It’s cool, it’s calming and it’s cheap. I’m going to convince you why veggie sushi should be in your armoury of budget meals to make… Here are my top tips for making sushi at home!
Sushi has seen a massive explosion into the mainstream of British life in the last ten years. I remember my first taste of it, was paying out a good proportion of my Saturday job’s earnings to buy a small box when I was fifteen. Then, I liked it but nowhere near to the extent that I like and appreciate it now. We love to have it as an alternative dinner in front of a film or I love to spend hours methodically making it for a group of guests.
So why do I love making sushi?
As I suggested above, there is something wonderfully methodical and simple about the process. I would particularly recommend making it without screens and relaxing music – to make the experience more mindful. It’s a lovely way to spend an hour before eating!
It is satisfying also, that once it’s made, it’s made. It is as fresh as food can be! If you want to get more vegetables into your diet, you can do so without too much fuss. And it gets bonus marks for being suitable for vegans and dietary requirements too.
The sushi I made below is a rolled type and called nori maki. Other types include rice pressed into a rectangular mould or hand formed balls with toppings. I think the rolled form using nori – seaweed sheets – is an easy one to try at home. It’s also a very flattering process and will look and taste great regardless of how inexperienced you are!
Doesn’t making sushi need fancy equipment?
In short, no! My ideal list for making is below. But you can make do with what you have honestly! The only things that are necessary are highlighted with a star*
Chopping board or surface*
Bamboo rolling mat*
Plate, tray or board to serve*
|2 bowls OR 1 bowl plus a wooden rice tub (hangiri)
Small bowls or ramekins to serve soy sauce
Chopsticks to eat with – but honestly it makes great finger food!
What about sushi ingredients?
|Sheets of nori (seaweed)
Vegetables to fill, e.g. cucumber, mushrooms, spring onion, avocado etc.
Mirin (sweet rice wine)
|Pinch of salt
Sashimi (Sushi ginger)
Top tips for making sushi
When you cook the sushi rice, you’ll want to rinse it in cold water first. As you rinse it, milky white water will run off and you need to repeat probably five or so times. The easiest way to do this is to place the rice in a fine sieve and plunge into clean cold water.
You musn’t lift the lid of the pan while the rice is cooking, as tempting as it is! Place the pan on the hob with cold water and the lid on. Bring to the boil (listen for it) and then turn down the heat to a low-medium. Cook for 8-10mins. Remove from heat and leave lid on. Put to one side to rest for another 10mins.
Move the rice into a clean bowl made wet with a little water – or a soaked hangiri. Authentic sushi master chefs have their own vinegar mixes to flavour the rice. For ease, we are going to add a glug of the mirin to our rice. Flavour really to taste. I add roughly one pinch of salt and one tbsp of mirin per 100g I use.
To roll the sushi, you’ll want to spread a layer with your fingers across the sheet of nori. Leave a half inch space opposite you for a small lip to seal the roll. Add fillings in thin rows about one inch into the rice layer. Then use the bamboo mat underneath to flip and roll the nearest edge to meet about one third of the way across the sheet and cover the filling.
When you are rolling, try to maintain a reasonable pressure and ensure your wrap is not loose. At your opposite end, add a little water on fingertips and run across the edge. When pressed against the roll it will form a seal.
A clean knife coated in vinegar water will be effective at cutting into pieces and voila… you have made your first sushi meal!