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Sushi, Sashimi, Maki & Temaki Instructions

   Nigiri Sushi Instructions

To make nigiri sushi, have the rice ready and cooled. Start as always, with an extremely fresh, sushi quality fish. First, trim any veins and when you cut the fish, cut it at a slight angle (45 degrees). Sushi fish is generally cut into 1/4 inch thick and 1 1/2 by 3 inch rectangles. Using a high quality sharp knife, cut the fish at a 45 degree angle and trim to create the correct size. Have a small bowl of water next to your preparation area for keeping your fingers moist so the rice doesn't stick to them while preparing sushi or rolls. When it comes to the amount of rice used, that is really a personal preference. Typically, a 1 1/2 tablespoon ball of rice is used to form the bed of rice the fish or vegetable sits upon, and you form it into a mounded rectangle. You can experiment until you can get the fish to overlap the bed of rice at the ends almost to the plate, and just a little overlap on the sides. A dab of wasabi on the underside of the fish before putting it on the rice adds a nice flavor. Serve with wasabi, gari, and shoyu or ponzu.

Gunkan or Battleship Sushi

Cut or tear the nori into 1 1/2 by 4 inch strips. Form a little ball out of 2 tablespoons of rice and flatten it out a little bit. Wrap the nori around the rice standing up to make a "boat" shape using a bit of water to seal the sides together. Add the toppings inside and enjoy!

Sashimi Instructions

Sashimi is cut in different ways to enhance the appearance of the fish. Hira zukuri is the standard rectangular shape cut - 3/4 inch thick. A thinner cut is called Ito zukuri, and is often no more than 1/8 inch thick. The thinnest cut, called Kaku zukuri, is paper-thin and is often presented in a pattern. To prepare sashimi, first trim any veins and slice the fish crosswise against the grain into 3/4 inch thick slices that are about 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 inch square, or 1 by 2 3/4 inch rectangle. The trick to creating the little "cut lines" on the side of the fish is to cut with a feathering motion (cut slightly 1/16 inch, stop; cut slightly 1/16 inch, stop; etc.). Cutting like this can also prevent tearing of the fish. The presentation is very important with sashimi since it is the "Main Attraction," so play with arrangements... serve it alone on a bed of grated daikon on a plate artfully arranged; add a shiso leaf as a bed with daikon on the side; If you serve it on a bed of rice in a bowl with six more vegetables and/or tempura, tamago, etc., you've created chirashi sushi. Shoyu, gari, and wasabi are always served, but you may want to serve ponzu sauce with some finely grated fresh ginger and very thinly sliced negi (green onions).

Maki & Temaki Instructions

The general term for sushi rolls is Maki Sushi which usually means the seaweed (nori) is on the outside. Temaki, otherwise known as a Handroll, has the same ingredients as the maki rolls, they are just cone shaped.

Here are the specific terms for rolls:
     Chakin Sushi - rice on the inside wrapped with a thin egg crepe
     Futomaki - thick rolls; use a whole sheet of nori
     Hosomaki - thin rolls; use a half sheet of nori
     Uramaki - inside-out rolls (rice on the inside); use a half sheet or nori
Tazunamaki - (Rainbow Roll) Maki roll with strips of fish and/or avocado across the top
     Temaki - handroll; use quarter sheet of nori

The trick to making Maki sushi is in the rolling. You can fill it with almost anything, but getting it to look good can take practice. Prepare the rice and choose the fillings you want. In general, you will want to cut your fish into strips that are no larger than 1/2 inch in diameter. Cucumber or any other firm ingredient should also be cut into thin strips. The length is not as important because it makes a nice presentation when the fillings are overflowing out of the end pieces of a cut roll. If you're mixing the fish with a spicy sauce, it should be cut into nibble-sized pieces before it is mixed (find out more in Recipes). You will also need nori sheets, plastic food wrap, bamboo rolling mat (makisu), and a sharp, non-serrated knife. Once you decide what type of roll you're making, choose the correct size of nori based on the list above.

Have a bowl of cold water handy to dip your fingers in, rub your hands together and give a little clap to remove the excess water. This will prevent the rice from sticking to your fingers. Repeat as often as necessary. Place the nori with the long side facing you. Grab some rice and form into a ball just a bit larger than a baseball. Place the rice ball in the center of the nori and re-moisten hands. Press and push the rice, spreading it with the thumbs and fingers to cover the nori, but leave a margin of 1/2 inch on the side nearest you AND a 3/4 inch margin on the side furthest from you for a FUTOMAKI and leave a 1/2 inch margin on the side furthest from you for all other rolls. Don't work with it too much since it will get sticky. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of the rice if you want.

If you are making the other types of rolls except for the URAMAKI and TEMAKI that have the rice on the outside, you make a small dent in the center of the rice. If you are making a URAMAKI, flip the roll over so the nori is facing up. Place all ingredients into an elongated pile in the center, and try not to fill it with too much (I often have this problem, then I can't properly close my rolls.... but it's all good!). If you put the same ingredients together during placement, this gives the roll a nice uniform look when finished and cut.

Nori can be sticky and can become soggy quickly - When you're making the Uramaki or Temaki and you're handing the nori to roll or wrap it, be sure your hands are dry.

Roll the side nearest you over the central ingredients and finish the roll so the "seam" is on the bottom. It is a Hold, Tuck, Roll motion - Hold and Tuck the ingredients with your fingers while using your thumbs to Roll.

Get a sheet of plastic wrap about the same size as your makisu. Place plastic wrap over the roll so that approximately 1 inch extends onto the counter and the longer end closest to you. Place the mat over the roll and plastic wrap. With both hands, press lightly on the sides to firm up the roll. There is no need to apply pressure to the top of the roll or to slide your hands along the mat.

The knife must be very sharp to cut the roll. Dribble water over the length of the blade to insure the rice will not stick. Remove the makisu and with the plastic wrap still on, cut the roll in half. Cut each of the halves in half and again and one more time so that you have 8 pieces. Place the makisu over the roll again and press lightly to reform the roll. Remove the makisu and the plastic wrap.

Temaki is made differently only in the way it's wrapped. As I stated above, you can use the fish cut into strips or nibble-sized pieces, whichever you prefer. To wrap a handroll, be sure your hands are dry first, then using a quarter sheet of nori, place it on your palm. Use a spoon to spread about 3 tablespoons of rice on the nori, putting less on the bottom part you will be wrapping the tightest. Place your ingredients in the center of the rice, then wrap into a cone allowing for the nori to overlap. Use a dab of water on the end on the nori to stick it to the other side.

Arrange artfully! Serve with wasabi, shoyu and gari.... Enjoy!




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