HOW TO

Become a sushi master, here the instructions to make stunning and delicious sushi dishes

RICE PREPARATION

I always say, that the rice is the most important thing or ingredient in sushi, if you don´t take care in the process, and the rice it´s not well done, either the sushi will not taste as sushi, or maybe even you are unable to make it, as the rice would not have achived the right conditions and stickness that it´s required.

The best rice for sushi is the Japanese rice, or sushi rice, the reason why it because as the amount of starch on it gets more sticky than any other kind of rice. If we can not find this kind of rice in the supermarket, we can purchase any other kind of short grain rice but NOT long rice (chinese or basmatic) as it has not enough starch and it would not be sticky at all and will be impossible make sushi with it.

washing rice illustration



First steps - preparation

The quantity of rice we will need for two people will be around half of kilo and even though it would result enough food. And if we gonna measure the rice and water we gonna need to cook it with a glass of water as we use to do at home, the measure will be: for each glassful of rice (measuring before it´s washed), we will add in the moment of cooking a glass and 1/5 part of it of water.

Washing the rice

First of all what we have to do is to wash the rice thoroughly by moving the rice around and pour the milky water, this will take you just a minute till we realise the water get more clear.
Once we have the rice has been washed, place it in a container or bowl and cover it compleatly by cold water, with a nice level of water over the rice and leave it ther around 20 minutes, during this time, the rice will absorb some water and will grow a bit and get more soft and white. Doing this the rice will be cooked much faster as it has absorbed already some water.

Start cooking

After the rice has absolber a bit of water we will pour the extra water and place the rice into a pot and adding the amount of water I´ve told before. Bringing then the pot up to boiling point and maintain there for 5 minutes, then reduce the temperature to a low heat and cook for a further 10 mins. Remove the pot from the heat and leave it to stand for an other 10 mins more all the time with lid completly covering the contain til after finish this last 10 mins.

When we have the rice already cook, it has to be soft enough as you could smash the grains of rice with your finger tips but not as soft that would look like a mass or paste, but if it´s still hard it would not be sticky enough to prepare sushi.

Last steps

When we got the rice done, place out of the pot, in a bowl or a tray, somewhere open, where the rice could breath and cool down for a bit, and then is when we gonna turn this fresh made rice into properly Sushi Rice.
When the rice its a bit cooler as we can manage with our hands without burn ourselfs, we gonna add the secret ingredient that gives to the rice the special taste of sushi, "The rice vinegar". Rice vinegarr aswell called sushi vinegar is which gives the taste of sushi and aswell make it more sticky.
We will add then just a fifth portion of vinegar as rice we have used, so for each glass of rice we cooked we will add just 1/5 part of vinager, and we gonna mix with the rice and using our hand or also an spatula and keep mixing till the vinegar has been incorporated.

Once the rice has been mixed with the sushi vinegar its ready to use.

HOSOMAKI

1. Place half sheet of nori with the rough side up, side over which we gonna spread the rice.

2. Spread the rice over the nori, trying to get a thin layer of rice over it, but leaving one finger gap along the top of the nori, this gap will be our sticker to seal the maki (any time we are doing a roll with nori outside, our sticker would be nori)

spreading the rice over the nori illustration

3. Place a single ingredient (or two, but in a small amount or otherwise the make could not be closed ) along the middle of the superfice of rice.

4. Now we gonna start rolling up the maki:

4.1 First lifting the edge of the bamboo mat with the thumbs and holding the filling with two fingers in it place.

4.2 Pull upwards and forwards from the mat till meet the edge of the mat to the rice having the ingredients inside

4.3 Shape into a square using your finger tips, and pressing the mat getting so all rice pressed and sticky inside

4.4 THen lift just the edge of the mat and pull forward from it in the way the maki would be rolling inside, till the point where we can see the maki its completly closed and we will then press again, so now the maki would be close and all nori sticky around.

5. Open the mat and we will se the maki perfectly done

URAMAKI

1. Place half sheet of nori with the rough side up, side over which we gonna spread the rice.

2. Spread the rice over the nori, trying to get a thin layer of rice over it, but leaving one finger gap along the top of the nori, and in the oposite part of this gap, we will overlap going a bit farther over the edge of the nori with the rice getting so a finger line of rice over this edge (in this way we will have what will be our sticker for this roll, as the rice will be outside we will use the line of rice to overlap and cover completly the roll with rice)

3. Once we have the rice spreaded, we will sprinkle something over the rice to add more colour to our dishes, we can use shichimi powder (chilli poder), sesame seeds, or chopped vegetables

4. Then flip over the rice and nori, placing the rice down, and the line of rice farther from us having so the strip of nori in the edge of the mat closer to us.

5. This time we will place couple of ingredients (two or three), aswell along the centre of the nori

6. Now we gonna start rolling up the maki:

rolling maki illustration

6.1 First lifting the edge of the bamboo mat with the thumbs and holding the filling with couple of fingers in their place in the centre.

6.2 Pull upwards and forwards from the mat till meet the edge of the mat to the nori having the ingredients inside

6.3 Shape into a square or more round shape (as preferred) using your finger tips, and pressing over the mat, getting so all the ingredients tight inside.

6.4 THen lift just the edge of the mat and pull forward from it in the way the maki would be rolling inside, till the point where we can see the maki its completly closed by rice and we will then press again, so now the maki would be close and the line of rice we left over the edge of the nori overlaping and integrated in the maki

7. Open the mat and we will se the maki perfectly done

FUTOMAKI

Make futomaki it´s basically same way as doing hosomaki (small one) but this time we will be using the full lenght of nori and bigger amount of rice

1. Place full sheet of nori with the rough side up, side over which we gonna spread the rice, and also in horizontal way, so the roll will be longer as the nori is more retangular than square.

2. Spread the rice over the nori, trying to get a thin layer of rice over it, but leaving one finger gap along the top of the nori, this gap will be our sticker to seal the maki (any time we are doing a roll with nori outside, our sticker would be nori)

3. Place multiple ingredientes, as much as preferred, but keeping in mind that we will have to seal the roll wrapping it with the nori, so dont get too crazy.

4. Now we gonna start rolling up the maki:

4.1 First lifting the edge of the bamboo mat with the thumbs and holding the filling with the rest of the fingers in it place.

4.2 Pull upwards and forwards from the mat till meet the edge of the mat to the rice having the ingredients inside

4.3 Shape into a square using your finger tips or maybe this time as being bigger shapping your fingers and hand as square, and pressing the mat getting so all rice pressed and sticky inside

4.4 THen lift just the edge of the mat and pull forward from it in the way the maki would be rolling inside, till the point where we can see the maki its completly closed and we will then press again, so now the maki would be close and all nori sticky around.

5. Open the mat and we will se the maki perfectly done

URA(FUTO)MAKI

The difference between this and normal Uramaki, is that in this case the roll will be bigger, and so we will be using the full lenght of nori, and bigger amount of ingredients than in the previous type of roll.

1. Place full lenght sheet of nori with the rough side up, side over which we gonna spread the rice.

2. Spread the rice over the nori, trying to get a thin layer of rice over it, but leaving one finger gap along the top of the nori, and in the oposite part of this gap, we will overlap going a bit farther over the edge of the nori with the rice getting so a finger line of rice over this edge (in this way we will have what will be our sticker for this roll, as the rice will be outside we will use the line of rice to overlap and cover completly the roll with rice)

3. Once we have the rice spreaded, we will sprinkle something over the rice to add more colour to our dishes, we can use shichimi powder (chilli poder), sesame seeds, or chopped vegetables.

4. Then flip over the rice and nori, placing the rice down, and the line of rice farther from us having so the strip of nori in the edge of the mat closer to us.

5. This time we will place couple of ingredients (two or three), aswell along the centre of the nori

6. Now we gonna start rolling up the maki:

6.1 First lifting the edge of the bamboo mat with the thumbs and holding the filling with couple of fingers in their place in the centre.

6.2 Pull upwards and forwards from the mat till meet the edge of the mat to the nori having the ingredients inside

6.3 Shape into a square or more round shape (as preferred) using your finger tips, and pressing over the mat, getting so all the ingredients tight inside.

6.4 THen lift just the edge of the mat and pull forward from it in the way the maki would be rolling inside, till the point where we can see the maki its completly closed by rice and we will then press again, so now the maki would be close and the line of rice we left over the edge of the nori overlaping and integrated in the maki

7. Open the mat and we will se the maki perfectly done

NIGIRI

Nigiri is one of the more straight forward made kinds of sushi, as it´s properly name mean: ball of rice, to which we just have to place some toppings.

1. Grab a small ball of rice, the amount we could eat easily in one mouthful

2. Using the index, middle and thumb of both fingers, or either placing in top of one hand and using the finger tips of the other, press the rice shapping a a block with it, and getting all the rice compact. The shape of the block should be rectangular but with more curve shape in top.

3. Then we will just place the topping which we have chosen over the ball of rice.

4. And last step is cut a thin, straight, and one finger wide and bit longer than one finger strip of nori, and use it to surround and tight both rice and topping. In this way what ever we have placed in top of the ball of rice would not fall when bring it to our mouth.

GUNKAN

Gunkan means "Warship" or "Battleship", his name came from the final shape it gets when surrounding a ball of nigiri with a strip of nori. The process to make it is as simple as nigiri and the result stunning. So lets build this ships.

1. Grab a small ball of rice, the amount we could eat easily in one mouthful 2. Using the index, middle and thumb of both fingers, or either placing in top of one hand and using the finger tips of the other, press the rice shapping a a block with it, and getting all the rice compact. The shape of the block should be rectangular but with more curve shape in top

3. Till now was similar as nigiri, but as now what we want to place into our dish are smaller ingredients it would not stand for it self in top of the ball of rice. What we going to do is cut a strip of nori, more or less as wide as two or two and half fingers, and with the full lenght of the sheet of nori (using along the short side)

4. Surround the ball of nigiri with this strip of nori, frist placing the rice on the centre of the strip aligning the base of the block of rice with one of the long edges of the strip, and then just wrap with one side of the strip, and then with the other. (As may it would not get sticky all the nori, at the end of the strip, place couple of grains of rice to use as glue)

5. Once we have wrapped our block of rice with the nori, there is just one step left, we will see that this strip has left an space over the surface of the block that now we can fill up with small items as for example sea weed salad, chopped vegetables, or anything our imagination would bring us.

HAND ROLL

1. First of all we going to use half sheet of nori, and place it horizontaly.

2. We will grab a small ball of rice, more or less the same amount as two balls of nigiri, and place it in the top left corner of the sheet of nori.

3. Next, we gonna spread the rice creating a diamon shape, with the wide part in the top and left of the nori and then in a diagonal, pointing to the bottom, creating the triangle shape that will be finish in a tip at one finger distance from the bottom of the nori ( as we would be leaving the gap ). We will try to get as much straight the borders of the triangle as possible, as it will be helpful to create the final shape.

4. Now we have to decide which ingredients we want to add to our Hand roll, and place all of them in onto the rice, trying to keep more empty the bottom, as we want to get there more tip and more wide in the top.

making hand roll illustration



5. Then, once the it´s already loaded with our best options, lets hold it with our right hand, bend the bottom-left corner over the ingredients, and then with the rest of the nori, try to wrap the entire amount of rice and ingredients pulling from the edge of the nori going all the way around.

If we got tip in the bottom, and the top is more wide and all the ingredients coming up it´s done.

© copyright 2014 Natsuki All rights reserved