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HOW TO MAKE SUSHI - EASY SUSHI RECIPES BY
CHEF GEORGE KRUMOV

HOW TO COOK SUSHI RICE

Ingredients: 3 cups Japanese-style short grain rice (Calrose rice), 3 1/2 cups cold water, 1/3 cup rice vinegar, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon sesame oil.

Recipe: Rinse the rice in a sieve under cold running water until the water runs clear. Let the rice stay in a bowl with a cup of water for 15-30 minutes. Strain the rice again and put it in a rice cooker with the cold water. Turn the rice cooker on and cook the rice. You shouldn't open the lid until the rice is ready. When the light of the rice cooker indicates that the rice is ready take the pot out of the cooker and let it rest for 5 minutes before lifting the lid. Use the plastic spatula that comes with your rice cooker to turn the rice using a slashing motion and fan it until there is no more steam, about 10 minutes. Mix the rice vinegar, sugar and sesame oil together and pour the mixture in the rice. Mix well with the spatula and let the rice rest for at least 1 hour before using it. This recipe yields enough sushi rice for at about 10 maki rolls.

Answer to a question:

question: How long can the sushi rice (after mix with vinegar) stay in warmer?
one day? or 12 hours?
How long can the sushi roll stay in room temperature? 4 hours?

answer: After cooking the sushi rice it shouldn't stay in the warmer. It should stay at room temperature. The vinegar in the rice protects it from spoiling. However if you want to refrigerate it and use it again, it will not work. Sushi rice can stay for at least 6-8 hours if it is covered properly to protect the moisture. If you are making nigiri sushi, it is best if you use slightly warm rice. Sushi rolls are best rolled fresh, but if you have to pre-make them for a catering or something else, yes they can stay at room temperature for at least 4-6 hours, but that is provided the seafood you use is really fresh. And I often see pre-made sushi in grocery stores that stays all day in cold display fridges, where the temperature is 10-12 C. If you keep it in a refrigerator, which is 4 C, the sushi will not be as tasty as when it was fresh, because the rice can dry a little bit.

BROWN RICE SUSHI RECIPE

Brown rice is one of the most flavourful and healthy kinds of rice that can be used for sushi, however it is less sticky than the ordinary sushi rice and therefore harder to work with. I prepare it in a regular rice cooker, much the same way as the calrose rice. For every four cups of rice I use five cups of water. I do not soak the rice or rinse it. Unless you have plenty of time and want to waste it, soaking is not necessary. Cook your rice in a rice cooker until it is done, remove the pot from the cooker and leave it to rest for about 10-15 minutes with the lid on. After that open the lid and try a few grains to check how it is. It should be harder because of the cellulose, almost like hot cereal, but the inside should be perfect. Proceed with fanning and seasoning in the same way like you would a batch of white rice. The brown rice is also an excellent choice for nigiri sushi. The brown rice sushi adds many health benefits to your diet, such as fibre and zinc, and is a good alkaline food.

CALIFORNIA SUSHI ROLL

Ingredients: 4 sheets of nori (toasted seaweed), 4 handfuls of cooked sushi rice (recipe is above), 1 avocado, 1 cucumber, 4 crab sticks, bamboo sushi mat, plastic wrap, toasted sesame seeds.

Recipe: Wrap the sushi mat with plastic wrap and place a nori sheet over it. Wet your hands with water and take one handful of rice. Put it in the centre of the nori and spread it evenly over the nori sheet. Sprinkle some sesame seeds over the rice and turn the rice face-down over the sushi mat. Peel and seed the avocado and slice it to strips. Cut the cucumber into 1/4-inch thick long strips, but use only the part of the cucumber without seeds, or if using seedless cucumber just remove the inside. Cut the crab sticks lengthwise to two strips each. Place some avocado, cucumber and crab sticks in the middle of the nori sheet and roll with the sushi mat. Press gently with both hands for 10 seconds, then remove the rolled sushi. Take a sharp kitchen knife and wipe it with wet towel. Cut the California roll to bite-size pieces, usually 8 pieces or ten. A lot of people also use mayo inside California rolls as an ingredient.

California sushi roll picture

California sushi roll

The California roll is a sushi roll designed for the American customer, that's why it is made inside-out, because it was assumed that the American customer wouldn't like to see and chew on the seaweed from the outside. It order to be able to roll the California roll with the rice on the outside, the sushi mat must be wrapped in cling wrap.

RAINBOW SUSHI ROLL

Ingredients: For the rainbow roll you will need to make an inside-out California roll (recipe above) and a few thin slices of each, salmon, tuna, avocado and surf clam.

Recipe: After making the California roll keep it on your plastic-covered sushi mat, top it with the thin slices of fish and avocado and roll it again with the mat, squeezing gently to stick the ingredients nicely. Cut the roll with a wet knife to 8 pieces and arrange it on a plate in the shape of a rainbow. Tip: For the rainbow roll you can use other kind of an inside-out roll that compliments the ingredients on top, but doesn't repeat them. Also, you might find cutting this kind of sushi rolls easier if you cover it with a wide strip of cling wrap and cut through the wrap, to prevent the toppings from falling off the rolls.

Rainbow sushi roll

Rainbow sushi roll

TUNA SUSHI ROLL

Ingredients: 1 (8 oz.) sushi grade tuna steak, 4 sheets of nori (dried seaweed), 4 handfuls of cooked sushi rice (recipe above), wasabi.

Recipe: Place one sheet of nori, smooth side down, over a sushi rolling mat. Dip your hands in water and get one handful of rice. Place the rice in the middle of the nori and spread it over the entire sheet, leaving a 1/3-inch strip not covered at the end. With your finger take a small amount of wasabi and spread a thin line across over the rice. Cut the tuna steak to eight strips. Place two strips over the rice and roll the sushi mat, leaving the strip of nori that is not covered with rice at the end, so it closes the sushi roll. You don't have to wet that strip with water, because the moisture of the rice is enough to make it stick, however, it won't hurt if you decide to do so. Press the rolled sushi mat with both hands for 15 seconds and remove the sushi. Cut the tuna roll to bite-size pieces, wiping the knife with a wet towel after each use. Repeat the same for the other 3 sushi rolls. You can also make thin sushi rolls if you cut the nori sheets to half and use only half a handful of rice for each.

Ahi tuna sushi roll

 

Yellowtail tuna sushi roll

PHILADELPHIA SUSHI ROLL

Ingredients: 80 gr. smoked salmon, sliced, 120 gr. cream cheese, 1/2 English cucumber, 4 sheets of nori (seaweed), 4 handfuls of cooked sushi rice (recipe above).

Recipe: Place one sheet of nori, smooth side down, over a sushi rolling mat. Dip your hands in water and get one handful of rice. Place the rice in the middle of the nori and spread it over the entire sheet, leaving a 1/3-inch strip not covered at the end. Cut the cucumber and cream cheese (while still cold) to 8 strips each. Place two strips each over the rice and 1/4 of the smoked salmon in a line in the middle of the sushi rice. Roll the sushi mat, leaving the strip of nori that is not covered with rice at the end, so it closes the sushi roll. You don't have to wet that strip with water, because the moisture of the rice is enough to make it stick, however, it won't hurt if you decide to do so. Press the rolled sushi mat with both hands for 15 seconds and remove the sushi. Cut the Philadelphia roll to bite-size pieces, wiping the knife with a wet towel after each use. Repeat the same for the other 3 sushi rolls. You can also make thin sushi rolls if you cut the nori sheets to half and use only half a handful of rice for each.

CATERPILLAR SUSHI ROLL

Ingredients: For caterpillar you can use any ingredients for an inside-out roll, and fresh salmon or smoked salmon and avocado for wrapping on the outside.

How to do it: As long as you can wrap up a decent inside-out sushi roll, top it with thin slaces of salmon and avocado, cut the roll to 9-10 equal pieces and decorate it with sesame seeds and sprouts. For this caterpillar roll in the photo I used crab stick, avocado and shredded carrot. Sometimes I use tempura shrimp and cucumber inside, instead. I often see the caterpillar drizzled heavily with some spicy mayo or other sauces, however, I don't like using mayo on my rolls. Mayo is for the amateurs to hide their lack of good cooking skills. Cheers.

Caterpillar sushi roll

Caterpillar sushi roll

SALMON SUSHI ROLL

Ingredients: For this salmon sushi roll I used a whole sheet of nori, 1 cup of cooked sushi rice (recipe above), sliced cucumber, avocado, fresh slices of salmon and roasted red pepper.

How to do it: Put the nori on a sushi mat that has been wrapped in cling wrap, cover the nori sheet with the rice, leaving 1/2-inch at the end. Put all the ingredients in the middle over the rice in a line from one end to the other and roll with your hands. Moisten with some water the end that wasn't covered with rice and finish rolling the salmon roll with the sushi mat. Cut the salmon roll to 10-12 little rolls.

Salmon sushi roll

Salmon sushi roll

CHRISTMAS SUSHI

 

For this Christmas sushi platter I have used only fresh salmon and vegetables (avocado, cucumber, carrots, red and yellow bell peppers). Two kinds of the sushi rolls are only vegetarian, as well as 8 pieces of the nigiri sushi. For the rest I have used only salmon, because tuna has some similarities to red meat, and other types of sushi grade fish are not local to where I reside. I think that on Christmas it is important to eat healthy local food.

Christmas sushi roll

Christmas sushi platter

Sushi Glossary:

Pickled Ginger (Gari) - Thinly sliced pickled ginger root, often pink in color, eaten in between or together with slices of sushi for appetite and to cleanse the palate.

Shoyu - Soy sauce. When you are choosing soy sauce, please make sure you choose one that doesn't contain MSG (monosodium glutamate). MSG is sometimes disguised as disodium inosinate and guanylate, hydrolized vegetable protein, glutamic acid, flavors, spices and so on.

Nori - Dried seeweed, pressed as a sheet of paper and used on the outside of the sushi roll. The nori can also be on the inside, if the sushi is rolled with the rice outside. The sushi rolls made with nori are called maki sushi.

Seasoned Rice Vinegar (Awasezu) - Seasoned rice vinegar is a rice vinegar made of sake with the addition of sugar and salt. It is an essential part of making sushi. After all, sushi means vinegared rice. Seasoned rice vinegar can be purchased from most grocery stores or prepared at home.

Sushi Meshi - This is the name of the prepared sushi rice. Sushi meshi is made of Japanese-style short grain rice. The most essential quality of this rice is its stickiness.

Wasabi - Wasabi is a paste made of Japanese horseradish. It is light green in color with a very spicy taste. Wasabi can also be found in powder, that needs to be mixed with water before use.

Sushi Rice - I am generally using Calrose rice for sushi, but almost any short grain or even medium grain rice should be good to prepare sushi rice at home. Usually it is much more economical to buy the calrose sushi rice in bigger bags of 8-18 kg., than the specially labeled "Sushi rice" in smaller bags.

Most Popular Seafood Used For Sushi:

Ahi Tuna, Albacore Tuna, Fresh Salmon (Wild or Farm-Raised), Barbequed Eel (Unagi Kabayaki), Red Snapper, Escolar (also known as Oil Fish or White Tuna), Crab, Cooked Shrimp, Octopus, Smoked Salmon, Mackerel, Halibut and Scallops. Tilapia and Squid are also used for sushi, although are less popular. Click here for a list of other basic sushi ingredients.

Chef George Krumov
About the author: George Krumov is a Red Seal certified chef with many years of culinary experience working around the world in Europe, the Middle East, the cruise line industry and North America. In the last decade he has headed the kitchens of several restaurants in Canada, and ran his own restaurant.

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