Just the word 'Sushi' seems to put many people off. And that is because they wrongly think that Sushi = RAW fish. Wrong, wrong, wrong! Sushi in fact means 'Rice that is vinegared with a topping of raw, cooked or marinated, fish, shellfish, meat, vegetables or egg.
Sushi comes in many forms, including bowls of rice with scattered fish, meat and veg, hand rolled sushi with a seaweed covering and stuffed sushi.
Sushi is one of the most healthy foods you can create, and its also very artistic and impresses every one who see's it!
Everyone should try sushi, if your not keen on fish, its great with cooked chicken, beef or veg, such as cucumber, carrot and peppers.
The key to good sushi, is most definitely the rice, get this right and everything else is easy!
And the ingredients are now readily available in most large supermarkets, or if you live local to me, try Janson Hong on Bridge Street in Peterborough, they have everything that you need at prices that cannot be beaten. Also you will need a bambo sushi rolling mat (Makisu).
300g (10oz) Japanese Sushi rice (no other rice will work)
4 tablespoons of Sushi rice seasoning. (vinegar mixture)
2inch strip of Kombu (optional, but recommended)
1. It is very important to clean the sushi rice well, as this helps the rice to stick together. I find the easiest way to do this is to get a fairly large bowl fill it with clean cold water, and place the rice in a seive, and submerge it into the water, wash the rice thoroughly, and keep changing the water until it becomes clear and is no longer cloudy. Drain the water and let the rice stand for at least 30 minutes.
2. Put the washed rice into a heavy based saucepan, add the water and kombu (if using), cover with a close fitting lid. Bring to the boil over a medium heat until boiling, do not be tempted to lift the lid, listen for the boiling to commence, then boil rapidly for 3 minutes.
3. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, remove from heat and let stand with the lid still on for a further 10 minutes. Lift lid and throw away the Kombu (if using)
4. Transfer the rice to a large salad bowl (preferably plastic), I like to add a few drops of the vinegar mixture to the bowl beforehand and smear, this prevents the rice from sticking to the bowl. Spread the rice evenly in the bowl and slowly add the rest of the vinegar mixture a little at a time, whilst using a spatula in a slicing action (do not stir!) to make sure every grain of the rice gets coated.
5. The trick to really sticky rice, is to cool it very quickly, this can be done by fanning the rice, with a thin chopping board or a piece of card etc. You can speed the process up by spreading the rice on a large clean baking tray, then fanning it. It needs to be cooled to room temperature before you even attempt to use it.
Rolled sushi (Maki Zushi) shown on the left of the plate above.
2 small tins of cooked tuna (preferably in spring water)
1 small onion (chopped very finely)
1 tablespoon of mayonaise
Juice of one lime
Pinch of salt.
4-5 sheets of Nori (rolled dried seaweed)
Wasabi (Japanese horseradish, optional)
1. Drain the tins of tuna, and tip into a bowl, add the finely chopped onion, mayonaise, lime juice and salt, stir well.
1. Lay your bambo sushi mat on a work surface and place one sheet of Nori, shiny side down on it. Dip your hands in vinegard water, to prevent the rice from sticking to them, form two handfuls of the rice into log shapes and place into the centre of the Nori. (see picture 1.).
2. Spread the rice evenly and gently over the Nori, making sure you leave a 1inch gap at the top, and also try and get the rice as close to the edges as possible. If you like a hint of heat, place a small squirt of wasabi on your finger and spread it gently in a line on the rice. You really do not need much of this stuff, so be warned!
3. Place the some of filling in the centre of the rice, in a long sausage shape, about 1.5cm high (see picture 2.). Now were ready to roll!
4. This is the fun part. Place your thumbs under the bambo mat, and lift the nearest edge to you, and gently tuck the closest edge to you in, making sure it goes over the filling, then bring the mat down and gently squeeze. Then lift the font edge of the mat with one hand, and push the roll forward with the other, so that the uncovered piece fo Nori, seals the roll. It should lot a little similar to a sausage roll. Easy. yeah?? =)
5. Flatten the mat out and tidy the ends of the roll. Set aside in a cool place, not the fridge, as this will dry the rice out. And do the same with the other sheets of Nori.
6. When all the rolls are completed, get a moistened super sharp knife and cut into slices.
These are great with all kinds of filling, prawns, breaded chicken, raw tuna, peppers, cucumber, tofu etc.
They really are best eaten pretty quickly after they are made, but can be stored in a sealed tub at room temperature for a couple of hours max.
The main photo also shows the same filling in a battleship sushi (gunkan maki) and vinegar prawn temari sushi. I'll show you these another time! =-)