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Monday, November 21, 2011

Vegetable Maki Sushi 101

I LOOOOOOOVE SUSHI. Or maki should I rather say. Which kinds? All kinds: avocado, kappa (cucumber), shitake, sweet potato tempura, hawaiian, tofu, red pepper, asparagus, etc.

Sushi is simple in its steps, but difficult to master in technique. It takes more than one try to get it right, so don't get discouraged if it doesn't come out right! I ruined many a nori sheets and plenty of sushi rice the first couple of times I tried.

1 cup sushi rice
3 tbs rice vinegar (I used the Marukan brand)
5 nori sheets
1 avocado
1/2 cucumber
2 tbs white sesame seeds
1/2 tsp brown sugar
pickled ginger, soy sauce, wasabi paste


1. Boil sushi according to package directions, add 2 tablespoons of the rice vinegar and mix it in well. Cool until room temperature so if you touch it, you can't feel that it's warm.

2. Toast sesame seeds in a frying pan with no oil or water over medium heat, until golden and it smells good, but not burnt.

3. Slice avocado and cucumber into long thin strips. In a small bowl, mix 1 cup warm water, 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar.

4. Take 1 nori sheet and place on bamboo rolling mat. Using a flat spatula dipped in water/vinegar mixture, spread some rice thinly on 90% of the area, leaving an empty strip along the top. Line up long strips of cucumber or avocado lengthwise across the nori, towards the bottom of the riced area. Sprinkle sesame seeds all over rice that you just spread on the nori.

5. Going very slowly, gently lift the bottom of the bamboo mat where the strips of avocado are located, and start rolling the nori like a log or cigar. Try to roll the left and right side evenly, or else you will end up with a cone.

6. When you get to the edge of the naked strip of nori, apply water/rice mixture slightly all over, and then roll again. This helped to seal the last bit of nori onto the roll itself, feel free to dab it with a bit of liquid there to seal it up a more.

7. Ta da! You now have a roll that looks like a very skinny and long log. I usually like to cut this into 6 pieces with a straight edge knife that was dipped in the water/vinegar mixture.

8. Congratulations, you just made sushi! (Ahem, maki) It tastes best when it has been cooled in the fridge for at least half an hour. Get out the sushi set, soy sauce, pickled ginger and wasabi and go to town!


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