Friday, 24 September 2010

Making sushi

Makizushi (rolled sushi)

My son and youngest daughter have this thing about sushi, they love the stuff. They will eat Sushi with all sorts of toppings and fillings, raw fish, salmon roe, sea urchin even.  Years ago I lived in Japan, so I also share their love for sushi and quite like making it for dinner. Our issue is that we can’t really source fish fresh enough to slice and make the full range of  traditional sushi. So instead we make rolled sushi called ‘makizushi’. Maki means ‘to roll’. Sometimes this type of sushi is also called ‘norimaki’, which means a dried seaweed (nori) roll.
Making makizushi only takes a few ingredients. Most of them can be found in good supermarkets, or from specialist Chinese or Thai shops. You will need some sushi rice, dried seaweed sheets, rice wine, some wasabi (a hot horseradish paste) and some good soya sauce. I think Kikoman is the best. I make my makizushi with some cooked salmon and cucumber strips flavoured with soya sauce and ginger. 

You can also make it with a whole range of other items:-

Smoked makerel, cut into thin strips
Smoked salmon – you can use sheets or scraps cut into srtips
Tuna mayonnaise
Avocado – cut into strips and use with crab stick or makeral strips
Crab stick
Takuan – pickled radish
Umeboshi = pickled plum (an aquired taste)
Shitake mushrooms

It is important to use sushi rice when making any type of sushi. This is a short grain rice that cooks up into a wonderful sticky consistency. If you use an ordinary long grain rice it will end up being too dry.

Serves 4-6, or you can make smaller rolls to serve as canapes
10oz Japanese rice
3 tbspns  rice vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

1. Wash the rice well to remove excess starch, cook it and let it steam. To do this, put the rice in a pot and cover the rice with water (double the amount of rice). Allow the rice to come to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Turn the heat off, cover with a lid and allow the rice to steam and cook for a further 15 minutes.

2. Prepare sushi vinegar (sushi-zu) by mixing rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a cup. Stir well to dissolve the granules.

3. Spread the hot steamed rice into a large plate or a large bowl. Use a non-metallic bowl to prevent any interaction with rice vinegar. Sprinkle the vinegar mixture over the rice with a spoon or spatula quickly. Take care not to smash the rice.

4. Allow the rice to cool and use sushi rice right away. Use a bamboo rolling sheet to help roll up the sushi. 

6. Put the filling of your choice in the middle.

7. Roll it.

8. Then cut the roll into slices and serve with soya sauce and some wasabi.

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