Sushi

I've got a hankering for Japanese food at the moment- I think after all the hamachi and seared tuna I ate while I was away I'm having withdrawals. I was looking up restaurants in Sydney we can go to this weekend so I can get my fix (Cho Cho San, UME and Sake are the top contenders) and realised I've never posted a simple sushi recipe.

Shame on me!

Most of us wouldn't attempt sushi for fear of it being too difficult, or too time consuming, but I'm here to tell you it's quite simple. You can use whatever ingredients you like, and if you're planning on putting on lunch for family or friends it's really special and you can make platters food look amazing with minimal effort.

This recipe is for norimaki, which are sheets of dried seaweed filled with rice and assorted fillings such as seafood and vegetables. You don't have to stick to this type of sushi, you can cook the rice as instructed in the method and use it to make nigiri, which is a little round of rice with sliced fish (sashimi) or other ingredients on top.

The trick to good sushi is good quality ingredients, so if you're using seafood make sure it's from a reputable supplier and fresh that day. Here is a link for 100 different kinds of sushi if you're feeling adventurous and want to try some different things http://food.japan-talk.com/food/new/sushi-list


Sushi Shop in Japan

You will need... (serves about 3-4 people)
1 cup sushi rice
2 tbs rice wine vinegar
1 tsp caster sugar
¼ tsp salt
3 nori sheets

Fillings... 
These are entirely up to you, what your preferences are and how much variety you like

  • whole-egg mayonnaise
  • ½ lebanese cucumber
  • ½ medium avocado
  • ½ medium carrot
  • ½ red capsicum
  • 1 small chicken breast, marinated in teriyaki overnight, grilled, chilled and sliced
  • 1 tin good-quality tuna in spring water, drained and chopped, mixed with a tablespoon of mayo
  • 100gr fresh fish such as salmon or tuna, trimmed of any sinew and cut into small chunks
  • salmon roe
  • 150gr cooked, chilled and peeled prawns

soy sauce to serve
pickled ginger & wasabi (optional)

Method...
1. Place rice and 2 cups cold water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 12 minutes or until water has absorbed. Remove from heat. Stand, for 2 minutes. Transfer to a tray or plate and spread out to cool.

2. Place vinegar, salt and sugar in a bowl, and stir to dissolve. Slowly add the vinegar mixture to the slightly cooled rice, lifting and turning rice carefully to mix, leave to cool to room temperate.

3. While the rice is cooling, slice the avocado, peel and julienne (matchsticks) carrot and cucumber if using, deseed and slice the capsicum- this is where a v-slicer will come in handy if you're not confident with a knife. Thinly slice any proteins you are using (chicken or fish), place all ingredients into separate bowls or containers.

4. Place 1 nori sheet, shiny side down on a sushi mat. Using damp fingers, spread ½ cup of rice over nori. Don't squish the rice into the mat, just use the tips of your fingers to evenly spread the rice over the nori roll leaving a 2cm strip at one short end. Place your fillings in the centre of the rice, being careful not to over-fill your sushi (this may take a little practise to get the filling amount right, but don't stress- it will still taste delicious even if it doesn't look so pretty)

5. Using the sushi mat, roll up firmly to form a roll, making sure the 2cm strip is at the closing end. Use a little bit of water to brush the end and it should seal. Repeat with remaining nori sheets and fillings. To serve, cut each roll into 6 even rounds of sushi. Serve on a platter with sauces and accompaniments.

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