HOMEMADE SUSHI INSPIRED BY LIZ EARLE
Ever since I met Liz I couldn't stop thinking about her answer when asked to name the best dish she's ever eaten. As is always the case it is very difficult to narrow down the options but Liz ended up going with a meal she had in East Africa which just sounded idyllic. It was off the coast of Kenya when she went deep sea fishing with a fisherman. They went out to sea and he had brought with him a little bag and he had some wasabi and a bottle of soy. They ate the first fish they caught which was still icy cold from the bottom of the sea and he served with with wasabi, soy and some pickled ginger. Liz said the experience spoilt her for life when it comes to sushi and it's easy to understand why.
I couldn't love the sound of this more. It's so simple but a true testament to how when you use lovely fresh ingredients at their best, you really don't have to do too much to them. I can definitely understand why this is one of those moments that has stayed with Liz forever.
I love sushi. I love eating it, but I also love making it. We always have it at home and it's such a fun thing to serve at dinner parties when friends come over. People are always surprised at how easy it is and I love that informal way of entertaining where everyone can just get stuck in and make their own. We just serve big bowls of sushi rice, stacks of nori and then loads of different delicious things to put in the sushi. Sashimi grade salmon and tuna from the fishmonger are always popular, as well as some cucumber and of course avocado. I also really like crab sticks, and something I ate a lot in Japan much to my surprise, sweetcorn mixed with mayonnaise. Salmon roe, fresh crab...prawn tempura...the sky's the limit! We always make the Japanese rolled omelette - Tamagoyaki which I really love.
You will need soy sauce to serve as well as some wasabi and pickled ginger. Luckily you can find all of these so easily in most supermarkets now which is great - although if you ever stumble into a Japanese supermarket be sure to stock up on endless amounts of goodies.
Making your own sushi is really straight forward if you opt for making "maki". Simply take a sheet of nori (seaweed), spread out some rice and then add your toppings and roll. It takes a bit of practice but regardless of what it looks like, it always tastes brilliant. You can use sushi mats if you have them as they make it a little easier, but it's also absolutely possible without so don't stress too much.
The sushi pictured is uramaki which is also easier than it looks! Simply spread the rice onto the sea weed and once it's spread evenly and you've pressed it down, flip it over so the rice is on the bottom. Put your fillings on the top and then roll up. Easy peasy!
300g sushi rice
10 sheets nori
topping ideas: (amounts are up to you as it depends on how many you choose)
sashimi quality tuna, or salmon
sweetcorn and mayonnaise
prawn tempura, or fresh prawns
To o serve: wasabi, soy sauce and pickled ginger
Rinse the rice under cold water, drain and add to a saucepan. Top with 700ml of water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 25 minutes or so until nearly all the water has been absorbed. Remove from the heat, cover with a lid and let it stand for about 10 minutes.
Tip the rice into a wide shallow bowl or a large flat tray. You want the rice to cool down quickly. Pour over the miring and using a wide paddle or spoon - keep turning the rice and moving it around. You can also use a fan to help get the rice to cool down.
Once the rice is at room temperature you are ready to roll (literally)
Top tip: it can help to have a small bowl of water to hand to keep your hands a little bit damp when you come to make your sushi as the rice can stick to your hands.
Take a sheet of seaweed and spread over 3/4 of the seaweed - leaving the quarter furthest away from you free from rice. Add your toppings in a line roughly half way up the seaweed but ever so slightly closest to you. Then roll away from you tucking it in as you go. Practice definitely makes perfect, but it's really fun to learn.
You can make these ahead of time if you don't want to get everyone to make their own but don't pop them in the fridge as the rice can dry out so just cover them with cling film and leave them somewhere cool.