Easy to make sticky rice sushi! More wasabi please!
This is the second sushi platter that I made by request from a good friend who has been on chemotherapy for a few years. I do go out of my way to cook requests by seroiusly ill people. My sick friend said that the pictures of my food do help her to gain an appetite. Nausea on chemo is hard to overcome. Her favorite food is sushi and I hope these pictures help her to gain an appetite!
This plate has four different simple sushi rolls and a few pieces of teriyaki octopus. Seaweed salad, pickled ginger and wasabi are the accompaniments with soy sauce on the side. The seaweed salad is very thin sliced tender fresh green wakame seaweed tossed with sesame oil, rice vinegar, sea salt, white pepper, mustard seed, minced garlic and ginger.
The nori seaweed paper wrapped roll is crab and cucumber. The black sesame coated roll is cucumber and smoked salmon. The avocado wrapped roll is crab. The masago (Capelin Caviar) coated roll is teriyaki shrimp.
I can't teach verbally how to roll sushi. Sushi rolling is just something that is learned by practice and experience! A skilled sushi chef goes through a few different licensing procedures to be certified. A better sushi teacher than me can be found easily. I am in what you may call an amateur sushi chef.
Nishiki Short Grain Sushi Rice is a must for making professional sushi! The nishiki sushi rice has to be cooked clear and sticky with a piece of special hijiki seaweed that emits a MSG substance when it is steamed with the rice. The steamed rice is places into a wooded bowl, so it does not cool too quickly. The nishiki sushi rice is flavored with a sprinkle of sweet rice wine vinegar. It takes years to learn how to read the rice and cook the nishiki sushi rice correctly.
For a beginner's sushi platter, Chinese sticky rice is much easier to master. Sushi actually originated in China, but sushi was no longer made after the Mongols occupied china. Chinese sticky rice is very forgiving and it is easier for a novice to work with. The sticky rice does need to be flavored with sushi style sweet vinegar.
A bamboo sushi rolling mat is the tool to use to make perfect rolls. For a plain roll, coat the mat with plastic wrap. For a nori seaweed roll, place a sheet of roasted nori seaweed on the mat. Only place a very thin layer of rice on the mat, so the rice covers 4/5's of the nori sheet from bottom to top. Using too much rice or to thick of a layer will result in a misshapen roll.
The fish or vegetable filling should be cut into very thin strips. The filling should be placed no higher on the rice than 1/5th of the way up the sheet, from bottom to top.
Apply pressure with your fingers and hands and press the bamboo mat firmly to start the form of the roll. Then roll into a round shape or square shape.
A good tip is to wrap the bamboo mat with plastic wrap when doing avocado or masago coated rolls. Make the roll first and then place the avocado slices next to the rice roll on the plastic wrap covered mat. Use the bamboo mat to roll the rice roll over the avocado, then press gently to make the avocado stick. The same technique is used for masago or black sesame coatings.
When slicing sushi, wet and wipe the razor sharp knife blade before each slice. Slice downward without dragging the blade.
Japanese teriyaki is simply sugar and soy sauce cooked to a light syrup stage. Just cook the shrimp or octopus in the teriyaki sauce. Slice the shrimp lengthwise after they have been cooked to make an even center on a sushi roll.
I don't pretend to be a sushi chef! This is only the third plate of sushi I have ever made. If you have the inspiration to be creative, then making a few easy sticky rice sushi rolls is a fun way to prepare a meal.
Try to keep the presentation simple, clean and have the sliced rolls placed on the plate with a sense of order. The presentation is as much of an art as making the rolls. Be careful with the amount of wasabi you put on a slice. Wasabi has some mind numbing side effects!
By the way, this plate of sushi made my ill friend who is on chemotherapy very happy! Sushi!!! ... Shawna
I finally got a professional sushi making education. I graduated sushi school at the Cordon Bleu French chef school in April of 2012! Yes, they do teach the art of sushi making in fine French chef schools! I did plenty of sushi research and studying on my own, before starting the sushi class. I learned the proper techniques of nishiki sushi rice making and sushi roll techniques. I created a very nice looking caterpillar roll and a Nigiri sushi. I used the 5 movement finger, thumb and palm technique to maki the nigiri rice platform like a master sushi chef! I served the properly garnished sushi platter to one of the executive chefs at school. She liked it!
When using proper traditional Japanese ingredients to make sushi, the finesse seems to flow out of respect for Japanese sushi making tradition. I found myself making sushi like an experienced sushi chef! I will be presenting a new series of traditional Japanese style sushi and modern creative sushi rolls soon in my food blog.
Practice makes perfect, and it is much cheaper to practice making sushi with sticky rice and less temperamental seafood items. Once you feel comfortable with your sushi making abilities, then it is time to start mastering the techniques of making traditional Japanese sushi!
On a sad note, my friend Renee, who made this sushi platter request, passed away due to complications from chemotherapy a few months ago. She and I were good pals and we wrote collaborative poetry together up till the day that she slipped into a coma. I miss her a lot. Please support funding for a cure for leukemia. ... Shawna