Threads occasionally crop up on the subject of what we miss when cruising. Well, not much here
, but sushi and sashimi would have to be near the top of my short list. I overdose each time I am back in Oz.
So you can imagine how thrilled I was to discover basic supplies for the first time in a nearby port. I bought the store out of sushi rice, nori sheets
and rice vinegar
(plenty of wasabi and soy already on board).
I had a fun afternoon reading everything I could find on making sushi rice, the key to sushi making and its only essential ingredient. I have had three attempts now, each one getting better. Below I share the recipe I am using.
Proportions in recipes vary wildly for the 'sushi vinegar' (some have up to twice the amount of vinegar, or over double the sugar or masses more salt). Experiment
and see what you personally like.
I used the rice for chumaki (medium sized cut rolls known as sushi maki). Fillings can be anything you like. I enjoy including the crunch of lebanese cucumber with the creamy texture of avocado, plus salmon or tuna or poached chicken, but vegan fillings are also an option.
The best site I found was:
Sushi Recipes | All the different kinds of recipes that you've been looking for!
2 cups rice
2 cups water
Optional: 2 tbl sake (if using, make this part of the water)
Optional: 4 x 6 inch piece of Kombu, wiped clean
r (for above quantity of rice):
½ cup rice vinegar
2 flat tblspn sugar
1 flat tsp salt
1. Mix vinegar and let it stand stirring occasionally so that the sugar has a chance to dissolve.
2. Wash rice:
Pop rice in a bowl and rinse with copious amounts of water. Rice absorbs water very quickly when you start washing
, so tip the first couple of lots of water out instantly so the starchy water is not retained. With the next few rinses gently wash the rice by swirling it with your hand. Repeat this several times until the water is nearly clear.
3. Soak rice:
Soak the rice in water for about 30 minutes after rinsing it (long enough for it to turn evenly white, time depends on the rice's age). I read this makes the rice shinier and with a better texture when cooked. No idea if it is the case, but don't knock tradition
4. Drain rice:
Tip the rice in a sieve and drain it completely for at least 20 minutes. If you don’t drain thoroughly, you’ll be using more water in cooking and the rice will be mushier. I was in a hurry the last time and simply drained the water and tipped the rice on a paper towel to dry off the excess water. This seemed to work equally well.
5. Cook without opening lid after it comes to the boil:
Combine the rice and water in a heavy-bottom pot (if using kombu add it on top) and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir a couple of times, until the water boils. Then cover the pot and lower the heat to minimum.
Cook covered for 12 minutes. There are plenty of warnings about not opening the lid, so resist peaking.
6. Let sit:
Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for another 10 minutes to steam.
7. Gently flip and fan:
I then tip it on a tray with a Teflon sheet and handling it carefully, spread it out. I've found this allows it to cool quickly without damaging the grains (the traditional way is to use a wooden tub). Don't scrape out the hard rice that dried on the bottom of the pot.
While the rice is still hot, drizzle sushi vinegar evenly over it.
With a non metal spatula very gently flip the rice, continually fanning with your other hand (eg with cardboard or plastic) until cool. If it is windy, do this in the cockpit
What you are trying to do is coat each grain of rice, then evaporate the excess liquid quickly without cutting or squashing the grains.
8. Leave it on the tray lightly covered at room temperature and use it within an hour or so. Avoid refrigerating it, as the texture alters. Don't even think of saving leftover sushi. Make it, eat it
The technique I followed for making chumaki (medium sized rolls, 1.5" with 2-3 ingredients) is described here:
Chumaki is the Medium size Rice inside Nori roll. Find out more here.
This quantity of rice was just right for a packet of 5 nori sheets
My mouth is watering just posting