To all people frustrated with life, to those unwilling to accept complacency, to anyone bored with repetitive routines, to those of you out there letting life’s troubles get the better of you…it’s sushi time! What the hell do I mean by that bold statement you say?!
Well, I’ve only made sushi twice- the first time I hated it and the second time I loved it. This Japanese dish, consisting of sweet-sour sticky rice, rolled inside crisp seaweed sheets with raw fish and/or vegetables is a delight to eat. To make, well it could go either way.
Initially, the process was a challenge too big for me to chew, it got messy, I didn’t really know what I was doing, I used the same boring ingredients in every roll and the inner contents couldn’t escape soon enough fromthe poorly rolled, loose ends. To put it simply, it was an epic failure. I felt I could go on no more with this unsuccessful attempt at mission impossible and never bothered again. Why set yourself up to fail again. But I mean how long can you go on without the ability to make sushi?! So I tried again!
Sushi bears no boundaries so I felt I had the right to use every ingredient in my fridge, which kept it far from the mundane. Each time it got messy, I washed the sticky rice from my hands, took a sip of sake and continued with the next roll. Each roll, tighter than the last, with less and less veg leaving either exit– what an accomplishment.My system worked and I was sufficiently capable of getting through this. I didn’t let it get me down this time like it did the first and I was a new woman for it.
How can something like sushi-making empower someone to the extent that they feel like they’re on top of the world? You’ll just have to try it!
- 250g sushi rice
- 3tbsp mirin
- 3tbsp rice vinegar
- 5 sheets nori seaweed
- 1 carrot sliced in thin strips
- 1/3 cucumber sliced in thin strips
- ½ bell pepper sliced in thin strips
- 4tbsp purple cabbage shredded
- 2 small chunks firm tofu (optional)
- Garnishes: avocado, mango, carrot, chives, black sesame seeds (optional)
- To serve: pickled ginger, soy sauce, wasabi
- In a saucepan, pour just enough water over the rice to cover it and cook for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and slowly stir in the mirin and vinegar, ensuring each grain of rice is coated, then leave aside to cool.
- On a sushi mat, lay a down a nori sheet, spread out a thin layer of rive, enough to cover it, but leave the top and bottom edges bare.
- Place the vegetables on the centre of the rice bed.
- Starting from the bottom end (end closest to you), firmly grab the mat and the sushi and begin to roll over, using fingers to hold in the filling as you roll and seal the edges once you get to the end.
- For a sushi roll with the rice layer on the outside instead of the inside, lay a sheet of clingfilm on to the sushi mat.
- Place the rice on top as before, but this time, flip the sheet over so that the rice is face down on the mat (with the clingfilm directly in contact with it).
- Place the filling in the centre as before and roll.
- Decorate with garnishes as desired and serve alongside the soy sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger.
A word of warning, that wasabi is so damn hot it’ll make you cry so use with caution!