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Best Bites: Striped Bass Usuzukuri

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Elway’s Downtown 1881 Curtis St. (in the Ritz-Carlton, Denver), 303-312-3107, www.elways.com

You can learn a lot from watching a chef handle a knife. A few glances offer a window into the dedication (or not) with which your meal is made. This is especially true for sushi chefs, who must aim for perfection with every stroke. At Elway’s Downtown, an order of the striped bass usuzukuri showcases sushi chef Jake Rand’s studied precision. This usuzukuri technique, which means “thin slice” in Japanese, is a test of how sharp the chef keeps his knife and how skillfully he uses it. To achieve optimal texture and taste, the goal is to slice the striped bass as finely as possible (paper-thin is ideal) without breaking the molecular structure. Here, Rand presents the jewel-like sashimi, seasoned with ponzo and chives, over a glistening bed of ice.

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This article appeared in the August 2010 issue of 5280.

Amanda M. Faison, 5280 Contributor

Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.

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