21 June 2011

Sushi

I'm not sure if I could have married Joe if he wasn't a little bit obsessed by sushi. As someone who has been known to be a bit fussy about food I am in love with sushi - specifically raw tuna. I love it so much that I have been known to eat raw strips of (beef) steak that has been set aside for stir fry just because it reminds me of tuna. Lucky for me Joe has learnt how to make amazing maki rolls so I can feast on it whenever I want. When we're feeling spoilt, flush and lazy then we order it in but when we want a fun, DIY treat we make it and it is really satisfying once you know how.

Of course you can make whatever kind of sushi you like and there are some fantastic sushi and Japanese cookery books available but here's how we did it on Saturday night. A lot of these ingredients can now be got from big supermarkets but it's quite fun to go to Japanese/Thai specific ones. This is going to be a bit of a picture heavy post but it's so you can see how to roll and then do it yourself.

I've said cooked sushi rice because it needs to be cold before you use it. We make it in a rice cooker but you can just follow the instructions on the side - remember though it has to be sticky so don't panic and think you've made some sort of stodge.

Salmon and Tuna Maki Rolls
Serves 3

1 packet of seaweed sheets
2 fillets of fresh tuna
2 fillets of salmon
spring onions
1 cucumber
1 avocado
300g cooked sushi rice
soy sauce
wasabi paste
Japanese pickled ginger
Seasoned rice vinegar

Now I've said this serves three people - it could probably do four but if there's three of you someone gets amazing yummy leftovers for lunch the next day. We make bowls of miso soup for a starter and then just have a huge platter of this for everyone to help themselves from. You can do this reasonably last minute - cut everything up first and have it in the fridge ready to go. It's quite fun to do this while every one's sitting round the table if you have the space and the inclination.

Serve with wasabi, pickled ginger and soy sauce.

The fish must be as fresh as possible - we always get it from the fishmonger or from a trustworthy fish counter. You will be eating it raw so you need to know it's good. I know two fillets is very vague so I do have a picture to show you how big our ones were so you get the idea.
Our two tuna steaks

1. Cut the tuna and salmon into strips.

Salmon and tuna strips - pretty gross if you are not a fan of sushi I know
2. Cut the cucumber and spring onions into strips. You also want to cut the avocado into strips but remember this will brown so do it as last minute as you can.

3. When you are ready to get rolling the sushi make sure you have everything laid out - you want you plates of fish, vegetables and your bowl of cold rice easy to hand, the rolling mat in front of you, a really sharp knife on a chopping board next to it. You also want an egg cup full of the rice vinegar for sealing the roll.

4. Lay the seaweed on the sushi mat rough side down. It's important that you have it the right way round as it's the rough side that you need for sticking the roll together.

5. Press the rice onto the seaweed leaving a strip at the top uncovered (you can see in the photo below). Then put a strip of fish along the bottom part of the rice.


6. Add a layer of vegetables.
Sushi ready to Roll


7. Carefully roll the sushi up using the matt...

Use the matt to roll but make sure you tuck the edge closest to you under
8. When you are ready to seal the roll, dunk your thumb in the egg cup full of vinegar and run it along the non-riced bit of the seaweed and then finish the roll.
Use your thumb to rub vinegar along the edge of the seaweed to seal the roll
9. Roll the... roll in the matt to make sure it's nice and tight and the put it on a chopping board and cut into rounds with a sharp knife. I can't stress how important it is to have a sharp knife for this so you can just cut straight through cleanly. Don't worry if the end rounds look scraggy - they're chef's perks!
Cutting the maki


10. Lay it all out on a platter - and any bits of fish that aren't the right size or shape for making maki we have as sashimi or handrolls.

Finished maki platter

11. Handrolls are pretty self explanatory - cup your hand and lay a rectangle of fish in your palm, using your finger rub a tiny bit of wasabi on the underneath of the fish and then press a rectangle of rice on top.

Rub a tiny amount of wasabi on the fish before squidging the rice on

I feel like I haven't explained all this as clearly as I would like but you will really get this if you try and of course you can use whatever vegetables and fish you would like. Just make sure they are great quality. You can also put some wasabi paste on the rice under the fish if you like but be careful as it can blow your mind and your taste buds.

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