Sushi rolls (Maki)
from Ruth Shapiro
I. Sushi Rice (makes about 4 cups)
2 cups sushi (medium grain) rice
2 cups cold water
¼ cup rice vinegar
2 ½ Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine)
¾ teaspoons salt
1. Wash rice in running water to remove starchy coating. Let drain in a strainer.
2. Bring the rice and 2 cups of cold water to a boil in a two quart pot. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand 10 minutes. No peeking at the cooking rice. (Or use a rice cooker.)
3. Meanwhile, in a small pot (or glass measuring cup in the microwave), combine the sugar, salt, vinegar and mirin. Heat until the sugar dissolves.
4. Turn the rice into a large bowl. Pour the vinegar mixture over the rice, and gently fold the liquid into the rice with a wooden spoon or rice paddle. Fan the rice as you fold in the liquid to keep the rice shiny. (A Japanese fan is elegant, but an electric fan is a lot easier.) Continue folding and fanning until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice has started to cool. Cover the rice with a damp towel; until you are ready use it. Do not refrigerate sushi rice; it will crystallize and turn quite hard.
II. Sushi Maki (rolls) You will need a bamboo sushi mat.
Ingredient: (for each roll):
1 sheet nori
1 cup sushi rice
Fillings (Mix and match, but only use 2 or 3, and then only small amounts.):
cucumber, julienne (cut into match stick size strips), salt and drain
red pepper, julienne
avocado, ripe but not squishy, julienne
smoked salmon, cut into thin strips
omelet, cut into thin strips
Japanese pickled ginger
1. Place the sheet of nori shiny side down on the bamboo mat. Spread one cup (more or less) of prepared sushi rice on the nori. Cover the nori from side to side, but leave about a half inch uncovered at the far edge.
2. (optional) Spread a thin line of wasabi paste across the center of the rice.
3. Lay strips of 2 or 3 fillings across the center of the rice. Only use a very little of each or it may be too full to roll.
4. Dampen the uncovered edge of the nori. Using the mat, roll the sushi into a cylinder. Press on the mat to seal the edge and firm up the roll.
5. Place the sushi on a cutting board and cut it into 6 slices with a sharp knife.
6. Serve with a small dish of soy, a dab of wasabi, and a few slices of pickled ginger. To eat, mix a little (to taste) wasabi into the soy. Dip the piece of sushi into the soy mixture and eat. Nibble on the ginger between pieces of sushi.