This is what happens, the awabi (abalone) gets salted with pure Japanese sea salt for 40 minutes and then de-shelled and ready to be eaten. Sushi preparation is not always complex but it takes a few hours to prepare the daily catch. Some fish take more time than others and some are just a matter of purveying the finest available and nothing more.
This proves more and more that the rice preparation and technique of the sushi maker’s hands plays a pivotal role. The rice is selected by each sushi restaurant by what they consider the most important merits. Then it is cooked and cooled and vinegar is used. This is the secret of the sushi maker, the perfect amount of rice wine used when cooking his rice. Too much will leave the rice tasting unbalanced.
The right amount and balance is the “art of the trade” and we can tell each sushi maker by his vinegar ratio he uses, as it stands out or melds in. Then it comes down to the technique, how much squeeze is applied to the sushi, the cut of the fish and the size and taste of the fish. This awabi is top grade and you see it and taste it.