Monday, June 4, 2018

MPM: easy homemade sushi

My family loves sushi. And they love to eat. Ordering sushi can cost us a small fortune! 

Fortunately, when I first fell in love with sushi during my year 8 Japanese class (some 20-odd years ago, I’m frankly too scared to do the math, lol) there were only a few sushi places in our city and certainly none in the semi-rural town where I lived so I learned to make it myself. 



Over the years I’ve fine-tuned my technique to something that works well for us. It’s not necessarily authentic but it produces some really yum sushi! So I decided that for this ‘Meal Plan Monday’ I would include some of the tips and techniques we use when we make our own sushi. 



Firstly, the rice. You can buy sushi rice but I find arborio rice (another short-grained rice used for risotto) is more widely available and usually cheaper. I cook it in our thermomix and then add sushi seasoning and let it cool. I haven’t included these steps in this post but you’ll be able to find instructions elsewhere on the internet. 

Secondly, fillings. There are so many different fillings you could use, we like to use tinned tuna, chicken ‘chippy’ fingers (or other oven-bake chicken), tofu, cucumber, avocado, carrot. And wasabi mayo for those of us who like heat! It’s less of a punch-in-the-face when it’s in mayo form and when it’s already inside the sushi. 

Third, making the sushi. That’s what this post is really about. I used to have a proper bamboo mat and I used to have a sushi roller that made special shapes but now when I’m standing at my sushi production line, I just use a piece of plain old baking paper. 



I lay the nori sheet (seaweed paper) onto the baking paper and then put some cooled rice on top, leaving an empty strip at the far end. I don’t worry about little gaps, they’ll be fixed soon. 



Then I place another piece of baking paper on top (if you’re worried about environmental impact, I’m sure a silicone mat or similar would also work fine) 



And using a rolling pin (or a tin can. Or a wine bottle. Yes, my toddler hid my rolling pin for a while, why do you ask?) I lightly roll out the rice. This fills in the gaps, stops the rice being too bulky, spreads the rice to the ends, and helps it all stick. 



Then I place the fillings at the end closest to me (you can make a dent in the rice first to hold the fillings, I usually don’t bother). This is also a good time to add a smear of wasabi mayo. Trust me, it works so well. 



Then I use the baking paper to pick up the edge of the nori and start rolling. I add a smear of water along the exposed edge of the nori to help it stick. I usually make several rolls to this stage and leave them sealed-edge down. 



Then I cut the rolls with a sharp knife. If it’s not sharp, don’t even bother! 



For the little kids, I serve their soy sauce watered down. They can’t even tell ;) 



Half of us love okonomayaki and half of us hate it so it’s something that we sometimes make to go with the sushi 



Like I said, they can put away a lot of sushi! 

Sometimes I make mini-sushi too, using half a sheet of nori and a very thin layer of rice, so it rolls into a very thin roll. But even the baby manages perfectly fine with these full size pieces. 

Hopefully these tips can help you up your sushi game. Or better yet, encourage you to make sushi I’ve you’ve never attempted it before! 

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