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Daring Cooks - Sushi, 寿司

Saturday, 14 November 2009

The November 2009 Daring Cooks challenge was brought to you by Audax of Audax Artifex and Rose of The Bite Me Kitchen. They chose sushi as the challenge. I love sushi and have been making it very often, but only normal California rolls/ hand rolls nothing fancy like dragon rolls, spiral rolls or even nigiri (mainly cause it's really difficult to get sushi grade raw fish here).

This challenge is in 4 parts:

Part 1: Sushi rice
You will wash, rinse, drain, soak, cook, dress, and cool short grain rice until each grain is sticky enough to hold toppings or bind ingredients.

sushi 01

  • 2½ rice cups (1 rice cup=180ml) uncooked short grain rice
  • 2½ rice cups (1 rice cup=180ml) water
*For superior results use equal volumes of rice and water

Sushi vinegar dressing
  • 5 tbs (75 mls) rice vinegar
  • 5 tsp (25 mls or 21 grams) sugar
  • 1¼ tsp (6.25 mls or 4.5 grams) salt

  • Rinse rice 3-4 times until water runs clear. Drain.
  • Add 2 1/2 cups water, soak for 30 minutes, during this time prepare the sushi rice dressing.
  • After soaking, cook rice (I used a rice cooker).
For vinegar dressing:
  • Combine the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan.
  • Heat on low setting.
  • Stir until the mixture goes clear and the sugar and salt have dissolved.
  • Set aside at room temperature until the rice is cooked.
  • Slowly pour the cooled sushi vinegar over the spatula onto the hot rice. Mix.
  • Cool rice by fanning (using a piece of stiff cardboard) the rice vigorously. Don't flip the rice into the air but continue to gently slice, lift and turn the rice occasionally, for 10 minutes. Cooling the rice using a fan gives good flavour, texture and a high-gloss sheen to the rice. The vinegar dressing will be absorbed by the hot rice. Using a small electric fan on the lowest speed setting is highly recommended. Stop fanning when there's no more visible steam, and all the vinegar dressing has been adsorbed and the rice is shiny. Your sushi rice is ready to be used.
  • Cover with a damp, lint free cloth to prevent the rice from drying out while preparing your sushi meal. Do not store sushi rice in the refrigerator leave on the counter covered at room temperature. Sushi rice is best used when it is at room temperature.

  • The cooking instructions on the rice packaging stated to use 1 1/3 cup water to 1 cup rice but I followed the daring cooks instructions instead. The wild boar complaint that the rice was a bit hard, it wasn't uncooked, just that he prefers his rice to be softer. I thought it was ok.
  • This vinegar dressing is different from my usual dressing. I use 4tbs vinegar + 2 tbs sugar to 1 1/2 rice cup sushi rice (uncooked), without salt, so it's slightly sweeter. This rice tastes like those sold outside but we prefer my sweeter version, maybe cause we are used to it.
Part 2: Dragon rolls or Caterpillar Rolls
An avocado covered inside-out rice roll with a tasty surprise filling.

sushi 05

  • Nori (seaweed sheet)
  • Sushi rice
  • Avocado - very thinly sliced
  • Crab sticks - cut into half in length
  • Pickled sushi radish (takuan)
  • Glazed Barbecued Eel (unagi)
  • Vinegared Water – ½ cup of water combined with a dash of rice vinegar

sushi 04

Excellent videos on making Dragon Rolls:

sushi 06

Part 3: Spiral Sushi Roll
Decorative sushi – a nori-coated rice roll which reveals a decorative pattern when cut

sushi 07

  • Nori (seaweed sheet)
  • Sushi rice
  • Avocado - sliced lengthwise
  • Pickled sushi radish (takuan)
  • Crab sticks - cut into half in length
  • Cucumber - julienned
  • Tamagoyaki (rolled omelette) – thinly sliced
  • Gourd Strips (Kampyo)
  • Vinegared Water – ½ cup of water combined with a dash of rice vinegar

sushi 03
Tamagoyaki (rolled omelette)

sushi 02
Gourd Strips (Kampyo) - my fav sushi filling

  • Join 2 sheets of nori by moistening the adjacent edges and overlapping them about ½ inch.
  • Place this double sheet shiny side down on a rolling mat, part of the nori will extend beyond the mat.
  • Spread rice evenly on seaweed sheet.
  • Line 6 different ingredients at even intervals across the bed of rice.
  • Then roll the sushi up from the edge closest to you, this will form a spiral pattern of nori, rice and fillings inside the roll.
  • Slice into 8 pieces with a very sharp wet knife, wiping the blade with a damp cloth after each cut.

sushi 08

Part 4: Nigiri sushi
Hand-shaped rice rolls with toppings

sushi 09

A great video on making nigiri sushi:

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