Sit down at your favorite sushi bar to order mirugai, bonito, hotate or akame.
Chances are that you’re not really sure what you’re always eating, given that the seafood names are in Japanese. Moreover, chances are even greater that you’re unsure whether what you’re eating is sustainable or being over-fished to extinction.
You may remember my post last year about three new sustainable sushi guides by three environmental organizations. Now, on the heels of those, comes “Sustainable Sushi” (North Atlantic Books) by Casson Trenor, a sustainable seafood expert who’s also a consultant to Tataki Sake and Sushi Bar in San Francisco, the first sustainable sushi restaurant in North America.
At 110 pages, this book is a more in-depth look at 39 species found on sushi menus. Trenor includes information on such crucial issues as mercury levels, dredging, and crowded fish farms. The species are color-coded so that you can tell from just a glance whether it’s sustainable, unsustainable, or one that you should proceed with caution about. It’s a must-read for any sushi aficionado.
If you’re ever in Seattle, head to Diane’s Market Kitchen for another exercise in sustainable sushi. The cooking school, just blocks from Pike Place Market, hosts a “Sustainable Sushi and Sake” course. The three-and-a-half-hour class teaches you how to make sushi with sustainable seafood, as well as the finer points of sake. Price is $125 per person.
Owner Diane LaVonne is a conservation educator with the Seattle Aquarium.