The idea of making sushi can be a little intimidating, particularly when you hear stories of 15-year sushi chef apprenticeships. The truth is, it's pretty straightforward. You can experiment with loads of different fillings - they are not hard to find in your local shop, and if you're not a fan of handling raw fish, then use smoked fish or just vegetables instead. You could also try different meat fillings like hoisin duck or char sui pork if you're feeling adventurous.
The hardest element to making sushi is cooking the rice, but it's no different to cooking any other rice - you cook it until the grains are tender. The recipe I have below is really simple. I get real 'cheffy' satisfaction from cutting through the sushi rolls and revealing the colourful cross section where I've arranged the ingredients.
This recipe will make two sushi rolls, which when cut, will give you around 18-20 pieces. As a main course dinner option, I generally make 4 rolls, so double this recipe if that's your plan.
We've put together a great kit with all the basics you need to make sushi. Click here to view.
Smoked Salmon, Prawn & Avocado Sushi Serves 4 as a starter
1. It's really important to thoroughly wash the rice in plenty of changes of water. This will avoid the rice getting too sticky and unworkable. It's also a good idea to soak it for 20 minutes after washing, before you cook it.
2. The quantity of water to rice is important, use 1 part rice to 1.25 parts of water. Bring your water to the boil, drain and tip in the rice, turn down the heat to a gentle simmer and put the lid on. You are aiming for the rice to absorb all the water and be tender to the bite. This should take around 15-18 minutes. Give it a stir 2 or 3 times and check it regularly towards the end of the cooking process.
3. Whilst the rice is cooking, mix up the seasoning. Simply combine the rice wine vinegar, sugar and salt and stir so that the sugar and salt dissolve.
4. Once the rice has cooked, remove from the heat and gently stir through the seasoning, being careful not to break up the grains. Spread it out onto a tray and place a damp cloth over and allow to cool.
5. To make up the rolls, place a sheet of nori onto your rolling mat. Have a small bowl of water handy with a splash of rice wine vinegar to keep your hands wet whilst you assemble. Spread a layer of rice over the nori sheet, leaving a 1 inch gap at the front and a 2 1/2 inch gap at the top edge.
6. Just in from the front edge of the rice, place a line of your filling ingredients - first the smoked salmon, then the avocado and then the prawns.
7. Using the mat as your rolling aid, bring the front edge up and begin the roll. The first part is the trickiest, you are aiming to roll the exposed strip of rice on the front edge on top of your filling ingredients. Once you've made your initial roll, use the mat to tighten everything up, before continuing to roll. Finally, moisten the back edge of nori so the sushi roll sticks and complete the roll.
8. You can now go ahead and slice the rolls into sushi pieces, however a short stay in the fridge will firm everything up. You can make these well in advance and then cut them just before you serve.
9. It's good to have a damp cloth to hand when slicing the sushi to keep your knife clean, you'll end up with much cleaner cuts.
10. That's it, serve with some soy sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger. Enjoy.
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