Saturday, June 12, 2010

How to make Maki Sushi

If you may have noticed my pen name, you may have thought that I am an avid fan of Japanese food. If you guessed that I am, then you have guessed right. I love Japanese food, and maki sushi being one of them.

Makizushi is a type of sushi which is rolled and wrapped in nori and often made with two or three fillings.

My constant craving for maki sushi easily drains my wallet and eventually made me search for recipes on how to make them. If you are like me, who loves sushi and loves to experiment, then this sushi-making-guide might be of help.

Before making the maki sushi, you will need the ff:
  • Nori - This is the toasted paper-like seaweed used in most kinds of sushi. It is wrapped around and holds the sushi roll together. Nori sheets are nutritious and add a unique flavor to the sushi roll. These can be bought in packs of 10s or 50s and can be found in most Asian grocery stores. For home use, it is advisable to buy the ones which are in packs of 10s, since nori sheets are best when they are stored dry.
  • Sushi rice - Although most kinds of rice can be used in making sushi, sushi rice, or sushi-meshi, is most recommended because of its stickiness. Its stickiness helps in keeping the sushi roll together. To prepare sushi rice, wash and cook the rice just like you would do to any normal rice. The only difference is that, after cooking, the rice should be seasoned with rice vinegar, salt, sugar, and some like adding in sake. For the seasoning, mix a half cup of rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and 2 teaspoons of salt, in a pan on medium heat, until all solids are dissolved. Pour this mixture on 3 cups of rice and stir well. Let the sushi rice cool down until it is ready for your sushi roll.
  • Filling - Use crabsticks, fish, prawns and vegetable slices of your choice as the filling in your maki sushi. For vegetables, you may try carrots, cucumber, asparagus, etc. Try to cut these into long thin strips so that it will be easier in filling the sushi roll.
  • Sushi rolling mat - This is a small mat made of bamboo which is used to roll and squeeze maki sushi into tight rolls.
  • Wasabi - Wasabi, or Japanese horseradish, is a spice used particularly in Japanese food. It is served by either mixing it with soy sauce, or eaten directly by placing it on the sushi. Personally, I like mixing it with soy sauce and a few drops of lemon. Wasabi can be bought from Asian supermarkets, either as a ready-to-use paste or as powdered form. Powdered wasabi is better since you may be able to make your own fresh wasabi depending on your preferred consistency. Making wasabi from powdered form is easy. The powder is just mixed with water until it turns into a paste. Remember to eat a fair amount of wasabi at a time, for it can get really really hot and spicy!
  • A small amount of patience - since making sushi isn't all that difficult, just a small amount of patience is required :D

Now, for the maki sushi,
  1. Start off by placing the rolling mat on the table.
  2. Place the nori on top of the rolling mat, making sure that the nori is placed with its rough side facing up.
  3. Place a handful of sushi rice in the middle of the nori sheet. Spread the rice evenly on the nori sheet, creating a thin layer of rice. Leave about an inch at the end side of the nori sheet without rice. This side will be used later on for closing the sushi roll.
  4. As a filling, place the slices of fish, crabsticks, prawns or vegetables along the edge of the sushi. For vegetables, you may try carrots, cucumber, asparagus, etc. Fruits such as avocado and mangos may also be used. Use your imagination on this one.
  5. Using the rolling mat, carefully enclose and tighten the filling. Continue by rolling along the length of the nori and gently applying pressure to keep the sushi roll tight. Roll the nori sheet until you reach the empty space of the nori sheet.
  6. Use the empty space of the nori sheet to close the sushi roll properly.
  7. Use a sharp knife and cut the sushi roll into little sushi rolls.
  8. Serve with your favorite Wasabi.

Enjoy your Maki sushi! :D

- Steve's Zushi -

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