I’m sure that I am not the only student with a severe case of Itsu withdrawal. It’s a first-world problem, I know; but it’s the little things, like grabbing post-essay-crisis sushi with friends, that one misses most in a time of quarantine. I’ve always considered sushi to be a delicacy whose preparation went well above my paygrade. How could I, a mere mortal, recreate such perfect little rolls of rice and seaweed? Turns out, nori sheets are available at the Asian food aisle in most Tesco stores, along with any other key ingredient you might need for Asian cooking! With a sushi craving eating away at my peace of mind, and a newfound culinary adventurer awakened in me, I decided that the time had come to embark on my biggest challenge yet. You might imagine the pride I felt when my culinary emancipation paid off. Here is a breakdown of my procedure.
- Bamboo rolling sheet/Tin foil/Cling film to help with the rolling of the sushi
- Sharp knife (for cutting up sushi roll)
- 1 pack of Tesco nori sheets (contains 5)
- 1 smoked mackerel fillet
- 1 salmon fillet (can be used raw if it’s good quality, but I cooked mine with lemon to be safe)
- 4 portions of white rice (I used basmati rice, but sushi rice is probably even better)
- White wine vinegar
- Smoked paprika (optional but highly recommended)
- Sesame seeds
- 1 finely sliced carrot
- 1 finely sliced cucumber
- 1 finely sliced or chopped spring onion
- 1 medium avocado
- Garlic paste or grated fresh garlic
- Place the rice in a pan and add salt and boiling water (with double the amount of water to the amount of rice). Leave to cook for around 10 minutes, occasionally stirring whilst preparing your other ingredients.
- Finely cut your carrot, cucumber and spring onion into strips, and your avocado, salmon and mackerel into long chunks (so that they will fit well in one line and can be rolled up).
- Check on your rice and add a generous splash of the white wine vinegar; this creates stickiness and gives it that lovely sushi rice taste.
- Once the rice is soft and well cooked, lay your rolling sheet on your preparation surface, ready a glass of water to wet the sheet with, and gather all of your other ingredients.
- Lay your nori sheet on the rolling sheet, and thinly spread a layer of rice onto it. You want the rice to be about 1.5cm thick so that it is easy to roll up and ensure you leave space on the two ends.
- Spread a thin layer of garlic paste in a strip along the middle of the rice, sprinkle the smoked paprika and sesame seeds along it, and layer on the vegetable and fish.
- Wet the ends of the seaweed sheet with water to get it sticky and roll the sheet up. Add more water to the seal and hold it for a little bit so that it seals properly. When setting it aside, lay it in a way that keeps the roll closed.
- Repeat until you use up all the filling.
- Carefully cut the roll into sushi pieces using a sharp or serrated knife – OR serve as a sushi burrito!
- Serve with horseradish (or wasabi if you have it), soy sauce, and any other condiments you’d like!
Get creative with your own fillings and dressings! These are just some that tasted great for me.
For my sushi, I didn’t bother getting special sushi rice and it turned out just fine! Just slightly overcook the rice and add white wine vinegar to get it to the right sticky consistency.