Archive for the ‘how do i make sushi rice’ Tag

Method: Gluten Free Sushi Rolls

dscf0304

Yum! YUM YUM YUM. This picture makes me hungry. ;)

Sushi has got to be one of my favorite things to stick in my face, and one of the riskiest in my area due to a pretty major language barrier.  When we’ve gone out for sushi, it seems like the sushi chefs always like to substitute something when you ask to leave something else out (and it almost always has got gluten!).  So, I only have sushi at home now… and man, it’s a money saver!!!!!!!

I read this sushi book by Kimiko Barber and Hiroki Takemura and it influenced me a great deal.  I also learned a lot from watching people at sushi bars make sushi… so my methods aren’t really what you would call “authentic” but they are certainly tasty! :)

Sushi rice is the first thing you have to do, always.  Here’s my sushi rice recipe, it will make about 6 rolls:

Ingredients (Part 1):
1 1/2 cups sushi rice (this is a short grain sticky rice, so make sure you get the real deal)
2 cups hot water
salt, to taste
4 tblsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sweet rice cooking wine
1/4 cup unflavored rice vinegar

Directions (Part 1):
1)  In your rice cooker, add rice and hot water and some salt.  Let it cook your rice while you do the next step.  If you don’t have a rice cooker, well, you’re on your own. ;)  We eat so much rice here that we have a rice cooker to simplify things… if you’re Celiac, it would be a good idea to invest in a decent one.  Mine has fuzzy logic, so even if I do something stupid, the rice generally comes out good.

dscf0279

Only use real sushi rice... it will make your life easier!

dscf0283

My friend, the rice cooker.

2)  In a small saucepan, combine  last four ingredients.  Cook over medium heat until the liquid turns clear.  DON’T LET IT BOIL!  Remove from heat and let cool while you wait for your rice.

dscf0285

Be sure to stir this to dissolve the particles.

3)  Here’s where we depart largely from tradition.  Find a large metal bowl and dump your rice in it (once it’s cooked).  Be careful, that bowl is getting ready to get HOT!  Using a rice paddle, mix in the vinegar mix that you made and cooled on the stove (remember it?).  Allow the mixture to sit on the counter for a half hour or so, then give it another good stir.

dscf0287

Cooked, but unseasoned sushi rice in a metal bowl. That white thing is a rice paddle, it helps a lot!

You should notice that the rice is sucking up the excess liquid.  Let the rice cool a total of about 90 minutes, stirring every 15-30 minutes until the liquid is incorporated and rice is cool enough to handle.  The metal bowl will speed cooling, making the traditional fanning unnecessary, in my opinion.  This is the lazy way, it cools whether or not I’m even in the house.

dscf0288

Finished sushi rice, all shiny and sticky.

Ingredients (Part 2):
Nori
Rice Vinegar
Water
Sushi Rice from Part 1
Gari (pink pickled ginger)
Wasabi (optional, but delicious)
Assorted veggies, cheese and meat

Directions: (Part 2):

Ok , this is where we start to get technical.  It’s sort of hard to explain how to do this, but once you’ve done it a few times, it will make more sense.

1)  While your sushi rice is cooling is a great time to lob up whatever veggies, cheese or meat you intend to use in your rolls.  My top three favorites are avacado, cream cheese and smoked salmon.  Other great sushi fodder includes celery, green onion, dill pickles, carrots, radish, daikon, fried tofu… really anything you can chop into long skinny pieces.  You can do this same day or the day before… just be sure to practice safe food storage.  I don’t recommend raw fish, though we’ve done it before.  I’ve had sushi with fried chicken, which was delicious (but I’ve not done at home).

dscf0290

My sushi cut veggies. I always keep them seperate from meats and cheeses.

dscf0291

Meat and cheese plate. Cream cheese on the left, smoked salmon on the right. This is only safe because the fish is cooked.

2)  Next, set  up your sushi stations.  You will need a rolling area where all your ingredients are within easy reach (veggies, cheese, meat, rice and any condiments you want to put in the roll, like sriracha or wasabi mayo and your nori).  It should also have your bamboo mat and a bowl of warm water with vinegar big enough to put your hand in.  Your other area should have a cutting surface (large cutting board is good), a long, thin, sharp knife, pickled ginger, wasabi and your plates.

dscf0293

This is my rolling area. The rice (not shown) is on the right hand side, along with the vinegar bowl (not shown)..

dscf0294

This is my finishing area. Knife is not pictured, but you'll see it. The blue bowl is just there to get it off of the counter.

3)  In your rolling area, lay out your bamboo mat, shiny side up (you absolutely need this device, it’s like ten bucks at an Asian grocery).  Place an uncut sheet of nori shiny side down on the bamboo mat.  Dip your hands in the vinegar water and grab and large handful of rice.  Spread it thinly over about 1/3 of the nori sheet, leaving a half inch or so on one side (see photo).

dscf0297

Nori on bamboo mat. I use it shiny side down so that the rice can grab at the bumpier texture on the top side. It makes sense to me this way.

dscf0298

Spread your rice on 1/3 to 1/2 of the Nori sheet, don't get too crazy, though, or it won't roll well.

4)  Add your fillings and any condiments you want inside the roll.  I usually try to limit myself to 3 fillings, it makes rolling easier.

dscf0300

Make sure to keep your fillings in the middle of your rice. It will roll easier and look better. :)

5)  Now here’s where it gets tricky.  Wet both ends of the exposed nori sheet.  With the fillings on the side closest to you, fold the bamboo mat and ingredients over on themselves, pulling the mat toward you as you do.  If a little squishes out the short sides of the roll, it’s ok; you shouldn’t have any squish out the long sides, though.  When you’ve pulled the roll as tight as you think it will go (only practice will help you judge that), use the mat to maintain pressure and finish rolling the roll.  Press the wet strip of the nori against the roll to seal.

dscf0301

I always turn my mat so that my ingredients are closest to me before I start to roll.

dscf0302

Hopefully this illustrates the rolling method. Be sure to keep steady pressure as you roll or you'll have to do it again.

6)  Move your roll to the finishing area and place it sean-side down on the cutting board.  Start by cutting your roll in half, then cut each half into half and so on, until you have made bite size pieces (I usually go for about 3/4 inch slices).  The ends will always be odd sized and not evenly filled… even at sushi bars I’ve gotten them this way.  Plate your sushi, add some gari and wasabi and a little dish for soy sauce.  If you want to be really fancy, a drop of condiment on the top of each slice is a nice touch.  If you keep your knife blade clean and warm (warm water rinse), your cuts will tend to be better.  Use one hand to stabilize the roll.  Try a gentle sawing motion intead of a straight slice and use an unserrated knife with a long, sharp, thin blade (I use a utility/filet knife).

dscf0303

Don't be discouraged if yours don't come out this nice the first time, I've been making sushi for years and I still make a mess of it half the time. :)

Above all else, have fun.  Don’t forget that even though this is a traditional food from a land steeped in tradition, there is always room for innovation and just making it the way you like it.  The best cooking is all about keeping the best parts of tradition and mixing them with the best parts of innovation.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.