Sushi. Isn’t that what you NEED to have when you come over to Japan? But wait! It is actually a Tokyo thing and should be had first and foremost in the capital! Did you know that it was originally even referred to as Edo-mae zushi, Edo being the original name of Tokyo due to the Edo period (1603-1867). But that is not all!
A little bit more as a background info: sashimi (raw, thinly sliced fish) had bene around for, like, forever but in the 1820s the brilliant idea of combining it with sticky rice came up and sushi was born. On top of that, wasabi and vinegar were originally added as preservatives and not to enhance the taste. But times are moving forward and now they are essential.
What You Need for 6 Sushi Rolls
1 cup short-grain sushi rice
fillings to your liking (sushi-grade tuna or salmon, 1 small hot house cucumber, 1 small sliced carrot, a slice of pressed egg, avocado slices, etc)
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 pince of salt
Here’s How to make Sushi Rolls
First, let’s prepare the rice as this will take up the most of the time. Place the rice in 2 cups of water and cover with a tight lid. Leave for 30 minutes. Now, rinse the rice in cold water while stirring briskly and get out the starch. Pour in 2 cups of water and bring to boil over medium heat for 3 minutes. Then, turn the heat down and remove the lid to see whether there is still water (you shouldn’t see any).
Grab a big bowl and turn the rice out into it with a big spatula or rice paddle. Keep slicing the rice (don’t mix it!) and fan it until it is cooled down to body temperature. Towards the end, sprinkle it with vinegar, sugar and salt. Never stop mixing and fanning – this is a serious work out! Put a damp cloth over it until you use it.
Set up your work space with a bamboo rolling mat and place the seaweed sheet in the middle, lengthwise. Make sure the shiny, even bit is facing down. Have a little bowl of cool water ready because you will need it! Wet your hands and take a handful of rice. Don’t be too greedy, it needs to fit into the sushi roll!
Place the rice in the centre of the nori sheet and distribute evenly with the palm of your hand, using the other hand as a wall on the side of the sheet. We don’t want to spread out the rice too far. Also, leave a 1cm at one end free. Now place the fillings you prefer inside in the centre. Again, don’t use too much!
Hold everything slightly with your fingertips and use your thumbs to roll the bamboo mat edge that is closest to you and flip it over. Using some pressure, you now roll the whole mat over the roll away from you until you reach the nori that has no rice. Using your fingers, press the end to the roll and make the roll firmer. Cut the roll into 6 pieces and enjoy!