Turning Japanese

Following up on my ShinBay post, I couldn’t help but notice the proliferation of gifts I received this year for Christmas that centered around a Japanese theme and/or sushi making.  When we were in Kauai this past summer, we hired a sushi chef from the incomparable Hanalei Dolphin Restaurant (Hanalei, Kauai) to teach us the art of rolling sushi, so the kids and Hubby must be sending me subliminal messages to get off my tush and start rolling.  Perhaps writing a post is my first step…but that remains to be seen.

The main ingredient (neta) for our sushi that evening was ahi tuna.  The rice (shari) was a mixture of cooked Japanese short grain rice, rice vinegar, salt and sugar.  The condiments (yakumi) included sliced avocado, julienne cucumber, diced green onion and Sriracha sauce.  The basic seasoning (chomiryo) for sushi is soy sauce, or one could use ponzu (soy sauce with citrus) for lighter fish.  The necessary equipment would be a cutting board, a sharp knife, a pack of roasted seaweed (nori), flying fish roe (tobiko), and a sushi-roll mat.

Ingredients for a sushi extravaganza

The chef had a sushi-roll mat made of bamboo that he had covered with Saran wrap for easy cleaning.  He mentioned that online you could find mats made of silicone that you can just throw in the washing machine.  I found a photo of one (below) made from a company called Lekue that you can find at Amazon.com: www.amazon.com/kitchen.

Lekue silicone sushi rolling mat found on Amazon.com

Place a sheet of nori on
your sushi mat. Sheets of nori have a rough side and a smooth, shiny side.
Place the nori so that the rough side is facing up.

Next,
place a ball (about ½ to 3/4 cup) of sushi rice in the middle of the sheet,
spreading it out evenly with your fingers, covering all BUT a ½ inch strip
closest to you. Keep your hands wet with a mixture of water and rice vinegar.  Use caution not to press hard or mash
the rice, or it will not stick properly when rolling.  At this point spread a light layer of fish roe over the rice.

For inside-out maki rolls, turn the nori over so rice is facing the rolling
mat.  Starting on the edge of nori
closest to you, place your ingredients in a line.  Each ingredient should be in its own line.  
 

Allow the roll to sit
for a minute before cutting it.  If
you are putting fish or vegetables on the roll, lay thin strips overlapping on
the top.
Cut the roll into sixths
or eighths using a sharp, wet knife (or else the rice and indgredients may
stick to it). The thickness of the slices is determined by the number of
ingredients: the more ingredients in the roll, the thinner the slice.
Sushi is best when eaten
fresh.  Experiment with different
ingredients until you find your favorite combinations. Remember that it may
take a couple of tries to get it right, so be sure to have some patience and an
empty stomach.

Slice
Serve

Inside-out maki roll topped with ahi tuna

It was a huge hit with the kids

Even the picky one

Happy rolling!!

Nori and tobiko can be found at Asian markets, or Amazon.com.

Recipe for Sushi Rice

2 cups short grain Japanese rice
2 cups water, plus extra for rinsing
2 T rice vinegar
2 T sugar
1 T kosher salt

Place the rice into a
mixing bowl and cover with cool water. Swirl the rice in the water, pour off
and repeat 2 to 3 times or until the water is clear.

Place the rice and 2 cups of water into a medium saucepan and place over high
heat. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Once it begins to boil, reduce the heat to
the lowest setting and cover. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let
stand, covered, for 10 minutes.

Combine the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl and heat in the
microwave on high for 30 to 45 seconds. Transfer the rice into a large wooden
or glass mixing bowl and add the vinegar mixture. Fold thoroughly to combine
and coat each grain of rice with the mixture. Allow to cool to room temperature
before using to make sushi.

xo M

All photos by Marci Symington for texaztaste.blogspot.com

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