I attended a Japanese cooking class last year and have used my notes from that class to make sushi. I'm not a fan of raw fish sushi and prefer eating rolled sushi ie. maki. I usually order the vegetarian option at restaurants, but I had leftover smoked salmon from making the Lox Bagel so I added that too.
The term sushi actually refers to the rice which is mixed with rice vinegar. This rice can then be topped or rolled in various ways. My cooking instructor stressed the importance of properly cooked rice, so I followed her instructions:
3 cups of sushi rice
4 cups of water
3 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
Place rice in a medium sized saucepan. Remove excess starch from the rice by rinsing it 3 or 4 times. (Add cold water until the rice is covered, then drain water.)
Add the 4 cups of water to the rice and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover the saucepan and reduce the heat so that the rice continues to cook, without boiling over.
Cook for 15-20 minutes then turn off the heat.
The secret tip: Don't peek, do not remove the lid until the dish is ready to serve.
When ready, mix the rice vinegar into the rice.
Cover your sushi rolling mat with plastic, it keeps things clean and non-stick. I wanted to make inside-out rolls, with the rice on the outside, so I tried both methods. Method 1, was to lay the nori on the mat and then cover it with rice and then flip it over, the rice sticks pretty well to the rougher side of the nori. I also just spread rice onto the mat and then pressed the nori into it to cover. Both worked okay. A good tip was to keep a bowl of water at hand to dip your spatula or spoon into. This dislodges sticky rice and makes spreading easier.
I laid my smoked salmon in the centre of the nori parallel with the bamboo. If you did it the other way it wouldn't roll properly. I used avocado and fine carrot sticks in mine. Then just roll up tightly. Remember you don't want to enclose the mat so fold the mat over the fillings to form the roll. I then sprinkled mine with toasted sesame seeds and cut it into pieces. I served mine with soy sauce with a little wasabi mixed in.
Very delicious. Considering it was the first time I did this myself, I think it worked out pretty well.
Progress: 81/86 (only 5 to go)
Next up: I didn't get time to make Unbirthday cake for my husband before he left, but will attempt it when he returns, which will be after his birthday. He's at sea for 3 weeks.
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