The Mackerel Zavelli Roll

“This post is a little bit “hajimemashite”, and a little bit “arigatou gozaimasu”, if you know what I mean. If not, well it’s nice to meet you and thanks for coming anyway.”

I just want to take this moment to thank you for visiting my blog. I have put a lot of work into this, and have struggled along the way. Almost two years coming, and I am finally ready to proudly present Maki Zavelli to my friends, family, and the world! I would also like to give special thanks to those who have helped and supported me on this journey. David and Nicky, I couldn’t have done this without you, and you are both truly appreciated. Abraham, you have been extremely supportive, and your kind, encouraging words keep me going. To everyone else who are genuinely interested and excited about this venture of mine, thank you as well. Now with that out of the way, on to the food!

For my first official food post, I set off to compose a dish that would represent who I am in a maki roll. So today I am presenting the Mackerel Zavelli roll. Go ahead and take a moment to enjoy the excessive amount of whimsical wordplay…

The Mackerel Zavelli roll: mackerel,sweet potato, avocado, tamago, spicy mayo, with mackerel on top

My all-time favorite sushi item that can be commonly found in any U.S. sushi bar is shimesaba mackerel. This fish is not served raw due to bacterial concerns. Instead it is salt-cured and marinated or pickled. Most generic sushi bars use pre-packaged cured, marinated mackerel imported from Japan. Sushi connoisseurs use saba as a way to assess the skill of the itamae (sushi chef). More reputable sushi establishments prepare their own mackerel and often offer several varieties where different seasonings have been used in the curing and marinading process. Since I am still a very green itamae, my curing prowess is still under development. I just used the pre-packaged variety for this roll.

Mackerel is cut different for sushi than it is for sashimi, and typically the sashimi cuts are also used for maki.

To achieve the mackerel topping for this roll, I kept the majority of it whole and trimmed some of the meat off the bottom so it would lay flatter on top of the the uramaki.

I filled this inside-out roll with some of my favorite ingredients: avocado, spicy mayo, sweet potato, and dashi maki tamago (rolled egg omelette). I also included the portion of the mackerel that I trimmed. Spicy mayonnaise is a simple condiment to make; its really just hot sauce and mayo. The delectably sweet dashi maki tamago, or just tamago for short, is more complicated to make. I will add a tutorial for this at a later date. If you’ve never had it, tamago is just like a sweet, layered version of an egg omelette.

With the briny, salty, tang of the mackerel, this roll packs a big flavor punch. It doesn’t need any soy sauce.

Multiple flavors and textures make this version of me on a plate quite delectable. I also find the design and coloration of the mackerel to be stunningly beautiful, and even more beautiful on my taste buds.

Dozo yoroshiku, Mackerel Zavelli Roll!

Until next time,

May the fish be with you, young rainbow trout!

~Maki Zavelli, over and out <(^_^<)

(My apologies for the random romanized Japanese if you don’t know any.)

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