Learn How to Make Sushi Maki
Sushi Made Simple!
- Kazari - Sushi Grade Fish - Sushi Kits - Home Sushi
Sushi Kits - Sushi Grade Fish - Home Sushi - Fresh Wasabi
Sushi has been a popular addition to the American kitchen in the last decade. Ethnic grocery stores and sushi bars are a common sight in larger cities, such as St. Louis. It used to be a bit of a problem to find ingredients in my area but now Sushi bars are making their way into the smallest cities. Services such as Kazari offer delicacies that can be purchased online and shipped for making sushi at home.
Sushi is healthy, delicious and can certainly be gorgeous eye candy. Bite size pieces of rice, vegetables, fish and meat buried in the center of a beautiful bed of sushi rice that tastes like heaven if made correctly. Sushi Maki is any sushi that has been rolled in a mat - it doesn't matter what is used - if you use seaweed paper or the ingredients.
Sashimi is typically raw fish layered on top of a bed of rice. Sashimi translated means "raw". In the 1800's a man named Yohei Hanaya began to sell Sashimi from a cart. It was fast finger food.
Patrons would hurry and eat these finger licking good creations and then wipe their fingers on the material that was used for the curtains on the cart. If a cart such as this had a clean set of curtains - it was a sure sign to stay away from it.
If you plan to visit a sushi bar it is a huge advantage to understand a bit about sushi and it's origin. When ever you venture into another culture it is imperative that you do some homework prior to your visit. This will ensure that you not embarrass the host and you will have a full calendar of invites.
Oishi, Chesterfield, Missouri
Asian Food Market
If you want to visit a sushi bar or have been invited as a guest - there are a few things to know that will make you and your companions more comfortable. If you have a special date you might want to go for broke and make your own. It's not only delicious food but it's sexy food.
Japanese chefs believe that food should be prepared to satisfy all of the senses. For this reason they do not follow our American traditional matching dinner ware. Not only should food look, taste and smell perfect but it should be served on a beautiful dish that compliments the texture and color of the food.
Each meal usually begins with Green Tea and a hot steamy towel to clean your hands. If your cup is empty you should wait for someone to fill it for you. It is rude to fill your own cup. An empty cup is always a signal that you want more tea so if you are finished, leave your cup full.
It is appropriate and acceptable to eat sushi with your fingertips or chopsticks.
No matter how beautiful the food looks don't be tempted to over-fill your plate. It is considered rude behavior.
It is also customary to use a rest for the tips of your chop sticks. Never place them on the table, you should use your plate or a napkin if you do not have a chopstick rest. The tips of your chopsticks should also face left. If you place your chopsticks on the table facing the right - it is bad luck!
There is evidence that the mountain people in Thailand were using processes to preserve river fish by fermenting it as early as 500 B.C.E. China had similar processes but they seemed to get lost when Mongolia reigned over China (1368 - 1644). Japanese people were just beginning to learn to grow rice so it is believed these processes originated in Southeast Asia and spread to Japan.
Sushi was derived of fermented fish and rice. The rice was used to preserve the fish and it took a few years to complete this process. The fish was eaten and the rice was discarded. Later when they discovered a faster way to ferment the fish, they realized the rice also had a tangy taste and could be eaten as well.
Sushi Chef's typically are trained for many years. They traditionally begin to learn to cook rice at about 15 years old. They cook rice for about two years. This aspect must be mastered before they can begin to learn to prepare sushi.
Finger rolled sushi.
Every sushi roll is not created equal but a beautiful beginning always starts with good quality sushi rice and seaweed paper. The rest is up to the chef. Many Sushi Chef's have their own brilliant combinations of ingredients that are their claim to fame. Choices of what to roll inside are endless and this allows room for so much personal creativity in the presentation of the dish.
How to Roll Sushi
Sushi does look like it would be incredibly difficult to make but it is actually very simple. The key is to take your time and have all of your supplies ready. You should make sure that you prep all of your vegetables in advance. Sushi should be prepared within an hour of the time you plan to serve it. It is best fresh and should not sit at room temperature for more than a couple of hours maximum. The rice dries out and if it is hot there may be things that could spoil and cause food poisoning.
Choose your ingredients, prep and set them out neatly for efficiency. Pour a 1/2 a teaspoon of rice vinegar in a few tablespoons of water and keep this dish next to your mat.
Layer the rolling mat and seaweed paper. Use a wooden spoon to ladle rice onto the paper. The trick to spreading the rice perfectly even is to dip your fingers in your bowl of rice water frequently. It keeps the sticky rice from sticking to you. Flatten the rice with your fingertips and spread it upward covering the entire sheet of paper except for a 1/2 inch border. (see photograph).
The combination of ingredients one can use to construct sushi is endless. From eggs to fish to tofu - just about anything you like can be combined into a sushi roll. Place the ingredients of your choice in approximately the top 1/3 part of your rice. When you begin rolling you want the items to be in the center of the roll.
It is as simple as that. Roll the mat forward until you have met the empty edge of the paper.
Inside Out Sushi
Inside out sushi is another variation that not only is pretty but allows different ingredients to be incorporated into the taste. It is so simple to roll your sticky rice into so many colorful ingredients such as toasted sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, or roe that can texture as well.
Follow the instructions for a regular sushi roll but put a layer of Saran Wrap over the rice after you are satisfied that it is evenly layered. Place your fillers directly on top of the seaweed paper and roll using the saran wrap to form the roll. I used my mat to help shape and size it and then continued to roll upward.
I did not have any Saran Wrap but I did what any good cook would do. I improvised and used waxed paper. It worked better than Saran Wrap in my experience. If I wanted to save it - Saran would have been more appropriate.
Once you have completed the roll you will want to slice it into one inch sections. This can be accomplished much easier if you have a very sharp knife and a bowl of the rice vinegar water. Dip the tip of the knife into the water and let it run down the length of the knife prior to cutting each section for a smooth cut.
You can add additions to enhance the flavor or visual appeal or serve it simply with soy sauce.
Sushi can also be served as a dessert. This piece above was made using a thin strip of a Hothouse cucumber. The cup has a rice bottom topped fresh blueberries. A sauce made of finely diced chili pepper and a few tablespoons of honey is drizzled over all to finish. The combination of sweet and hot is delightful.
Fresh fruit or a light gelatin is a common dessert to pair with a sushi dinner.
Sushi is a mix of ordinary food served in an exquisite arrangement that will not only please the palate but also satisfy the soul to the extraordinary end.
"I've been making sushi for 38 years and I am still learning. You have to consider the size and color of ingredients, how much salt and vinegar to use and how the seasons affect the fattiness of the fish." ~Maraharu Morimoto
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