Sushi is probably the most photographed food in the world. The aesthetics and colors attract anyone, even those who don’t like raw food. However, if the taste is even better than the image, then there’s no denying we’re gonna crave some more.
I’m a sushi lover in all its shapes and forms and instead of going out for dinner or risking my health in those buffet restaurants (I advise you not to do that! That’s not sushi.), I always think "why don’t I try cooking at home?". The truth is, it's not that complicated.
It requires some patience and skill that you’ll acquire through practice. So, today we’re going to talk about sushi, what you need to cook it at home and some essential tips you gotta keep in mind when cooking this ancient art of Japanese cuisine.
BAMBOO ROLLING MAT
A bamboo rolling mat will help you roll perfectly even while keeping all the fillings firmly in place. Mats are becoming easier to find, especially online. There are even kits that already carry the "basic tools" such as the bamboo mat (or Makisu, as it is called) to roll sushi and seaweed leaves.
This can be anything you have on hand, from a stiff placemat to a folded newspaper. Use it to quickly cool down your rice as you fold in your seasoned vinegar. Rice that is too hot when assembling your rolls will steam the nori and mess with the final texture of the roll.
This is key. A dull knife will destroy your handiwork. You need a sharp blade to cut through the nori and rice in clean, precise pieces. Dipping the edge in a little vinegar will also keep the rice from sticking to your knife as you slice.
GOOD SUSHI RICE
Almost all commercial surfaces already sell rice for sushi, which is quite different from the other usual qualities. It’s not worth trying to cook rice that is not of this type unless you want to have a completely different experience.
Everyone likes different things in sushi so the ingredients to use should meet your tastes. You have vegetables - cucumber, avocado, asparagus, jalapeno, green onion, carrots -; protein - shrimp, salmon, tuna, kani - and fruits - mango, strawberry, apple, pineapple, pear. You can also add cream cheese which always tastes good.
𝐖𝐇𝐀𝐓 𝐃𝐎 𝐘𝐎𝐔 𝐃𝐎 𝐖𝐈𝐓𝐇 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐑𝐈𝐂𝐄?
What I do is just remove the liner from the steamer, add rice vinegar solution and fold the rice while fanning it for a few minutes, then just leave it alone for 30 minutes with a towel over the container to prevent drying. It seems to work for me. Don’t forget that seasoning the rice should be done after its cooked. The rice vinegar solution shouldn’t be added at the same time the rice is being cooked.
Start by washing the Japanese rice well until the water comes out clean and drain for a good 20 minutes (to ensure that all the water has been absorbed by the rice grains). Then it's simple. Simply bring the rice to the fire, with water, until boiling (on low heat), always keeping the pan covered.
THE RICE SEASONING
You need Japanese rice vinegar, salt, and sugar. Simply dissolve the salt and sugar in the vinegar and then mix in the rice when it is cold.
Remember: there is a rough side and a smoother side. It’s on the rough one that you put the rice, so that this pastes well. The algae must be crispy and when folded by hand, they split and emit a crackle of their own.
SPREAD THE RICE
The trick to keeping your hands always wet is to dip ice cubes and drops of rice vinegar into the water where it will get wet. This causes the temperature of the hand to drop relative to the rice, and the vinegar does not stick to the hands. Some subtlety for you and it goes a long way.
USE A GOOD KNIFE
Washing the knife the moment you cut the sushi roll is one of those tricks that always looks good as long as it is done with a pint. Soak the tip of the blade, let the water trickle through the knife and wipe it with a cloth.
𝐀𝐁𝐎𝐕𝐄 𝐀𝐋𝐋, 𝐘𝐎𝐔 𝐍𝐄𝐄𝐃 𝐏𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐄𝐍𝐂𝐄. Things may not go well at first, and there’s no problem with that because it’s with the practice that you’ll manage to make a delicious sushi plate. The advantage of cooking at home is that it's a lot cheaper than going to a good restaurant, you can experiment with different ingredients and gain experience that can come in handy when you want to impress friends or family.
Try it and tell me out it goes!