RECIPE – Sushi rolls

Love Jap food, love sushi. This is a recipe for western-style sushi 🙂

Grab a cheap sushi rolling mat from an Asian grocery store ($3) and you’re ready to roll. The rolling mat is basically a bunch of bamboo skewers tied together.

Home-made Californian sushi rolls

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • ~ 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • ~1 tbsp sugar
  • ~1/2 tsp salt
  • Seaweed to wrap

Fillings:

You can use whatever ingredients & combinations you want: smoked salmon & avocado; omelette strips, daikon, capsicum strips, pickled carrots, teriyaki chicken, etc.

For my Californian rolls, I used:

  • Imitation crab sticks – usually in the freezer section of an asian store – thaw it
  • Mayonnaise – any normal mayo is fine, I had a Jap mayo which I found at an Asian grocers
  • Avocado
  • Shredded carrots
  • Cucumber strips

To serve (optional):

  • Soy sauce
  • Wasabi (Japanese horseradish – powerful stuff)
  • Pickled ginger

Method:

  1. Rice – do it however you normally cook it (rice cooker, stove top, microwave, etc) – I am atrocious at cooking rice so I won’t give you instructions on how – follow packet instructions & hope for the best?
  2. Let rice cool slightly before you use it – you still want rice to be warm though when you make it. Comment: Some recipes call for cold rice only. I like it warm because the steam from the rice softens the sushi paper & helps seal the roll (you can also dab water on your finger & run it over the edge of the seaweed to seal)
  3. Bowl – combine sugar, salt & rice vinegar in a bowl & mix – I’ve given general quantities but this is a rough guide – adjust to taste
  4. Sushi rice – mix in vinegar mixture with warm rice with a wooden spoon – taste the sushi rice, if it’s something you can eat plain, then it’s great; otherwise add a bit more of sugar, salt or vinegar until it tastes good
  5. Filling – Prep other ingredients – slice cucumber into slices, shred carrots, slice capsicum – whatever you decide to use

Rolling:

Watch & learn 😉 – obviously, there are many techniques out there, and my way ain’t fool-proof. Google to find one you like.

Comment: I like to cover my sushi mat in clingfilm so it makes it easier to clean, otherwise you may end up with rice wedged between skewers.

  1. Lay sushi paper on your mat, there should be a rough & smooth side – put it with smooth side facing down
  2. Layer on rice over 3/4 of paper starting with the end closest to the edgeComment: Don’t worry too much about getting the rice from edge to edge – I consider the end pieces a lost cause & happily eat them before plating up
  3. Layer your ingredients, I like to have the mushiest/messiest stuff on the bottom (e.g. mayo & avocado) with something sturdy on top for when I press down the ingredients. Comment: Yes, you can strategically place your filling so that when you roll up your sushi, you form a shape – for me, CBF
  4. Pull the sushi paper to the edge of the rolling mat closest to you
  5. Lift the end closest to you away from you and fold over
  6. Allow the end to touch the  sushi paper, then press down & bring closer to you, squeezing the roll – you’re compressing the sushi & rice to make a firm roll. Comment: I’m pressing down and squeezing the mat, dragging it closer towards me to compress the fillingComment: If you don’t compress the filling, you’ll end up with a limp roll that will be very difficult to slice & will look very unattractive – it’s all the same in your stomach though, so don’t worry about it & keep practicing
  7. You may want to try compressing more than once, to make sure everything has been pressed together
  8. When it is all tightly together, use your mat to roll the sushi over the rest of the paper until the sushi paper end is wrapped around the main part
  9. Keep the roll in mat for a minute to allow the steam to seal the roll & get the sushi paper to stick to itself
  10. 1 down, however many left to go 🙂
  11. To slice your sushi, roll it back up in the mat but with the end sticking out.
  12. Dip your knife into warm water then gently slice through the paper and through the roll Comment: If your roll hasn’t absorbed the moisture from rice/steam, the wrapper will be crinkled & difficult to cut, just dab some water all over to help it out.
  13. Taste a piece of your first roll, make sure the balance of ingredients is right – did you have enough mayo/can you taste the avocado, etc & adjust for the next roll
  14. Plate up with soy sauce, wasabi, etc and you’re done – time to eat 🙂

Comment: Whenever I cut sushi, the end pieces always look very unattractive, especially if I’m intending to make the dish presentable. That just means I get to eat all the end pieces as I go along – this often leaves me too full to then eat at dinner though 🙂

Home-made sushi is always a crowd pleaser – even if it’s a crowd of one (moi). I tend to only make Californian rolls and smoked salmon w/ avocado rolls, but that’s just me. Be as creative as you want (my prev housemate loved to make smoked salmon & cream cheese sushi rolls…)

Bon appétit 😀

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