Monday, September 1, 2008

Sushi

The problem with posting about sushi is that my version is hardly authentic and I hardly ever follow a recipe. So sharing the whole 'how to' is a little difficult because then I have to retrace how I actually make it and go and think really hard about what kind of quantities I use for everything. Again, as I have said before, that kind of takes the joy out of cooking I am afraid! Exactness not being my strongest point I will try and cobble together the makings for sushi and put in a few photos to hopefully illustrate what I am trying to get across!
The first thing I have to say is DO NOT BE SCARED! I know it might look complicated, but actually it is such a doddle, that once you have got all the bits and pieces together and have practiced it a few times, you will be a whizz. And there are several combinations for fillings too, so you don't have to go and get all squeamish and think it is only about raw fish. I actually became adept at making this when my sister made a trip to Japan to run in an Ekiden relay there (don't ask me about the run, all I remember was all the yummy food and techniques she came home with!!!!) The two dishes she came home with were a kind of noodle broth that had nori in it and how to make sushi. The nori was the biggest revelation, something that sounds so flipping gross (its seaweed for goodness sake!) is really tasty! I had never tried sushi before my sister made it for me and I instantly loved it. Plus the whole demystification of learning how to make it really thrilled me! While it's all old hat now, and plenty of people make it, I have regularly made this for more than 10 years now and it still impresses!
I have adapted the flavours so this is more of a kiwi-fied nori roll than sushi. The basic components are,
Nori,
Rice (sushi rice, or short grain rice)
Rice vinegar
Sugar
Chicken
Prawn
Crabmeat
Tuna
Smoked salmon
Egg
Avocado
Cucumber
Spring Onion
Carrot
Celery
Red or Green Pepper
Mayonnaise
Wasabi
Pickled Ginger
Ham

Phew, that's quite a few variations. For my truly kiwified variation I have made ham and egg, with carrot and avocado, with some whole grain mustard and mayo. I know it sounds pretty out there, but really once you have your rice spread over your sheet or nori pretty much anything goes. And the whole fusion thing works just fine here too!
So, for your rice you want to boil it up (I make it in the microwave, 1 cup rice to 21/2 c water and microwave in large bowl on high for approx 18mins). Mix together some rice vinegar (about 1/4 to 1/2c) with a couple of tbsp of sugar- again this depends on how you like it. Pour this mix into the cooked rice so it is reasonable moist and workable and will spread easily. Take a decent handful and spread over the nori. You can set your nori up on a bamboo mat, but I usually set it up on gladwrap as that is what I usually wrap them up in before cutting and using.
Make sure you spread rice to sides but leave some space at the top and bottom so that when you roll it doesnt all squeeze out.Spread on a little mayo and a teensy bit of wasabi or horseradish (or mustard here if going with the ham) then put your desired meat on. Then on goes your other fixings, try to go with complementary veges etc eg
Smoked salmon, avocado, red pepper
Teriyaki chicken, carrot, egg omelete and spring onion
You get what I mean!
The teriyaki chicken is just breast meat, cut into strips and marinated in soy, garlic, ginger, mirin, brown sugar and panfried until cooked.
The egg omelete is just eggs beaten and cooked in a pancake style and then cut into strips.
So many combinations, so little time.
You could use tuna mixed up with finely chopped red onion and mayo.....the options are endless. And generally what you end up with is a pretty healthy snack, pre dinner drinks nibbles or lunch. What I really love about this is you can roll them up and wrap them up in gladwrap the day before and cut them the next day for your lunch or party, they are excellent prepare ahead 'cooking'. It can be a bit of a pain chopping up all the veges but I love chopping vege to be honest so I don't mind it. My son even had a go at this and was able to put together a couple of rolls for his lunches.
Really, once you have your bits on your nori and rice all you need to do is roll it away from you and it quite magically sits together.
Or you can also do like I did a few days later, I couldn't be bothered rolling it all up so served it 'deconstructed style"!

6 comments:

Dhanggit said...

OMG!! I'll bookmark this recipe, coz I'm planning to make a sushi party on saturday night! Thanks a bunch!! your photos are mouth watering!

Deb said...

Sushi is my number one all time favourite food. I used to live above a sushi shop in Japan and ate it every day. Funny, we had a Japanese meal tonight too...sukiyaki. Your noodle soup from the other day got me hankering for it again and it is my son's favourite.

Oh my! Apple pie! said...

I am scared of sushi (the 'raw' thing)I like your variations, may try some of those before moving on to raw fish.
Your presentation,as always,is great. Well done!

Deborah said...

I have been craving sushi, but I can't have raw fish since I'm pregnant. I should try to make a version with cooked meat, because some of your versions sound delicious!

Rosie said...

OMG you made sushi - how cleaver is this hey!!! Looks wonderful with brilliant presentation :)

Rosie x

Marisa said...

I love that you take sushi and make it your own! This looks awesome. I wish more people would experiment at home with sushi!