Sunday, 2 September 2012

Sushi



I have to admit that when it comes to eating raw fish I am a chicken.  I don't mind the taste but just worry with every bite whether I'm going to get ill in a couple of hours.  I'm sure the best sushi chefs make sure the fish is fresh but I live in a town that has zero sushi bars and although I'm sure my local supermarkets sell fresh fish, I can't trust them to sell fish that is fresh enough to eat raw.

So when it comes to me making my own sushi, I tend to stick to safe options which would probably horrify true sushi lovers or chefs but I'm making do with what I have!
"Sushi" seems to be such a general term which seems to mean something made with a vinegared rice combined with other ingredients. The way you put these ingredients together calls for different names altogether.  I would love to spend hours telling you all of these but then I wouldn't have a chance to post my own sushi adventure so if you're interested, head on over to Wiki which has a LOT of info!

So my sushi today is (I think but correct me if I'm wrong) futomaki and a temaki.

To begin with, I made the sushi rice...





Then got all of my fillings ready...





As I didn't have raw fish, I used finely sliced red and yellow peppers, avocado, finely sliced shiitake mushrooms, crab sticks and best of all, tamagoyaki which is a delicious layered omelette (in the middle of the pictures above).  You can use pretty much what you fancy but make sure everything actually tastes nice together!

Once you've got everything prepped you're ready to start wrapping.

The rice can be very very sticky so make sure that before you try to do anything with it you wet your hands and shake them off.  You have to be careful though because although your sushi rice loves being handled with damp hands, nori (seaweed) doesn't.

There are so many ways to put your rolls together and it's quite fun experimenting with the rice/filling placement but I've learnt so far that if you want quite rotund rolls, you need to spread the rice across almost all of the nori sheet and if you want little delicate rolls then just put rice on about a third of the nori sheet.  I tried both but only have pre-rolled evidence of the latter - tiny rolls





If you want fatter rolls, put the rice across most of the nori sheet leaving about an inch at each end.  Either way, put the rice on the sheet and flatten it so you have a smooth layer of rice.  Don't worry about the ends too much because you'll slice those off.

Now here's the fun bit - the rollling.  Because I needed both hands to roll with and Mr Jones was napping, I wasn't able to take any pictures or a video of the rolling process so found a video...




(Thanks akulaman for showing what I couldn't with only one pair of hands!)





So after the rolling make sure you have a very sharp knife and make sure to wipe it clean between slices because the rice will make the blade a bit sticky.

If you fancy making a nigri type, just get some rice in your dampened paw, roll and squeeze a little an form it so it looks like this:




Then put your topping of choice on top.  Salmon works well as does tamagoyaki (omelette) and you can make it look lovely by slicing a fine strip of nori and wrapping it around the nigri.






Serve with a little bowl of soy sauce, some wasabe and pickled ginger.


Ingredients
Nori
Sushi rice
Soy sauce (for dipping)
Wasabi paste (also for dipping)
Any fillings you want!  Here are a few ideas:
  - peppers
  - cucumber
  - avocado
  - fish sticks
  - fresh fish
  - smoked salmon
  - chives

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