I would like to dedicate this post to my dear colleagues and friends, who made the process of preparing sushi for 10 people cute and even fun.
The idea for gathering together for a sushi night came up when we had to say farewell to one of our dear friends – Marta. I am so proud to say that soon, she will be leaving for London, to study 3D Computer Generated Imaging at Kingston University. Wow…. This sounds so sophisticated! I don’t know how to express my joy, that I got to know Marta and had a chance to work with her. I wish her all the best in her new adventures!!!
Marta & Jimmy
So, we chose the location – my place, then we chose the food – sushi, and finally we chose the drinks – just lots of drinks Zori and I have made sushi many times in the past, but this was the first time we prepare it together. I have to say that it was great to learn some new techniques and tips from her in this regard.
Since cooking is my passion and as you all have noticed this blog has been primary food related, I will try to summarize the most important facts about sushi preparation, which I have learned over the years… I would like to point out that I am no chef and never claimed to have professional cooking experience, so please excuse me if I provide some not quite correct information.
The sushi rice:
1) The rice needs to be verysticky.
2) The rice needs to be cooked very well – the rice corns must not be hard
First very important thing is to buy short grained sushi rice, not regular rice, but the specially indicated rice for sushi. Otherwise you may give up now I always buy the Krina brand, which is sold only in Bulgaria. I am sorry I can’t suggest any international brand at the moment, but if you have any recommendations, do not hesitate to share them with us.
The rice needs to be washed until thewater starts to get clean. Everyone says that the rice needs to be drained for one hour before cooked… but in my experience it doesn’t matter. I never have the time to wait it to drain for an HOUR?!?!? Most of the times, I was in a hurry or just too hungry to wait. So, it’s up to you.
The amount of water, which needs to be used for cooking the rice, is the same as the rice, + 40% on top of that, because while waiting for the water to boil some of it evaporates. So if you have 250 grams of rice, you need to add 350-380 ml. water. At least this is what I always do, and it always works.
The boiling pot: I always use a Teflon-coated boiling pot, which immediately eliminates the possibility of burning the rice. I have to say that huge % of burned rice I because of the pan… and not of an incorrect amount of water. So, you add the water, bring to boil and after that add the rice. Make sure you turn down your stove top to mid-low, and cook for 15 minutes, with the lid closed.
After the 15 minutes are up, turn off your stove, take off the pan from the stove and leave with the lid on for another 15 minutes.
Transfer the rice to a wooden bowl (it’s important to use only wood or ceramic dishes, because otherwise the rice could make a chemical reaction to the metal).
Add sushi vinegar(Komezu), salt and sugar, according to the amount of rice. I use the following:
250 grams of uncooked rice
2 table spoons of sugar
2 table spoons of sushi rice vinegar(Komezu)
1 tea spoon of salt
Make sure you flavor your rice while it’s hot.
Then, leave to cool before you use it for the preparation of sushi.
I would like to write a whole other post, dedicated only to the rolling techniques, because in my opinion, there is a lot to tell. There are many different types of sushi which could be made, which require different techniques. And of course, it will not be easy to explain everything without the help of photographs. So, I will do my best to cover this topic soon.
In this post I would like to share some ideas for sushi recipes.
A sushi dinner is usually started with a sashimi appetizer. Sashimi is simply raw fish. You could use any kind of raw fish you have on hand, but the most famous are salmon, tuna, eels, halibut and sea bass. The sashimi has to be eaten with chopsticks, by dipping only the end into soy sauce so that it does not overwhelm the taste of the fish.
The most common sushi type is Maki Sushi, which is a sushi roll, including nori, rice, vegetables and fish. This is the moment to explain the nori, for those of you who do not know. Nori is a type of edible seaweed, which is dried or toasted, and usually sold in sheets.
So, there are some interesting suggestions for Maki sushi:
1) Philadelphia cheese; Raw salmon/Smoked salmon; Avocado
2) Philadelphia cheese; Chili sauce; Raw tuna; Avocado
3) Mayo & chili sauce (one of my favorite sauces for sushi); Crab meat; Avocado
4) Philadelphia cheese; Raw salmon; Sundry tomatoes; Roasted bread crumbs ( I recently discovered the sundry tomatoes sushi and I am so in love. If you never taste it, just try! You will not regret it) Make sure to absorb the extra olive oil from the tomatoes before adding them to the roll.
5) Philadelphia cheese; Avocado; Cucumbers; sundried tomatoes;
6) Philadelphia cheese; Raw tuna; chili sauce; caramelized shallots;
7) Shrimp; wasabi paste; mayonnaise;
You could always mix and match the flavors. The fans of sweeter sushi could add julienned carrots and caramelized eel to their Maki rolls.
When it’s time to cut the Maki, grab a top-end stainless steel knife or a sushi knife and a glass of water. Dip the knife in the water before each cut. Traditionally, a sushi knife would be made of incredibly high-quality carbon steel, the same type used in the forging of traditional Japanese swords. The other difference between regular knifes and a sushi knife will be the way in which they are sharpened – on only one edge, a style known as kataba.
Next common sushi type is the Uromaki sushi. This is a sushi roll where the fillings wrapped with nori are on the inside and the rice is on the outside surrounding the nori.
Place toasted sesame (black or white, or both) in a flat plate and roll the Uromaki onto the sesame. Another interesting Uromaki ingredient is toasted bread crumbs. Make sure you toast your sesame and bread crumbs before you use them. Toasting them let their flavors out and adds amazing taste to the sushi.
The Nigiri sushi is my favorite. Nigiri is a small ball of rice, often formed with the hands with fish on top of it. I would strongly suggest adding a little bit of wasabi paste or Philadelphia cheese on top of the rice ball, before you cover with the slice of fish.
Important here is how to eat Nigiri – using chopsticks, dip only one end of the fish into the soy sauce. It’s considered bad manner to dip the rice in the soy sauce. The rice acts like a sponge and the Nigiri may fall apart in your soy sauce dish. Bring the Nigiri to your mouth, in a way that the fish side touches on your tongue. This is so you’ll taste the fish first.
Some people mix a little wasabi into their soy sauce; however, it’s considered bad manners to do this, because the sushi chef has already placed some wasabi on the sushi. But to be honest I do not know whether this is true or not…. Just go with the flow
No matter what type of sushi you prepare, serve it on a wooden board, with a side of wasabi paste, ginger (Gari) and soy sauce. Gari is used to cleanse your palate. When you eat a small piece of Gari in between different types you get the best flavor of the sushi.
Well, thats it for now….!
I will appreciate it if you comment on the things I missed to mention…. The topic is just too huge . I am looking forward to your comments and thoughts on this post