15. April 2007


yes, i admit it, i looked that up on wikipedia.

i walked by that japanese restaurant in my neighbourhood the other day (who knew there even was one this far away from the city center? i certainly didn't!). i desperately wanted to go in and order their food up and down the menue, but i didn't want to go have dinner in a restaurant alone.

i am working on including more fish in my diet, so i figured buying all the utensils for making sushi myself was the solution! the beautiful pictures of hero on tv the other day further inspired me to try myself in the art of rolling the perfect japanese sushi ...

shopping for 太巻き - futo-maki, a combination of fish and vegetables
but honestly, i have no idea what i am doing here, i ate sushi only once in my life before. but i am relying on all the sushi fridge magnets i've seen to get my homemade version just right.

what am i making? wikipedia tells me that apparently i want to make 太巻き - futo-maki, a combination of fish and vegetables.

巻き寿司: 太巻き

salmon filet
yaki nori

soy sauce
pickled ginger
巻き寿司: 太巻き
巻き寿司: 太巻き
looks about right, hm? and it certainly tasted really good with soy sauce and pickled ginger ... one thing though: my little futo-maki might not be the "mostest prettiest" sushi ever, and this is mainly because rolling the sushi felt so ... so darn awkward! i could never really press it together propperly, it always felt a bit loose while i was rolling. and opening the roll up again and starting all over was out of the question once i started. i made 5 rolls and my rolling skills did not improve at all ... in fact, i thought that my first attempt was the best and all the other rolls got more and more loose ..

am i doing something wrong here? and more importantly: is there a trick to rolling the perfect shushi roll?

and another thing: i ate only half of my produce. how long can i leave it in the fridge? can i maybe just freeze one roll and cut it up upon defrosting?

well, i hope somebody can help me out with all my rookie sushi questions ... so long, and thanks for all the fish!


kate hat gesagt…

hi gerda!

all i can say about homemade sushi rolls is practice, practice, practice! i've made them a number of times, and the first few times, mine were just a mess! now i feel like i'm OK at it...but it's definitely a skill!

as far as refrigerating sushi, if you have rolls with only vegetables in them, i would keep the sushi overnight but make sure to eat it the next day. if the rolls have fish in them, i personally wouldn't save them--too worried about leftover raw fish!

i love sushi!! it is one of my all-time favorite things to eat.


Ellie hat gesagt…

I'm impressed - for your first rolling efforts, they look pretty good! I'd add maybe a smidge more rice (I usually cover 2/3 of my nori sheet), and keep the filling closer to the edge nearest to you, when you pull that bamboo sheet over for the first time, it should wrap neatly around them once before you continue to roll :)

rm53 hat gesagt…

next time you want sushi but do not want to make it yourself and you do not want to go alone - you just give us a call - we would really like to accompany you to Izakaya, which happens to be one of our favorite restaurants.

tschoerda hat gesagt…

thank you for all the helpful tips, i think your suggestions will definitely improve my sushi rolling skills!

and rm53, this is exactly the japanese restaurant in my neighbourhood i was talking about! we should really get together some day soon ...

Sara hat gesagt…

beautiful pictures!

Village Vegan hat gesagt…

First of all, I've just discovered your blog, and I really like it! I'll be reading regularly!

And your sushi looks pretty impressive for a first try! It's definately better than my first (and so far only) try. I should really buy sushi making equipment so I can prepare it more often...

cavacavien hat gesagt…

your "maki-sushi/巻き寿司" looks so good! after reading all the text,i have one question!
...didn't you mix some vineger(vineger +water+sugar+salt) with rice? ...that's called "sushi rice"
:D a bit sour but very tasty!!

tschoerda hat gesagt…

in fact, i did! there was this short instruction on the back of the nori sheets and i must say that mixing in the vinegar, salt and sugar gave the rice a very special, yet not too sour taste.

i will definitely try to make some more sushi, they tasted so good and making them was not as time consuming as i first thought. and practice makes perfect, right?

Newromancer hat gesagt…

As Kate said, it needs a bit of practice to get the roles right. Pressing them firmly is one trick, start to cut them in the middle is another one.

About freezing sushi, well freezing fish is always critical.
I usually keep them in the fridge and so far had no problems eating yesterday’s leftovers. However, I live at the ocean and have access to really fresh fish - I am not sure if I would do the same in Austria.

tschoerda hat gesagt…

in fact, i kept one sushi roll overnight, but as you all pointed out - the fish here in austria is probably not superfresh ... i think it went bad because it smelled a little funny the next day and i threw it away just to be on the safe side ...

i put two rolls in the freezer, lets see how (and if!) these will survive ...

Dani hat gesagt…

You should come and visit me in Chicago. The place I work at (Blue Water Grill Chicago) serves darn good sushi. I am so addicted to the stuff, it's almost scary.

cavacavien hat gesagt…

actually, i don't keep sushi over night in the fridge if they contain "fresh sashimi(raw fish)".

my mother frequently made makisushi whith egg&cucumber,cooked shiitake(mushroom) when i was little.
i think this type of sushi will last longer in the fridge!

birx hat gesagt…

... these look delicious, if the rice would not take that long I'd walk straight into the kitchen making some ... :-)

I second Ellie with keeping the filling closer to the edge nearest to you. Then wrap a part of the nori sheet around the filling until it is covered and surrounded by a layer of rice. Press the small roll quite firmly with the bamboo sheet (imagine you've got a roll with a square profile, like you cut a slice off a cube, and you want to keep that form). Then "roll" in the rest of the nori with the help of the bamboo sheet, going on with one "cube side" at a time. Apply a little water on the riceless end part of the nori and fix the roll with it. Keep on rolling the sushi roll and the bamboo sheet until the bamboo sheet wraps around several times, too. The profile can get round again with the end turn.

Take a very sharp knife to cut slices.

... hard to explain, but I hope it helps a bit ... :-) have fun!

A few words concerning wasabi:
I wouldn't apply wasabi onto the rice. You can vary the proportion much better if adding it while eating. And I very much recommend to buy wasabi powder. It keeps longer and tastes much less artificial than the ready made stuff, just add a few drops of water to make a paste.

birx hat gesagt…

Ah, I forgot: it helps to tell your fishmonger that you intend to make sushi to get the ultra freshest fish available, which is always very important.

Nevertheless I wouldn't keep sliced raw fish over night. Cooked shrimp, omelette and vegetable sushi although keep fine for one night in the fridge. And you could try trout caviar (fix on the rice with a hint of mayonnaise).

Melting Wok hat gesagt…

I tend to get so lazy when I crave for sushi and I ended up doing sushi fried rice haha, how ? brown rice, vinegar, sugar, wine, shredded seaweed sheets with bites of fish cubes and soy ginger sauce. *hands down* for having the patience to do this, they look so adorable and yummy !! :)

Tea hat gesagt…

I think for a newbie, your sushi look great!

Some more pointers:

Make sure the shiny side of the nori is facing down, the rough side up.

I'd put rice all the way to the edge nearest you, and a little bit closer to the far edge.

I find that I get a tighter roll by using my hands and not the bamboo mat. Fold over the closest edge towards you as tight as you can, and continue rolling. Use some water to seal the outside seam of the nori. You can use the bamboo mat to roll it a second time to tighten.

As most people said, veggie sushi is fine the next day (the nori will get a little soggy, but no problem there). Raw fish shouldn't be kept overnight.

Your sushi are so much prettier than my first attempts! I think you've got the knack:-)