What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word sushi? Most people will answer raw fish but in fact sushi refers to vinegared rice topped with other ingredients. Originally sushi was created as a way of preserving fish in fermented rice. This was a stable dish in Japan for thousands of years. During the Edo period (1603 to 1868) more contemporary sushi became common. The rice was served with fish or another vegetable and could be wrapped into a roll using seaweed. Japanese sushi is simple often using only one type of fish or vegetable. Condiments like wasabi and soy sauce are served on the side and slices of pickled ginger are used as a palette cleanser.
Making sushi with Yutaka
I have never tried sushi and was curious as to what it tasted like. When Yukaka got in touch and asked me if I would like to try out their sushi starter kit I was happy to give it a try. Yukaka are a Japanese food company based in the UK who make their ingredients in the traditional way. Their products include sushi, sauces, soups, rice, noodles and “easy to use” meal kits.
You will find everything you need to make your own nori rolls at home in the sushi kit. There was sushi rice, nori sheets, ginger, soy sauce, wasibi paste, sushi seasoning and a rolling mat. I also received black sesame and white sesame seeds, Shaoxin wine and rice vinegar to help me make my own sushi. All that needs to be added are your favourite fillings. Smoked salmon, cream cheese, tuna, prawns, cucumber or even egg, whatever takes your fancy.
How to make sushi rice
The secret to good sushi is in the preparation of the rice. Perfectly prepared Japanese rice should be light, fluffy, and slightly sticky when cooked. Before the rice is cooked it should be washed under running water until no more starch comes out of it. The rice is then placed in a pan with a little more water than rice. boil the rice for ten minutes with the lid on the pan and then leave it to cool. After thirty minutes the rice can be removed from the pan, use a wooden or plastic spoon so as not to damage it. Once the rice is cool it can be seasoned. The seasoning is a mixture of rice vinegar, sugar and salt which gives the rice a distinctive sweet sour taste.
- 250g sushi rice
- 330ml water
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- Place the rice in a bowl and wash with cold water three or four times until the starch is removed
- Drain with a sieve
- Place in a pan with the water
- Cover the pan and bring to the boil
- Simmer for ten minutes then remove from heat and leave to cool, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Mix together the rice vinegar, sugar and salt
- Fold into the cold rice.
How to make sushi
I made two different types of sushi, nori rolls and nigiri. A bamboo mat is used to make the nori rolls. I covered the mat with cling film so that the rice did not stick to it. A sheet of nori, which is a seaweed wrapper, is placed on top of the mat. A thin layer of rice is used to cover the nori leaving a cm at the top clear so the roll will stick together. A line of the filling is placed about five centimetres from the end the the roll is wrapped up using the bamboo mat.
My filling was prawns, cucumber and radish which was rather tasty. The seasoned rice makes a lovely complement to the fish. I was surprised how easy the rolls were to roll up, you just need to be careful to only use a small amount of filling. If you use a lot the filling comes out the end of the rolls.
Uramaki is an inside out nori roll with rice on the outside and the nori in the middle. The rice is often sprinkled with sesame seeds to give it flavour. These rolls are made in exactly the same way as normal nori rolls. Once the rice and sesame seeds are sprinkled on the nori the sheet is turned onto the bamboo mat rice side down. The flavourings are added into the centre and whole thing is rolled up. I managed to make a few of these which worked well, even if they did look a little wonky.
Nigiri are small mounds of rice topped with seafood. Yutaka had provided a nigiri mould to make the rice base. The rice is pressed into the mould the lid is placed on and it is pushed together. The lid is then removed and the rice pressed onto a plate. The rice is then topped with whatever you fancy, I used prawns. The Nigiri was served with pickled ginger and wasabi paste. The ginger is lovely and refreshing but the wasbai packs a punch.
It was great fun making sushi with the Yutaka sushi kit. The sushi was very easy to make as well as being tasty and a healthy snack. Making sushi would be a fun activity for kids to try this summer. It would definitely keep them occupied and they can eat the result. If you are looking for other ideas for fun summer activities with kids then have a look at my list. Yutaka sushi starter kits are available from Sainsburys and other major retailers.
Yutaka Sushi Kit Giveaway
Would you like to try making your own sushi? Yutaka have kindly given me a sushi kit to give away to one of my readers. Entry is easy. Just make a comment below letting me know if you have ever tried sushi and what did you think. When you have done this come back and fill in the rafflecopter widget so your entry is registered. This is mandatory. There are other entries available for visiting on facebook, following on twitter and tweeting about the giveaway but these are optional. Good luck!
- There are on prizes of a yutaka sushi kit – the prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
- Open to UK residents aged 18 and over, excluding employees and relatives of Dragons and Fairy Dust and Yutaka
- Closing date for entries is on 11:59pm GMT on 21 Aug 2016
- Only one entry per person
- Entrants must log into rafflecopter and leave a comment on the blog answering the question.
- Optional entry methods are to follow on twitter, visit facebook, tweet on twitter and subscribe by email.
- The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
- Automated entries will be disqualified.
- The winner will be informed within 14 days of the closing date and will need to respond with a postal address within 14 days or a new winner will be chosen.
- The winner’s name will be available on request.
- Yutaka is responsible for prize fulfilment. The prize will be sent within 28 days of receiving the winner’s address.
- This is a joint promotion between Dragons and Fairy Dust and Yutaka
- Entry to this confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions