Introduction to sushi making: how to make standard sushi rolls (chapter 5)

I have not had my internet set up in my flat yet, but since I am waiting for my car to be serviced at BMW service workshop, might as well use their high speed internet to do some blogging and uploading!

I realised that I have not yet posted my introduction on making standard rolls. So here it goes!

First of all, lay a nori sheet on your sushi mat which has already been cling filmed.

Spread the sushi rice across the nori sheet as shown in the diagram.

Lay chicken in the centre..

Put some japanese mayonnaise, and line the avocados.

Try not to be too greedy in lining up too much ingredients or you risk being unable to close your sushi rolls.

After lining the ingredients, bring the sushi mat forwards as shown..

…just enough to cover the ingredients. put gentle pressure on all sides..

Lift the front of the sushi mat up…

Push the whole roll forwards once with the mat…

Gentle pressure again…

Side view…

Cutting the rolls…

Cut the roll midway…then line the half lengthways roll side by side as shown below///

Aim again for the centre of the half lengthways rolls.

Then aim midway of the length of the rolls again….(this is difficult…maybe I should consider making a video on how to make sushi rolls..)

You can also substitute the chicken for some breaded fried chicken: https://stephylicious.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/introduction-to-sushi-making-how-do-fry-the-chicken-for-rolls-or-katsu-curry-chapter-3/

A link to one of my entries on how to fry the breaded chicken.

Or you can use raw salmon! yumsss!

Now you are all ready for a sushi picnic!

Dorayaki recipe (Japanese red bean pancake recipe)

I decided to make dorayaki, after skirting through some photos of dorayaki on Facebook.

I thought….pancakes bah….shouldn’t be tooooo difficult I hope.

It was pretty difficult to control the fire in my kitchen. Somehow, I think an electric hob does a better job than gas when it comes to making pancakes? But I may be wrong. My theory.

I remember how I used to watch doraemon when I was a child and love how doraemon really loves his dorayaki! Makes me wonder how does dorayaki taste like…

Dorayaki is basically a red bean filling sandwiched between two pancakes. A wonderful Japanese dessert.

I used to eye how 4 dorayaki was sold in a package in the freezer compartment in the chinese supermarket for £6! Does feel like a rip off doesn’t it. Guess it’s more worth it making this at home!

My wonderful attempts to make dorayaki. I would not dare to take any praise for these as they look browner in appearance, not burnt. Still taste pretty good, just not quite as presentable. I probably should have reduced the amount of water added into the batter, or perhaps measure the amount of baking powder I was adding into the batter. Also, it would have helped to have my standing mixer in helping me whisk the eggs. I think that would have really helped as I don’t think I have whisked enough.

Nevertheless, taste great.

You can find better picture illustration on how to make dorayaki on this website below:

http://justonecookbook.com/blog/recipes/dorayaki-japanese-red-bean-pancake/

Guess one advice for myself would be not to make dorayaki after a cooking spree of chicken rice and kueh tiao soup as I lost my patience completely while waiting for the dorayaki to cook….maybe that’s why they look browner. Lack of attention to detail, lack of patience to control the heat and timing.

It is crucial that the pan has to be fairly medium heated so that the dorayaki will rise whilst cooking, as if the heat is too low, it takes almost 15 minutes to cook one side and the dorayaki did not rise (you don’t see bubbles rising on the surface). I had experimented with the extremes of heat and settled for medium heat. Even so, I can’t stop my dorayaki from looking so brown, not burnt.

Just means more practice…

But I put the recipe on for those who have requested for it.

Just a few pictures below to entice my readers on what I cooked for dinner tonight.

My usual chicken rice

and….

Kueh tiao soup.

Kueh tiao soup was a bit of a failure…cuz I have transported most of my ingredients over to my new flat and hence lacked the authentic sarawak white peppery taste. What a shame. Also…felt that I could have been more generous with using more chicken carcasses to enhance the taste.

Oh well…

Anyway, the dorayaki recipe which I will reference from this website:

http://justonecookbook.com/blog/recipes/dorayaki-japanese-red-bean-pancake/

Dorayaki recipe:

Ingredients:

4 eggs

140g sugar

2 tbsp honey

160g all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1-2 tbsp water

1 18oz/520g can Ogura-An, or homemade sweetened red bean paste

Steps:

1) In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, and honey and whisk well until the mixture gets fluffy.

2) Sift flour and baking powder into the bowl and mix. Keep in the fridge to rest for 15 minutes.

3) Stir in ½ Tbsp of water at a time to get the right consistency. It should be a little bit thicker than pancake batter. If the batter is too thin, Dorayaki buns will be too flat and not fluffy.

4) Heat a large non-stick frying pan on medium-low to medium heat. Dip the paper towel in oil and coat the bottom of the pan with the oil. The pan should be slightly oiled but shouldn’t be visible. That’s the secret to get nice texture on the surface of Dorayaki. With a ladle, drop the batter from 1 foot above the pan to create 3 inch diameter “pancake”. When you see the surface of batter starts to bubble, flip over and cook the other side. Transfer to a plate and cover up with damp towel to prevent from drying. Continue making pancakes

5) Make sandwich with red bean paste. Put more red bean paste in the center so the shape of Dorayaki will be curved (middle part should be higher). Quickly wrap them with saran wrap until you ready to serve.

 

 

Will definitely practise again. This time using my standing mixer to whisk the eggs till totally fluffy and repost the pictures. 

Introduction to sushi making – How to make inside out rolls (chapter 4)

Ok. I will let the pictures do the talking.

First of all prepare the sushi rice. I tend to use nishiki brand as that is the only reliable sushi rice brand I know of. I have tried a few other brands in the past as they were cheaper and to be honest with you, there is a huge difference in the quality of sushi you make. I once used a sushi rice of some unknown japanese brand which was like 50p cheaper and I thought won’t make much difference one lah…it’s all sushi rice anyway….but you know what, the cooked sushi rice refused to stick to the seaweed. My housemates who were also ex-sushi chefs didn’t believe me and tried as well before we all declared the sushi rice was just pure nonsense as it just won’t stick to the seaweed! I ended up throwing the whole pot of sushi rice in the bin! 

In summary, don’t cut cost on sushi rice. You really pay for what you get! Nishiki brand, and no other.

As to how to prepare the rice, I cannot stress enough the importance of not putting too much water into the rice before you cook. Check your water level is correct with your finger (cook like how you are cooking normal rice but with slightly less water) and also double check with your rice cooker instructions i.e. if you cook 5 cups, make sure that the water is at the level ‘5’ on the rice pot. If your rice is very wet, you are in for failure so don’t even attempt or you get sushi mash. If you get sushi mash, you might as well not make because no one is going to eat your sushi as it will taste like glue.

Wrap your sushi mat with cling film just to make your cleaning up easier at the end.

After trying tesco, sainsbury, morrisons, costco avocados…the best is still the ripe and ready sainsburys avocados. Tesco, morrisons etc just cannot make it. No questions ask. You can try avocados from other places if you want, don’t say I never warned you. The taste and the texture of the sainsbury avocado is exactly what I am looking for.

Next, take out the seaweed. Can you see how there are horizontal lines across the seaweed?

I want you to count and cut it across the middle just like the picture

Put your seaweed meeting the end of the sushi mat.

Spread rice across the seaweed. No higher above 2 grains of rice thickness.

Pour sesame seeds on it

Flip it the other way round now. Can you see how I have some rice overlapping out of the top of the seaweed?

Line whatever you want in your sushi on the seaweed. I put japanese mayo, chicken katsu and avocados across… don’t be greedy and put too much ingredients because you are only asking for trouble when you realise you cannot close your rolls.

Roll like the picture. Put some gentle pressure on the ingredients to stop them from falling forwards when you roll the sushi forwards.

Close the mat over the ingredients……just like the next picture as well…

Just like this…..

From the side view….

Then…with one finger on each side, slide your fingers across the mat horizontally with equal pressure. Not too hard or your rice will get flattened….lift up one side of the mat and roll sushi forwards, cover with the sushi mat and equal pressure sliding across again…

Tidy up the sides.

You get a inside out roll

There you go…some inside out rolls for you to drool at….

I will teach how to cut another time and also how to make other rolls.

Introduction to sushi making – How do fry the chicken for rolls or katsu curry (chapter 3)

Sushi rolls does not necessarily have to contain raw fish. You can be a bit more imaginative and include yummy fried chicken or roast chicken if raw fish is not one of your favourites.

In this post, I am going to teach you how I fry my chicken for either the katsu curry or to include into the rolls as seen in the picture below.

Crack 2 eggs into a bowl, season with salt and black pepper. Beat well.

In another dry bowl, pour in some japanese breadcrumbs.

Deboned chicken thighs. Or you can use chicken breast depending on what you prefer.

That’s the brand of the japanese breadcrumbs I have been using for many years. Get everything ready before you start. Pour some oil in a pan enough to cover 2/3 of the chicken.

To start, coat the chicken thighs in egg, then transfer to the bowl with breadcrumbs and make sure the whole chicken is evenly coated. (I have recently tried a new method where I coat the chicken thighs in plain flour first before dipping into the egg..it’s up to you how you want to do it.). In summary, what I meant is either you can either:

a) Dip into egg -> breadcrumb -> oil

or

b) Coat with plain flour -> egg -> breadcrumb -> oil

Either way works.

When the oil in the pan is hot enough, put in enough chicken to deep fry till golden brown.

Don’t you feel the deep fry chicken calling out to you!!!

Next entry on sushi making chapter 4 will be on how to roll the chicken rolls!

Introduction to sushi making: How to cut nigiri and sashimi (chapter 2)

So what happens if you buy a huge salmon as such?

Due to high demand of requests from friends who wants to know how to do this, I will use pictures to illustrate how I slice my salmon into sashimi and nigiri.

As you can see, I have given instructions to my fishmonger to take the skin off for me. This was because I was in a rush for time. Normally I take the salmon skin off myself for hygiene purposes.

First of all, orientate yourself with the salmon. You can see that there is a line in the middle of the salmon. If following the above picture, on the right is the thicker part of the salmon so this is used for sashimi, the left is wider and thinner so this part is used for nigiri. 

Divide the salmon in the middle.

when I say middle, can you see the line in the middle of the fish? The line has to be towards the nigiri (the thinner side) side as shown below.

Slice the part with the line off as shown in the pictures. This is because that part is quite ‘fibrous’. But it won’t be wasted, save it for making rolls.

There you go! the whole strip where the line was is completely sliced off now!

Flip the nigiri part over and trim off all the salmon fats…

After trimming all the fats, slice off the side to make it look neater. You can save the trimmings for the rolls so don’t throw them away.

Now we can start slicing. The most important thing about slicing is make sure the blade of ur knife is at 90 degrees to the salmon lines. This is how you get lines on the nigiri pieces which makes it look pretty. Can you see from the above picture how that is done. (I am regretting not photoshopping the photos and putting in arrows to illustrate better)

Angle your knife at 45 degrees.

Slice in one direction and one motion preferably from the end to the tip of the knife. Not in a sawing motion!

There you have sliced off the firs nigiri piece.

Repeat the steps to slice the rest…

There you have got all ur nigiri pieces lined up.

Now for the sashimi! Turn the other part of the fish around and start trimming the fats.

Turn the sashimi part back again to its original position after trimming the fats and start slicing as above. Approximately 1cm thick? Again, slice in one motion starting from the end of the knife to the tip of the knife. No sawing motion or you going to destroy the fish!

I supposed a video of me doing this would help. But hope the pictures useful! Speaks a thousand words~

Now you have loads of sashimi to eat to your heart’s content!!!