:
2 Tbs. Sacha Inchi Oil (Peruvian Plant)
1 small onion, minced
2 tablespoon minced garlic
2 1/2 tablespoon dried yellow aji (Aji Mirasol)
some drops of lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
Saute onions and garlic in Sacha Inchi oil, add aji amarillo, stir for 3 minutes, season with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to food processor to produce a smooth sauce.
Drink: Pisco Sour (serves 4 people)
4 measures of pure Peruvian Pisco (Acholado)
1 measure of gum syrup
1 measure of key lime juice
1/8 of a measure of an egg white
4 ice cubes
3 drops of Angostura Bitters (Chuncho)
Place all the ingredients, except for the Angostura Bitters, in the order listed above in a cocktail shaker. Shake for 15 seconds. Strain and serve in a chilled, 8 oz. cocktail glass. Decorate the top with 3 drops of Angostura Bitters.
Step 2: Peruvian Products
Sacha Inchi Oil: Extra Virgin
Fish: Anchoveta, Lenguado, Mero
Aji: Yellow, Red, Mirasol (dried)