Making your own sushi is a lot easier than you might think. When you make sushi you usually cook all the rice you will need at once and prepare the other ingredients as the rice is cooking. Then it is just a question of assembling the sushi.
The more sushi you make, the better at it you will become. Your first attempts might look a little less perfect that what you would expect to get at your local Japanese restaurant! As well as everything in the ingredients list, you will need a bamboo sushi mat, a rice paddle or wide spatula, a wide flat bowl and an electric fan.
When cutting the sushi, use a very sharp knife. You should be able to slice through it in one stroke without using any pressure. If not, use a sawing motion. Never press down on the sushi roll with your knife because that will flatten it and ruin the shape.
- 4 cups cold water
- 3⅓ cups Japanese short-grain rice
- 1 piece dashi kombu
- 5 tablespoons white sugar
- ⅓ cup rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 package unseasoned sheet nori
- 1 avocado, cut into thin strips and sprinkled with lemon juice
- 4 oz lump crabmeat
- 3 oz top quality skinless salmon filet
- Put the kombu in a bowl and cover it with the water. Let it sit overnight or for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
- Wash the rice in a strainer until the water running off it is clear. Discard the kombu.
- Add the kombu-flavored water and rice to a rice cooker and cook it on the long cycle.
- If you do not have a rice cooker, put the kombu-flavored water and rice in a heavy pot and cover it with a tight lid. Let it soak for 30 minutes.
- Turn the heat up to moderately high and bring the rice to a boil.
- Turn the heat down and simmer it for 15 minutes without opening the lid.
- Let it sit for 15 minutes (the steam inside will finish off the rice).
- Dissolve the salt and sugar in the vinegar. You can warm the mixture in the microwave for a few seconds to help with the dissolving if necessary.
- Put the rice in a wide, flat-bottomed container. Drizzle ⅔ of the vinegar mixture over it, then toss the rice using a bit silicon spatula or a rice paddle.
- You need to separate the rice grains without mashing them. Using an electric fan will speed up this process.
- Taste the rice. It must be sticky without being wet. Add more of the vinegar mixture if necessary and keep tossing the rice.
- Cover your sushi rolling mat with plastic wrap.
- Fold each sheet of nori in half and break it down the crease.
- If the nori does not break you should wave it over a burner to make it crisp again.
- Keep your hands wet while you make the sushi, else the rice will stick.
- Lay half a nori sheet in front of you and cover it with a thin layer of rice. The rice must reach to all the edges.
- Flip the California roll over so the nori is facing up and put it on top of the salmon, so you have the salmon on the bottom, then the rice, then the nori.
- Add the avocado strips and then the crab.
- Start rolling the sushi from the edges nearest to you, using the bamboo mat to hold it together.
- Squeeze the mat when it is rolled all around the contents, to shape the sushi roll into a round shape.
- Wrap it in plastic wrap and repeat with the rest of the rice.
- Cut the roll into ½ inch thick pieces and serve with wasabi and soy sauce for dipping.
A lot of people assume that you need to be highly qualified to make sushi but it really is not that hard to prepare, even the multi-layered kinds. Topping some sushi rice with a slice of raw tuna or salmon might be something you want to begin with but once you have that down pat, why not try this recipe for California rolls? As long as you use a sushi rolling mat and add the ingredients in the right order, your sushi should come out perfectly. You can alter the filling ingredients if you want to. Keep your sushi wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator if you are not going to serve it straight away.
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