Sushi Secrets

January 16th, 2018

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Everybody loves sushi, especially in New York City. When it comes to healthy and delicious food, you really can’t beat this Japanese treat. There are about a million amazing places to nab sushi in this city, but with a little effort you can make it yourself! We’re here to hook you up with the inside secrets to amazing homemade sushi. Once you get down the basics, you’ll be rolling sushi like a master! Before You Roll: The creation of any sushi roll requires a couple of basic things. Once you have these, you’ll be able to make sushi any time you please.
  1. Sushi Rolling Mat: Sushi is traditionally rolled on a bamboo mat. There are all kinds of modern gadgets and gizmos that promise to make sushi rolling quick and easy, but you really can’t beat the traditional way. A sushi mat is super cheap, you can pick one up on Amazon here for just $8. It even comes with a handy rice paddle and rice spreader, which are helpful, but not required.
  2. Nori: Nori is the edible seaweed that holds everything together. If you plan to make a lot of sushi, you should always keep your pantry stocked with it. You can nab it at most Asian markets or at fancier food spots like Whole Foods.
  3. Sushi Rice: Without that slightly sweet, sticky rice your sushi roll will just fall apart-it’s the soul of any sushi roll. You can buy it pre-made or make your own sushi rice at home. Here’s a quick and easy recipe for homemade sticky rice:
    1. Ingredients
      1. Calrose Rice
      2. Rice Vinegar
      3. White Sugar
      4. Salt
    2.  Instructions
      1. First, you’ll want to prepare your rice. Simply mix one and a half cups of rice and 1 cup of water in a pan. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Finally, remove it from the heat and let it sit aside for about 10 minutes before moving on to the next step.
      2. Mix one cup cup of your rice vinegar, a half cup of sugar, and a quarter cup of salt in a separate saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar and salt fully dissolve into the mixture. This mixture is called sushi-su.
      3. Move your rice to a wood or ceramic bowl. Ideally, you’d be using a sushi-oke, but most people don’t have one lying around. Pour a small amount of your sushi-su into the rice, and turn it over with a spatula or spoon. Repeat this process until your rice has reached the desired consistency. It should be shiny and sticky, but not clumpy. If you’ve got clumps, you’ve still got work to do.
The Fillings: You can fill your sushi with just about anything, though there are a number of ingredients which are more popular than others. Salmon, tuna, crab, avocado, tempura--the possibilities are endless. You can try a few popular recipes before getting creative and trying your own. It goes without saying that consuming raw or undercooked meat can lead to gastrointestinal distress, or other similar health issues, so make sure you buy your fresh fish from a reputable source! Time To Roll: To start rolling, lay out your nori on your bamboo mat. You’ll notice that Nori has a rough side and a smooth side. The rough side should be facing up. Most store-bought nori comes in standard sized sheets. If you’ve never rolled before consider cutting the sheets in half for your first try. This will give you a much more manageable size to work with, and it’ll ensure you have extra Nori if you mess up a few times. It takes an experienced sushi master to roll a whole sheet. Spread the rice out onto the nori. You can use your fingers for this. Keep a water bowl nearby, and routinely dip your fingers to prevent them from becoming sticky. The rice doesn’t have to be spread too thick--some of the nori should be showing through. Just make sure it’s evenly distributed across the nori. Add your fillings to the bottom quarter of the nori--nowhere else. This will ensure that you don’t overfill the sushi and make it impossible to roll. Now it’s time to start rolling with the mat. Slowly and carefully roll until you’re about a quarter of the way done. All of your fillings should now be tucked into the roll. Gently squeeze the roll with the bamboo mat to help everything stick together. Now you can roll back the bamboo mat from the roll, leaving your sushi roll about a quarter of the way rolled. Gently roll it the rest of the way using your fingers. Once it’s fully rolled, use the bamboo mat to wrap it up and squeeze it gently. Transfer your newly crafted sushi roll to a cutting board. Use a super sharp knife to slice it into rounds. The knife will become dirty and sticky very quickly, so be sure to wipe it off after every cut. A clean, sharp blade guarantees a perfect cut. All that’s left is to arrange your sushi on a plate. A side of soy sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger complete the dish. Now it’s time to feast! Stick To It: Your first attempt at rolling sushi might be a total failure and that’s totally fine. Professional sushi chefs train for years to master their trade. Half the fun is in gradually mastering the art of rolling sushi. It’s a wonderful, healthy craft that you can spend a lifetime improving upon!