A Guide to Sustainable Sushi If you are going out to eat sushi always check if the restaurant is ‘MSC certified’. This means it has agreed to the Marine Stewardship’s Council’s Sustainable Seafood Programme. An increasing number of restaurants and cafes around the world are sourcing MSC certified seafood and have the blue logo on their menus. The blue logo is the thing to look for in supermarkets too. According to the MSC the best supermarket for sustainability is The Co-Operative. In their 2009 survey Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose all faired well, though Aldi, Lidl, Netto and Spar refused the survey request. As for ‘fish to eat and fish to avoid’ the MSC list runs to 25 pages, so necessitates some serious study. The main fish to avoid are bluefin tuna, skate, eel, shark and rock salmon. Fish to buy are pollack, gurnard, pouting, mackerel and mussels. But what does seafood sustainability really mean? A sustainable logging operation would require re-planting all trees and replenishing stocks, but however good fishing practices are, they can’t be truly sustainable, can they? If you want to be seriously good to the ocean in these serious times of depleting fish stocks, the thing to do is forget about fish altogether and make your own sushi, using other ingredients. Though not as healthy as fish, a lean cut of beef is a meat alternative that tastes great with rice and seaweed. Scrambled egg, mixed with sushi rice and a rasher of bacon creates a yummy breakfast snack. To enjoy the flavour and health benefits of sushi (which are numerous, especially from the seaweed) doesn’t necessarily mean having a big slab of rare bluefin tuna on top. Think of sushi like sandwiches, almost any filling works. Why not try ham for lunch, with a splash of mayo? Or even sausages and HP sauce! Vegetable combinations are endless. From carrot and cucumber to asparagus and red pepper, sun-dried tomato and mozzarella, or figs and blue cheese. And then there’s fruit sushi. The rice and seaweed combination is just as nice for a dessert, as it is for a main course. Strawberries, mangos, blueberry, raspberry; all taste surprisingly good with sticky rice. The important thing about a good sushi filling is consistency. So long as it is not too wet, or too crunchy it will generally work. Fillings that wouldn’t work are banana – too sloppy, or raw carrot – too crunchy. Making your own sushi and experimenting with different flavour combinations is great fun and can also be far cheaper than eating fish. Buy rice, seaweed and sushi rice vinegar in bulk and you can go wild with different flavour combinations. Eat what is in season, or what is going cheap down your local Whoops! counter. Along with a bit of imagination and a little bit of work, you can do your bit to help the world’s fish supplies while experiencing some sushi taste sensations.