I don’t know about you, dear reader, but dare I presume that being as you’re perusing my little blog, you and I share a love of food? Perhaps you are like me, flitting from one food obsession to another. In love with one ingredient yesterday (Lotus biscuit spread, anyone?) and another today.
Sushi has been on my brain, on my brain I tell you!! And just will not go away.
Now, we like going to ‘Yo! Sushi’, we really do, but we come away (two of us) yes, satisfied, not over-stuffed, but noticeably lighter in pocket. Very noticeably.
So, I decided to try making my own. I read from books, heard from friends, perused YouTube and Googled for all I’m worth.
It didn’t look too difficult. In fact the being difficulty seemed to be finding out what ‘Sushi Grade’ fish actually is.
From what I’ve gathered, it’s fresh fish which has been commercially frozen for a period of time and at certain temperatures which renders it fit to be eaten raw.
For want of a ‘nicer’ way of saying this –
Any bugs or parasites present on or in the fish are killed.
So, the fish needs to have been pre-frozen.
I had a little talk with the fishmonger at the supermarket and walked off happily with 1 salmon fillet, a small back of beautifully plump Tiger prawns and a packet of Surimi (crab sticks)
These were my choice, but you could just as easily use smoked salmon, cooked tuna, hot smoked trout, in fact any seafood which takes your fancy!
Of course, if you’re going to be using anything raw, then speak to a knowledgable fishmonger first.
You can see from the photos, that we made a decent amount of sushi. Perhaps 35 pieces, if you take into account the first few which were a bit of a disaster! (I cut the Nori seaweed sheet too short, and as such it wasn’t long enough to wrap around the filling)
Also, I didn’t have a traditional bamboo mat to help with the rolling, but I used a clean tea-towel to help me roll and this seemed to work just fine.
I must admit I preferred the seaweedless sushi; the Nigiri (rectangular) and the balls.
The Nori was kind of chewy. Google suggested that it need toasting, or was stale, but as it came out of a sealed pack which included one of those little moisture-removing little sachets I don’t think it could have been stale.
And surely, if it needed toasting, wouldn’t the pack directions state this?
Sushi for Beginners
Makes approximately 35 pieces.
500g Sushi rice
3 American cups (250ml each) of water.
2tbsp Rice vinegar
1 pack of Nori (contains 5 sheets)
Variety of seafood (as above)
1/2 an avocado thinly sliced
Chives or thinly sliced spring onions
1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced.
1. Place the rice in a sieve and rinse under running water, for 3-4 minutes until the water runs clear.
2. Place the rice and water in a pan with a lid on and leave for 30 mins.
3. Place on a high heat, when it boils, turn the heat to low, simmer for 9 minutes. Then, turn the heat off and leave undisturbed for 15 minutes.
4. Place the cooked rice in a large baking pan, so that it has room to cool down quickly, add the rice vinegar, salt and sugar mixture which you have previously simmered together until the salt and sugar have dissolved.
Stir well through the rice.
5. Fan the rice with cool air from a fan or hair dryer (yes, really!)
This cools the rice down quickly and produces perfect, glossy, sticky rice 🙂
6. Place the nori sheet, shiny side away from you, on a clean tea-towel or on a bamboo mat covered in cling film.
7. Wet your hands (very important so the rice doesn’t stick to you!)
Place enough rice on the nori sheet to cover the half of it nearest to you. Not too much, as otherwise it will be too difficult to roll.
Place your filling of choice on, try to vary the filling on different rolls.
8. Roll the Nori tightly into a cylindrical shape. If you find the end of the Nori doesn’t stick, dampen it with water.
9. Cut each roll into 4, using a very sharp knife.
10. For the Nigiri- dampen your hands again, form rectangular shapes and top with seafood of choice, perhaps with a little cucumber, chives or avocado for decoration.
11. For the balls, place the salmon or prawn on a square of cling film, place a ball of rice on top (the size of a walnut) and squeeze the cling film into a ball shape. Leave for a few seconds and take out of the cling film.
There, perfect balls.
Easy! (And you haven’t broken the bank either!) 😀
Serve with Soy sauce, pickled ginger and Wasabi. You know the drill.