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Sushi and small plate dinner ideas need.

I want to make an Omakase "style" dinner ~ as in you went to the restaurant and ordered omakase and had a memorable meal. If you have had an Omakase dinner what was on your menu? If you were to do (or have done this) this what is/was your inspiration? Are there any cookbooks, websites or reference books you can steer me towards? If you could set it the menu, what would be your "must haves" on a Omakase menu? I have access to sushi grade fish as well as other appropriate ingredients. I have editted as best I could. And yes, I have access to the fish and other ingredients I need.

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  1. I'm curious as to what the alternative to omakase would be for serving sushi at home. Doesn't "omakase" simply mean that what is served is up to the sushi chef as opposed to the customer? In my house, the "customers" get what I choose to serve them--always.

    2 Replies
    1. re: LorenzoGA

      >In my house, the "customers" get what I choose to serve them--always<

      That really isn't answering the question. Now I remember why I
      infrequently post on CH.

      1. re: LorenzoGA

        Okay, I see you reworded your question since I posted this reply. I think it's clearer now. Just asking for suggestions for serving "omakase" at home struck me as odd. I hope you receive useful answers.

      2. you could take this in so many directions... were i to do this, i'd probably start with sashimi, only because i have tried to make and failed miserably the sushi rice. but i'd also try to do some hot dishes, like a chawan mushi, and a few rolls, futomaki, for example. But i think a lot of this would depend on what fish you have access to on that particular day.

        1. I'm with LorenzoGA on this one. I don't understand the question in the context of omakase.

          1. In clarification of LorenzoGA's original answer to you, I think that you've mistaken what omakase is.

            Omakase by definition means "I leave things to you", meaning that it's the chef or the chef who dictates what you're going to be served. It isn't limited to sushi and sashimi either and it can be composed of items already on the menu or one-offs that the chef elects to create.

            When you're hosting at home, you don't give guests a menu with options - you serve them your prepared menu (I've actually tried the "give guests a menu" thing one time and it's a lot of work and a lot of confusion).

            I think what you're confusing omakase with is kaiseki-ryōri, which is a formal dinner sequence that is highly seasonal. At minimum, you're going to expect items that are simmered, steamed, grilled and raw. There are several books to be had on Amazon (Kaiseki, Kitcho and Yamazato are three titles that I have already picked up).

            4 Replies
            1. re: wattacetti

              Wrong. I mean as in an array of sushi and possibly other small plates. Is there an acceptable word for that I should be using?

              1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                You're still getting confused because omakase is used in a restaurant setting where you have the option of either choosing for yourself or letting the chef choose.

                In a home setting, that's not possible because in preparation for your dinner party, you've already chosen everything that you want to serve and guests do not have an option apart from not eating what you serve.

                An array of sushi and possibly other small plates is not omakase. If you have rice, soup and pickles as those small plates, the entirety is called a "set meal".

                If you have your sushi/sashimi and a bunch of small plates served communally, that could be like isakaya-style dining, though isakaya dining in my experience has been all small plates.

                If you presented your sushi/sashimi and small plates in a select sequence, it could pass off as kaiseki.

                Of you presented everything in small shōkadō bentō and small plates at once to individual diners, that could be casual kaiseki

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaiseki

                1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                  What, precisely, is wrong about wattacetti's post? They have done a good job of explaining what Omakase actually means.

                  It seems to me that you are simply preparing sushi for some guests that you are having over.

                  I would suggest moving from lighter and less fatty fish to heavier seafood over the course of the meal.

                  Personally, I am very fond of uni, and it would be relatively easy to make nigirizushi or gunkanmaki topped with individual pieces.

                  1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                    I think what the others were trying to say was that the word "omakase" means that the chef chooses what the guests will eat. That's automatic in a home setting -- you aren't giving your guests a choice of what to eat -- they will eat whatever you choose to serve.

                    I think you are trying to do a japanese theme small plate meal, sort of like japanese tapas style, correct? And wanted to know what others have enjoyed at a restaurant omakase dinner so that you could recreate it at home, is that right? If so, one of my favorites are:

                    Lightly seared sea scallop, cut in half, served with a squeeze of yuzu and and a sprinkle of sea salt.

                    Duo of steamed king crab leg (1.5-2" pieces or so) -- one drizzled with truffle oil and the other served with a light brush of a sweet soy sauce or thin glaze of some sort. I liked it so much, I asked for another at the end of my meal.

                    Sea urchin -- served in the shell as-is. Must be super fresh though.

                    Live raw spot prawns. Heads were served later in the meal, deep fried.

                2. I just want hear about an array of Japanese small dishes and sushi. Since some of you are interested in discussing my misunderstanding of the word then I have posted the question here:

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/987030