- 3 cups Japanese rice
- 3 1/4 cups water
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
Put the rice in a large bowl and wash it with cold water. Repeat washing until the water becomes almost clear. Drain the rice in a colander and set aside for 30 minutes. Place the rice in rice cooker and add water. Let the rice soak in the water at least 30 minutes. Start the cooker. When rice is cooked, let it steam for about 15 minutes.
Prepare sushi vinegar (sushi-zu) by mixing rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a sauce pan. Put the pan on low heat and heat until the sugar dissolves. Cool the vinegar mixture.
Spread the hot steamed rice into a large plate or a large bowl. Please use a non-metallic bowl to prevent any interaction with rice vinegar. It's best to use a wooden bowl called sushi-oke. Sprinkle the vinegar mixture over the rice and fold the rice by shamoji (rice spatula) quickly. Be careful not to smash the rice. To cool and remove the moisture of the rice well, use a fan as you mix sushi rice. This will give sushi rice a shiny look. It's best to use sushi rice right away.
Makes 4-6 servings.
Miso Soup Recipe
- 4 cups water
- 1/3 cup miso (I used Organic White Type Miso - From any Asian food store)
- 3 green onions (scallions), chopped
- 1 tbsp shredded nori or wakame seaweed
- 1/2 block firm silken tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes
- dash soy sauce (optional)
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil (optional)
Bring water to a slow simmer and add seaweed. Allow to simmer at least 5-6 minutes. The longer you simmer the seaweed, the less of a salty fishy flavor it will have.
Reduce heat to very low and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir until miso is well dissolved. Its best not to boil the miso, as this will ruin some of it's healthy properties as well as change the flavor of the soup. Makes 4 servings.
Sushi Preparation :
- Sushi Tools: You really only need two one tool: a bamboo mat for rolling
- Sushi Pantry Items: (most of these can be found at a Japanese market or well-stocked grocery store)
- Sushi Rice (short or medium grain white rice)
- Sushi Vinegar (or make your own with rice vinegar, recipe below)
- Nori (seaweed in sushi sheets)
- Pickled Ginger slices (for garnish)
- Soy Sauce (each person should have a small dish of soy sauce to dip in)
- Wasabi Paste (if you like this spicy mustard)
- Cucumber (skin left on, cut into thin long strips)
- Avocado slices
- Shiitake Mushroom (if dried, soak for 30 minutes then squeeze water out, remove stems and slice thinly)
- Bell Pepper (cut into long thin strips)
- Carrot (cut into long thin strips)
- Asparagus (lightly steamed; if small, it can be left whole, if not, cut lengthwise into strips)
- Daikon Radish (cut into long thin strips)
- Pickled Plums (seeds removed)
- Shiso Leaves (these have a strong taste, tear into tiny pieces and use sparingly)
- Lettuce leaves
Homemade Sushi Vinegar*:
Now that all your ingredients are ready, invite your friends to make their own hand rolls, which is very fun. You may also prepare some rolls to serve on a platter. If you are making rolls, remember to keep your hands moist so that the rice won’t stick to them so much. Keep a bowl of water and a couple of damp towels nearby.
TEMAKI – Hand Rolls
- Cut Nori sheets in half.
- Have each person place Nori in their left hand (unless they’re left handed, then their right) and add a small amount of rice.
- Add a little wasabi, if desired, and filling of choice.
- Wrap Nori around the filling and roll on the table from left to right.
- Dip into soy sauce and eat and enjoy!
- Soak the bamboo mat in water for a bit so it will be less sticky.
- Dry off excess water so the bamboo mat is just damp.
- Put a piece of nori on it and cover with a thin coating of sushi rice.
- Near the middle of the rice, put a thin row of ingredients horizontally. (Hint: don’t put too much filling until you get the hang of rolling.)
- Roll up the bamboo mat, pressing it forward and shaping the nori to create the roll.
- Unroll the mat and place the roll on a cutting board.
- If the edge of the nori is not sticking down and making a seal, use your finger to wet the edge with some water and roll it again.
- Wet a sharp knife with a wet cloth. Cut the sushi in half, then cut each half into three pieces to end up with six pieces.
- Arrange maki on a platter.
- Eat with your fingers or chopsticks – dip into soy sauce and enjoy!
When you’re finished making rolls, soak the bamboo mat in water for a bit, then use a brush to clean it. Sushi rolls can be made ahead of time. Arrange rolls on a platter, and then cover in plastic wrap to keep them from drying out. Leftovers can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and eaten for lunch the next day.
My favorite filling combinations are: avocado and cucumber, and pickled plum with tiny pieces of Shiso leaf. You can really use your imagination on the fillings, so try something new!
Generic Vegetarian Stir Fry:
- Assorted Vegetables: Carrots, Red, green yellow Bell peppers, Broccoli, Bok Choy, Bean sprouts, Mushrooms
- Extra Firm Tofu
- Soy Sauce or Bragg's
- Tom Yum Paste or similar Asian Sauce
- Herbs Like Cilantro, Parsley, Basil
- Lemon -to taste
- Sesame Seed Oil
- Roasted Sesame Seeds
- Red Chilli - if you can take the heat
- Unsweetened Coconut - If you thought you could take the heat and found out you cant.
- Fresh ginger or ginger powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
The rule of thumb is the start with the oil. Add the sesame Oil till it covers the bottom of the pan you are cooking in. once it warms up, add the red chilli if you are brave enough. Add roasted sesame seeds and wait till this browns. Add the ginger. Start by adding the hardy veggies that require some more cooking - Bell Peppers, Mushrooms etc.. wait till you see them reduce in volume and then you can add the veggies that don't require much cooking time - e.g. Bean sprouts and mushrooms. Add the tom Yum paste, and chopped up stalks of the herbs like parsley. lemongrass or cilantro. Add oil to prevent sticking and stir vigorously. Once the veggies are cooked, you can add lemon juice, coconut flakes, chopped up leaves of the herbs and some more seeds for garnish. Add salt to taste and enjoy the extra space in your fridge by having used up all the veggies you didnt know what to do with!