February 12, 2006

Horse 493 - Making Sushi

Sushi is not raw fish as is sometimes misconstrued, but the basic recipe for sushi rice is dead simple.

6 cups rice (Japonica)
6 cups water
2/3 cup rice vinegar
4 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt

Cooking rice requires just a little bit of thought. It's best to cover your rice in a saucepan or rice cooker with water and keep on boiling, whilst stirring it. The best test to check whether rice is ready is to bite a few grains. As its virtually impossible to overboil rice, the test is simple. Basically if there's still a hard core in the middle, then it's not done yet.

Next it's important to wash your rice. This is done to remove the outermost layer of starch, but also because we want to replace that starchy coast with a much more subtle flavour.

The last thing you want to do is to prepare your rice vinegar. The way to do this is on a low heat until all of the sugar and salt is dissolved. The two components are now ready to add together.

Do you remember in Year 7 Home Ec. what it meant by folding? It's simple, all one needs to do is fold your rice vinegar mixture through the rice. I've found by experience that its best to do this wih either a plastic spatula with holes in, or a wooden spoon. You want to do this quickly without smashing the rice to bits.

Once this is done, the whole lot is bunged in the fridge for use later. Even if you want it immediately, you'll still need about 3 hours in there.

That's about it. The rest of the process involves what you intend to make out of it, or how it's going to be prepared. Nori is resonably avaliable at most Asian groceries now. And Salmon cutlets retail for about $25/kg.

Word of note here: White fish doesn't work at all with sushi. The reason for this is that it needs to be cooked to able to eat it, and by that stage, it flakes. This is the main reason why salmon and tuna are the primary of the fish netto used in sushi, though equally beef and chicken can be used without any trouble at all.

There is a place in Balmain that does some really interesting takoyaki served on a bed of sushi. The subtlety of sushi with the satisfyingly greasy takoyaki are interesting in combination.

Anyone who's eaten the sushi I'vew made will attest that the recipe works really well. The fact is that I was taught by a sushi shop in Mosman after I asked the lady behind the counter for the recipe, and she not only gave me a recipe but a three hour lesson in making it.

Also, I read this episode of Divulge a couple of weeks before hand and made this post in response all the way back on the 28th of last month. Have I eaten real sushi? I can make it!

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