Earlier this month, we decided that we'd indulge our creative culinary skills and try our hand at sushi. Sushi chefs only have to study for three years on how to create perfectly sticky sushi rice, so it can't be that hard, right?
But we didn't want all of our blog readers to miss out, so we documented the experience with our little camera!
First things first. There's a lot of prep work for sushi. Since I don't have such a great track record with knives, Matt opted for veggie prep. I worked on the rice.
In order for your rice to come out at the proper consistency, you have to wash it until the water drains off clear. Then it sits for an hour like that. Here's a picture of the freshly rinsed sushi rice.
Capetonians, we bought sushi rice from Woolworths...but there's a Chinese supermarket at N1 City where you can get it A LOT cheaper (thanks to the advice of the Morris Family). Tip #1: But you may want to opt for the more expensive Woolies on your first go around with sushi because the cooking directions on the back of the bag make for some perfect sushi rice!
Below, you'll see the sushi creation space I put together for us. The rice, the goodies for inside, the seaweed, sushi mats, and a bowl of water for dipping the fingers. Sushi rice is STICKY!
From here, it's pretty simple. Spoon out some rice, press it all over the seaweed with wet fingers (leaving a few centimeters at the top of the seaweed empty), make a small indentation at the bottom, and fill the inside with whatever you'd like!
Ok, now for the apex of the experience...rolling the sushi! Wet the strip at the top of the seaweed with your finger, and then, SLOWLY, roll up your sushi roll. As you can see, once it's rolled, you squeeze it for a few seconds in the sushi matt, as my husband demonstrates so wonderfully!
And there you go! Sushi roll! Now you just cut it with a nice sharp knife. Tip #2: Make sure to have a damp cloth to wipe the knife between each cut. It makes it easier!
Finally, you eat!
Review of experience:
After our first experience, Matt and I have made a few tweaks that we have since tried and find them to be quite helpful!
1) Less is more with the rice. Seriously, you don't need to pile the rice really high on the seaweed. The overall taste was much better of the sushi when we put a thinner layer of rice.
2) Woolworth's wasabi paste is a no go. Go to the Chinese supermarket, pick up some Wasabi powder and make your own. Firstly, it's cheaper, and secondly, Woolworth's wasabi paste is NOT HOT. BOOO!!!
3) Ginger and sesame seeds are not just compliments, but necessities. The first time we thought they weren't necessary; we'd just use soy and wasabi. But the sesame seeds and ginger make it so much better! Buy the pickled ginger (we got ours from Woolworths), toast some sesame seeds on a frying pan, and it will make the sushi experience go from good to great!
Oh! And one more thing! Did you make a few too many rolls? Tip #3: Wrap the uncut rolls in saran wrap and put them in the fridge. You can eat them the next day and they still taste great!
Anybody else tried to make their own sushi? Any advice? Feel free to comment!