How To Make Sushi at Home
For a lot of sushi-lovers, only one place comes to mind when they drool about sinking their teeth into tender and raw fish perfectly spiced and seasoned, with crunchy vegetables, rice, and sauce. That one place is a sushi restaurant or any other restaurant that serves sushi. But that does not have to be the case. You can make your own sushi right in the comfort of your own kitchen. Plus, it is cheaper than having it in a restaurant. This article will tell you exactly how to make sushi at home, and feel like a master chef. One great thing about making sushi at home, aside from the fact is it is cheaper, is that you get the chance to add all your favorite fresh ingredients to it. Another great thing is that it is easy to make sushi at home, much easier than you may think.
In case you are not a lover of sushi and you are wondering what in the world sushi is and why the hype, sushi is a Japanese dish. It is made up of small rolls or balls of cold rice flavored with vinegar and served with a garnish of raw seafood, vegetables, or egg. Sushi does not always mean raw fish. Although most people mean raw fish when they say sushi, the correct term for that is Sashimi. Sashimi is a Japanese delicacy made up of raw fish or meat sliced into small pieces and served with sauce. Sashimi is a popular addition to sushi recipes.
Choosing The Right Ingredients
Homemade sushi may not match the quality of the ones served in restaurants and prepared by experienced chefs. But it will not cost you as much as the restaurants charge. With as little as twenty dollars, you can make and enjoy delicious homemade sushi. The first step is getting the right ingredients.
Seaweed: Not any kind of seaweed can be used for sushi. So you have to make sure you get seaweed specific for making sushi. Normally, it should be stated on the package. But if you are not sure, you can always ask for direction at a vegetable store. You can also order online. There are several brands of baked seaweed neatly packaged and ready to use.
Vegetables: If sushi-grade seafood is hard to come by at where you live, no need to pull out your hair. You can use fresh vegetables instead. The great thing about this is, you can choose any vegetable you love. However, popular vegetables to try are carrots, cucumbers, spring onions, avocados, and steamed asparagus. Alternatively, you can use frozen shrimp or pollack in place of seaweed.
Sushi Rice: Okay, I should have mentioned this first since it is the key ingredient in making sushi. The preferred choice for sushi rice is premium-grade medium or short grain Japanese white rice. To make the perfect sushi rice, you should have a good Japanese rice cooker. Please bear in mind that Japanese sushi rice contains a lot of gluten. If you are not seeking perfection, your local short grain or medium grain white rice will do just fine.
Rice Vinegar: To add some tart and a sweet flavor that good sushi comes with, you will need rice vinegar. Rice vinegar will be used to season the sushi rice.
Kombu: Seaweed again. But kombu is not the seaweed used as the actual wrapping. It is used in the preparation of the sushi rice as flavor. Again, you can use vegetables instead if kombu is not available where you are.
Soy Sauce: You cannot have a delicious sushi delicacy without a soy sauce to dip it in. You can prepare your own soy sauce by boiling the paste of soybeans and mixing it with brine and grain (barley, rice, or wheat).
Sushi Fish: If you are trying to prepare your own sushi for the first time, you can use canned tuna or salmon. However, you can also shop for sushi-grade fish at your local Japanese grocery store or order online. When it comes to sushi fish, the fresher ones are better. To test for freshness, simply press down with your finger on the fish. If it is fresh, it will spring back up. If it does not spring back up, but leaves an indentation, it is not as fresh as it should be. That, however, does not mean it is not edible.
Sushi Ginger: This is optional. Sushi ginger, otherwise called Gari, is eaten between dishes. The reason is, it helps to cleanse your pallet.
Eggs: Egg omelets can be rolled easily with the seaweed.
Other Fillings: You don’t always have to use sushi fish to make good sushi. There are other fillings you can use. In fact, when it comes to fillings, you can use whatever you love. Crabs, carrots, avocados, mango, and anything that makes you feel good can be used in your filling.
How To Make The Sushi
Alright. We have our ingredients. Now let’s get to work.
- Prepare The Rice: The first thing to do is to prepare the sushi rice. Chefs and sushi experts have a way of preparing the sushi rice but you have a rice cooker to rely on, so leave the cooking to it. Cook the rice preferably with a Japanese rice cooker or any reliable rice cooker you have. Once your rice is cooked and cooling off, mix it with rice vinegar and salt and sugar mixture. Please note this should be done before the rice cools off since good heat is required to make the mixture effective.
- Prepare your omelet: If an egg is part of the ingredients for your filling, it is time to prepare your omelet. You have to be mindful about adding salt or any other seasoning to it since there is enough in the rice. However, this should depend on your taste buds, shouldn’t it?
- The Bamboo Mat Or Sushi Towel: Yup, a bamboo mat. This will be used to wrap the seaweed. You can order a bamboo mat online or purchase one from a Japanese store. If none of those options are available to you, no need to worry. Get a towel. Yes, a clean thick towel. This will act as your bamboo mat. There are other options available. You also can use parchment paper or plastic wrap as long as you will be able to wrap it tightly. But you are planning to prepare sushi regularly, you have to purchase a bamboo mat. This will get the blessings of the sushi gods on your food.
- Chop Your Veggies: Once your rice is done, the next thing to do is to chop your choice vegetables. These will be used in your filing.
- Lay your seaweed bed: Your towel will come in handy if you don not a bamboo mat. Spread the seaweed on your mat and flatten it. Next, add a layer of your cooked rice, spread it over the seaweed and flatten it gently with a rice paddle. However, be careful not to apply too much force as this could smash the rice.
- Fillings: Your vegetables are chopped and waiting to be used as fillings. If you have sushi fish as part of your filling ingredients, now is the time to work on it. Just like your choice of filling vegetables, you can use any choice of fish. Your fish should be fresh, washed clean, and skin removed. No one will stop you if you wish to consume the skin also. Next, you have to cut your fish into sizes small enough to add to your filling. First, cut your fish straight down through the fillet. Then cut the piece you have now in halve through the center. Easy right? Now you have a small strip. Continue cutting as many pieces in this fashion as you will need. This will depend on the number of rolls you are making. Its time to fetch your chopped vegetables. They must also be chopped in pieces small enough to fit into your filling. Arrange your fillings neatly onto the rice and add your omelet. It is preferable to arrange them together on the rice. This will make it easy to roll your seaweed. Also, arrange them closer to one end of the seaweed mat. Preferably where you will begin rolling from.
- Roll It Up: Now roll the bamboo mat (or whatever mat you are using) so that the end piece of the ingredients curve over. Got it? When you are able to do this successfully, you will notice that the shape will look almost like a snail. Once done, press the roll or squeeze it gently. This will compress the rice and the filling and make it possible to remove the bamboo mat without messing up the roll. That done, gently remove the rolled bamboo mat and not the whole mat. Your first role should be sitting pretty nicely, again in the shape of a snail. Now, using your fingers, roll the rest of the roll into the shape of a burrito. That done, roll up your bamboo mat to cover it and compress your sushi roll by pressing or squeezing the bamboo mat gently over it. Emphasis is on ‘gently’.
- Cut The Sushi: It is time to move your sushi roll to a clean chopping board. But first, remove the bamboo mat, place the sushi roll on a chopping board, and get a clean sharp kitchen knife. Cut the sushi rolls into rounds. Please be sure to clean the blade of the knife after each cut. This is because the blade will easily become sticky from the filling. If you do not clean the blade, it will be difficult to continue cutting.
- Serve: If you have followed the directions so far, you should be feeling very excited and proud of yourself by now. And you should be. Now it is time to serve.
What To Serve With Your Sushi
You can grab a plate and arrange your sushi on it. Now stand back, admire your work, and be proud of yourself. Your sushi rolls are ready to eat. You may be wondering what to serve your rolls with. Remember the soy sauce? It is time to fetch it. You can also add some pickled ginger or wasabi if you desire. You can have sushi as the main dish or you can add some side dishes to make a more filling meal. You can snack on it with a bottle of your favorite wine or, well, beer. Basically, you can serve sushi with anything that will taste good to you and your guests.
Some fancy side dishes you can serve your sushi with include meatballs, a plate of mixed vegetable salad, braised pork belly, and anything that catches your fancy. If you have a celebratory gathering at home, you can serve the sushi with some soda, fried chicken with garlic, french fries, or pizza. For a gathering more formal, you can serve your sushi with miso soup or any soup of your choice, grilled fish, vegetable salad, or the usual sashimi. The rule about serving sushi is this; there is no rule. Anything goes. Anything that tastes good that is.
Some Simple Sushi Recipes. Variety, they say, is the spice of life. After your first successful attempt, you may want to spice up your recipe a bit in the following attempts. Some simple sushi recipes you can try include; hand-rolled crunchy avocado, sushi with miso and sweet potato, tuna roll sushi with cucumber, and quinoa sushi with cauliflower rice.
In conclusion, homemade sushi is so much cheaper when compared with eating at a restaurant. It is easy to make and fun as well. You can share a bonding moment with your family when making sushi together at home. You can also spend quality time with friends by inviting them over to prepare sushi together. As exotic as the final product looks in a restaurant, you can bring the fancy delicacy to your home. So what are you waiting for, you lover of sushi? Go with boldness and make sushi!
- How to Make Sushi at Home – HuffPost Life
- Sushi for beginners: Five steps to making sushi at home – Denverpost