I’ve been obsessed with East Asian food for quite some time but until quite recently have always avoided Sushi. The raw fish thing put me off, I didn’t eat prawns until a few years ago, I dislike horseradish/wasabi and nori (the seaweed coating) never looked appetising. But recently I had a word with myself. When I cook salmon I keep it practically raw in the middle, I love sticky rice, I love king prawns and who said I had to smother everything in wasabi? So I tried some. And I liked it, actually no, I loved it. Naturally the next thing to do was to try and make it myself. In late 2017, I hosted a big Japanese inspired feast and sushi was the natural starter/appetiser to make for a crowd. It wasn’t hard to make and it was a massive hit.
I’ve tried more Sushi since and researched some more unusual preparations. I’ve been experimenting with varied textures, flavours and preparations. The main types of Sushi that I’ve been looking at are:
Maki – traditional looking rolls with something wrapped in rice then wrapped in nori.
Uramaki – inside out rolls – something wrapped in nori then wrapped in rice and coated in something like sesame seeds.
Nigiri – A block of rice topped with something – usually thinly sliced raw fish or cooked prawn.
Sashimi – As a point of note – ‘Sushi’ does not refer to raw fish but the rice. So ‘Sushi’ does need to contain rice, it does not need to contain raw fish. Just the raw fish is called ‘Sashimi’. Often marinated to a point – a little like ceviche.
For the purposes of this first post, I am going to talk only about how to make the rice itself. I am intending on publishing a couple more posts with recipes for my favourite maki and uramaki.
The rice is the basis for the recipes to follow. This recipe makes roughly enough to make 16 large pieces of uramaki or maki.(2 rolls)
200g Sushi Rice (or Pudding Rice which is the same but cheaper)
400ml Cold Water
2 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
2 tbsp Sugar
1.2 tbsp Sea Salt Flakes
Measure 200g of Sushi Rice into a sieve and run under the cold tap for 30 seconds or so whilst swishing the rice around a little with your fingers to separate the grains.
Put the washed rice into a large saucepan (one with a lid) along with 400ml Cold Water.
Turn the heat onto medium and keep a close eye on it until the water is boiling.
Put the pan lid on and make sure it is well sealed – I tend to sandwich a square of kitchen roll between the pan and lid to get a better seal. Turn the heat onto the lowest it will go and set a timer for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, turn the heat off but do not touch the pan – certainly don’t take the lid off. The rice then sits for another 10 minutes to continue steaming.
Meanwhile, add 2 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar, 2 tbsp Sugar and 1/2 tbsp Sea Salt Flakes to a small bowl. Give it 20 seconds in the microwave and keep stirring until the sugar and salt has mostly melted into the vinegar.
Once the rice has finished steaming, separate the rice a little using a large metal spoon or fork – make sure not to stir and make it into a mush.
Add the sweet vinegar mixture into the rice and stir around to combine.
The rice now needs to cool – to speed up the process, I spread the rice in a thin layer on a tray and leave it. Once cool to the touch, I put in a bowl, cover it and leave in the fridge until needed.