A few weeks ago I achieved a long term food ambition of going on a sushi cooking course 🙂 It was a great course but the true test was being able to do it on my own and so today, I finally had enough time to test this out!
The course I did had a huge focus on the rice (the explanation and cooking of this seemed to take 2 hours) but thankfully in reality it was much faster when I did it on my own so don’t be put off. Actually the whole process was much faster than I thought!
I decided to make chicken teriyaki sushi maki and crab stack sushi maki for my first solo attempts! Really wanted to avoid any threat of food poisoning with it being my first time and it will be good to focus on using raw fish in future attempts! If I remember correctly from the course (and I translated correctly!), maki sushi just means that is sushi rolls as opposed to layering the ingredients on top of the rice for example (nigiri) or making a cone like sushi (temaki).
I marinated one chicken breast, along with 6 thin strips of courgette in two tablespoons of soy sauce, two tablespoons of rice wine vinegar, one tablespoon of honey and half a teaspoon of ginger for one hour in the fridge. While this was marinating I cut up 6 thin strips of cucumber and defrosted 6 crab sticks.
I used a cup of sushi rice and washed in cold water 5 times until the water ran a bit clearer. Then to cook, I added two cups of cold water to the washed rice and put on a high heat to boil (uncovered) for about 5 mins until the water reduced slightly. Then I covered the pan, turned the heat down to the lowest setting and left for 15 mins, not moving the rice at any point. Once the 15 mins was up I took the pan off the heat, stirred the rice a little and returned it to the heat for 10 mins.
Meanwhile I cooked the teriyaki chicken and courgette in some oil.
Once the rice was done, I transferred it to a glass dish and left to cool a little. Once it was cool enough to touch, I added 2 tablespoons of sushi rice vinegar (mine was already mixed with sugar and salt so I didn’t need to make any additions). If you need to make the sushi seasoning yourself, you can mix 5 tablespoons of rice vinegar, 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt and store this in a plastic bottle for when you need it.
Next, on to the fun part of rolling the sushi 🙂 I folded a sheet of Nori into two (with the vertical lines going away from you) and then split into two separate pieces. I covered my bamboo sheet with cling-film and put the Nori sheet at the very bottom of the bamboo (rough side facing up).
Then after wetting my hands in a bit of water I took approx. 2 small handfuls of the rice and spread out con the Nori being careful to not press too hard. Then I added two lines of my chosen ingredients; so first two thin strips of chicken and then above the chicken, three thin strips of courgette. Then I gently rolled the bamboo forwards until the Nori ends were touching each other. Then I gently peeled back the bamboo slightly and folded it back over towards me (about 2 cm). Then I rolled it forward again completely to form a tube and pressed around the tube. Then I unrolled it from the bamboo and set the maki aside before moving onto the next sushi.
I repeated the process with the crab sticks and cucumber and was able to make two rolls of each set of ingredients. The rolling process went pretty well. Only the last one seemed a bit too full. Strange as I thought I would improve with each attempt but actually I was probably getting concerned with the amount of rice left over, so over-filled the last one!
To cut them, I used a flat wet knife and cut them gently into about 9/10 pieces for each roll.
As I said, actually I did not find these types of sushi complicated or too time consuming to make but I’m very aware that these are the some of the simplest versions. It was just a really enjoyable process and made something that always seemed a bit of a mystery to me, a much simpler concept. I’m very happy to have made them and have them on my blog 🙂 It’s been a long time coming!!!