JAPANESE FOOD & THE RECIPES

Japanese food such as sushi, sashimi, yakitori, tempura etc are the 'hip' meals now adays.. It has lots of varieties, and fun to make. Practical and easy to pack for lunch or outing or even party. I know that sometimes it's not easy to put it together into the right shape and taste, but don't worry.. you can get some help to create your personilize dishes.
Well.. these are some recipes that I've been trying for my family meals and specially for my daughter's lunch pack and also for bbq gathering.
So, I hope it's worth trying it and starting to love this easy, healthy and fun meals.......
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Friday, August 8, 2008

AZURI BEAN RICE

Serve: 4 to 6
Preparation time: 45 minutes + overnight soaking

Cooking time: 35-50 minutes




INGREDIENTS:
140 g azuki beans, washed and drained
750 g uncooked glutinous rice, washed and drained

sesame salt to taste


HOW TO MAKE:

1. Place the red beans in a saucepan and cover with water. bring to a boil and drain, cover with fresh cold water, and bring to a boil again.

2. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until beans are tender, about 40 minutes, adding more water as needed to keep beans covered.
3. Drain the beans, reserving the liquid. Pour the reserved liquid from the beans onto the uncooked rice grain and let stand, covered, overnight to allow the rice to take on pinkish color.
4. Drain the rice and reserve the liquid. Combine the beans and rice, taking care not to crush the beans. bring water to a boil in the base of a steamer. Line the steamer with cheesecloth and spread the rice and beans mixture over top. Poke a few holes in the rice for the steam to escape.
5. Steam over high heat until the rice is cooked, about 50 minutes, basting frequently with the reserved red bean liquid.

6. Serve in individual heated serving bowls and sprinkle sesame salt over the top. This dish can also be served at room temperature.

CHIKEN ROLLS WITH SPRING ONIONS



Serve: 4

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes



INGREDIENTS:
4 chicken tighs
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
180 ml sake
2 tbsp soy sauce
4 spring onions
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp oil
kitchen string

HOW TO MAKE:
1. Debone chikens thighs and place on a work surface, skin side down.Score the flesh with a sharp knife. Press on the meat to spread it out, creating an even thickness.
2. Combine ginger, 2 tbsp sake and soy sauce in a large bowl. Coat the chicken,and set aside to marinate for 20 minutes, turning occasionally.
3. Drain chicken and place skin side down on working surface.Cut spring onions to the same length as the chicken and place 3 or 4 pieces across each piece of chicken. Sprinkle with an even coating of constarch.
4. Roll each piece of chicken up and fasten with kitchen string, securing at both ends.
5. Heat oil in 25-cm skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken rolls, seam side down, and cook, turning chicken frequently with tongs, until evenly browned.
6. Drain fat from skillet, leaving chicken in place, and add sake. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 7 minutes.
7. Add reserved marinade and cook chicken roll for 10 to 12 minutes, or until tender.
8. To serve, remove string from meat and slice cross-ways in 2-cm thick slices and spoon pan juices over the slices.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

SHIBA-ZUKE PICKLES

Yields : 1 cup
Preparation time : 15 minutes




INGREDIENTS :
1 Japanese cucumber (about 90 g)
1 small eggplant (about 90 g)
2 tsp salt
1 mioga or torch ginger bud
1/2 tsp Japanese soy sauce

HOW TO MAKE :
1. Rub 1/2 teaspoon of the salt onto the cucumber skin. Rinse and pat dry.
2. Halve the cucumber lengthwise and cut into wedges. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt, mix and set aside.
3. Halve the eggplant lengthwise and cut into wedges. Sprinkle with `1/2 tsp salt, mix and set aside. 4. Thinly slice the mioga bud diagonally, mix with 1/2 tsp salt and set aside.
5. Place the salted vegetables and soy sauce in a bowl, mix well and cover with a lid and a weight to press. Set aside for half a day. The pickles can be kept refrigerated for 3 days.

GARLIC PICKLED IN MISO - NINNIKU MISO-ZUKE


Yields : 3/4 cup
Preparation time : 15 minutes




INGREDIENTS :
3 bulbs of garlic, cloved peeled and left whole
1 tsp salt
5 tbsp inaka miso
4 tbsp sugar

HOW TO MAKE :
1. Sprinkle the garlic with the salt and set aside for 3 hours.
2. Pat dry with paper towels.
3. Mix the miso and sugar until the sugar dissolves.
4. Add the garlic cloves and set aside to marinate for 4 days before serving.



DAIKON PICKLED IN MISO - KABU NO MISOZUKE


Yields : 1 cup
Preparation time : 15 minutes





INGREDIENTS:
400 g
daikon radish (about 15 cm), washed, peeled,halved lengthwise
1 tsp salt
100 g
inaka miso
2 tbsp sake
4 tsp sugar

HOW TO MAKE:
1. Sprinkle the daikon with the salt and set aside for 2-3 hours.
2. Squeeze gently in a muslin cloth to remove moisture.
3. Mix the miso, sake and sugar until the sugar dissolves.
4. Coat the daikon with the miso mixture and set aside to marinate for 3 hours.
5. Remove the daikon from the marinate and slice into thick wedges.


PICKLED CABBAGE , CARROT AND CUCUMBER


Yields : 2 cups
Preparation time : 20 minutes

pickled cabbage, carrot and cucumber

INGREDIENTS:
1 small Japanese cucumber
1 small carrot, washed and peeled
2 cabbage leaves, washed and drained, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 tsp salt
Sesame seeds, roasted, to garnish (optional)

HOW TO MAKE :
1. Rub 1/2 tsp of the salt onto the cucumber skin. RInse and pat dry.
2. Then, halve the cucumber lengthwise and slice into matchstick, slice the carrots the same way.
3. Add the remaining salt to all the ingredients and mix gently.
4. Tranfer to a covered container and leave overnight. Garnish with the sesame seeds before serving.

PICKLED GINGER - GARI

pickled ginger

Yields : 1 cup
Preparation time : 20 minutes
Cooking time : 5 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

250 g young ginger, peeled and thinly sliced diagonally
85 ml rice vinegar
2 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp sake
5 tbsp sugar

HOW TO MAKE:
1. Rinse the ginger slices thoroughly and blanch in boiling water and set aside to drain.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Set aside to cool.
3. Place the ginger in a sterilized jar and pour the vinegar mixture over it.
4. Cover and keep for 3-4 days before using. The ginger keeps well refrigerated for 1 month - it may develop a pale pink color as it ages.
5. Serve with sushi and other Japanesedishes.

PICKLED EGGPLANT - NASU NO SHIOMOMI



Yields : 1 cup
Preparation time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS:
250 g Japanese eggplants, washed, halved lengthwise and cut into 1 cm slices
2 tsp salt
sesame seed, roasted and crushed to garnish (optional)

HOW TO MAKE :
1. Sprinkle the eggplants with the salt and set aside for 10 minutes.
2. Squeeze gently in a muslin cloth to remove moisture.
3. Serve garnished with the sesame seeds.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

SWEET SOY BEEF AND VEGETABLE HOTPOT – SUKIYAKI

Serve 4
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

In cold weather or rainy days, it is really good idea having a hotpot spicy soup like sukiyaki. Even the ingredients below already have assorted vegies and beef, you could always add anything you preffer to give the ultimate taste for this famous japanese soup.

INGREDIENTS:
10 dried or fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems remove and discarded
500 g beef tenderloin, thinly sliced
250 g glass noodles (shirataki)
250 g firm tofu, cut into cubes
2 small leeks, rinsed and sliced diagonally
120 g spinach, wash and coarsely cut in sections
4 large eggs (optional)
2 tbsp oil


SAUCE:
180 ml (3/4 cup) soy sauce
60 ml (1/4 cup) sake
60 ml (1/4 cup) mirin
125 ml (1/2 cup) water

HOW TO MAKE:
1. If using dried mushrooms, soak in hot water for about 15 minutes. Drain the mushrooms and squeeze out any excess water before use.
2. Arrange prepared ingredients on a serving platter. Break 1 egg each into 4 small serving bowls.
3. Combine the sauce indgredients in four small batches – mushrooms, beef, glass noodles or shirataki, tofu, and spinach – into a hotpot on a table-top hotplate.
4. Heat the oil into a hotpot on a table-top hotplate. Stir-fry the ingredients in batches, stirring continuously until foods are cooked to desired doneness.
5. Diners can then remove cooked meat or vegetables from the hotpot, using the egg as a dipping sauce for the hot food. If you prefer, use ponzu dipping sauce instead.
6. Replenish the cooking hotpot with remaining ingredients as needed. Ready to serve.

MISO SOUP WITH TOFU AND DRIED SEAWEEDS

Serve 4
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes


To complete a Japanese dish, usually we include miso soupin a plate dish. This time, I will give you a miso soup recipe combining with tofu and dried seaweeds (nori).

INGREDIENTS:
180 g soft tofu, cut into cubes
1 piece dried seaweed (nori), sliced
1 liter basic dashi stock
3 tbsp miso


HOW TO MAKE:
1. Place basic dashi stock in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook for 1 minute and add the tofu.
2. Place miso in large ladle and dissolve it with some of the hot soup, stirring it with a wooden spoon. Stir the miso into the saucepan, and add the soy sauce and dried seaweeds.Bring the soup to a boil and ladle it into four bowls. Do not overcook. Serve immediately.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

GRILLED SKEWERED CHICKEN – YAKITORI

Serve 4
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes

One of the most popular dishes of Japanese food is grilled skewered chicken or yakitori. It is served best on a daily meals at dinner time or it’s so great having it on barbeque party.

INGREDIENTS:
1 tbsp sugar
60 ml mirin
125 ml soy sauce
125 ml sake
500 g chicken fillet
200 g chicken liver (optional)
4 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
2 bell pepper, cut in 3 cm squares
1 leek, cut into 2 ½ cm pieces
16-20 bamboo skewers , 20 cm long
Seven-spice chili powder
Lemon wedges for garnish

HOW TO MAKE:
1. To prepare sauce, combine sugar, mirin, soy sauce, and sake in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 15 minutes, reducing the sauce to 1 cup.
2. Dice the chicken fillet and liver (optional), then thread onto skewers, alternating with pieces of leek and bell pepper. If bamboo skewers are used, soak in water at least 10 minutes before use.
3. Heat the broiler. Baste the ingredients with the sauce.
4. Broil the skeweres for about 2-3 minutes, turning three or four times and basting each time, until the chicken and livers (optional) are just cooked. Do not overcook.
5. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle the skewers with seven-spice chili powder and serve with lemon wedges.

SALMON TERIYAKI

Serve 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes





Japanese way to cook salmon with spicy ingredients is salmon teriyaki. This special spicy sauce makes the salmon fish tastier and fun to make it for bbq party. It is best served either with steam white rice or baked potatoes or even French baguette, which ever you prefer.

INGREDIENTS:
500 g fresh salmon fillet, quartered
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin
2 tsp sake
1 tbsp oil
90 g daikon, peeled and grated

HOW TO MAKE:

1. Place salmon fillets in large bakin pan. Combine soy sauce, mirin, and sake in a small bowl and pour over salmon pieces to marinate for 10 minutes. Drain salmon, reserving marinade.
2. Heat the broiler and brush rack lightly with oil. Place fish on rack, skin side up, and brush pieces lightly with marinade. Grill until skin is lightly browned and crispy, about 4 minutes.
3. Turn salmon pieces and brush again lightly with the marinade. Grill until the salmon is just cooked through and the flesh flakes easily with a fork, about 4 minutes.
4. Remove fish to serving plates and spoon remaining marinade over the top. Serve immediately with grated daikon and steam white rice.

TIPS:
For equally delicious scallop teriyaki, substitute 500 g trimmed large scallops. For grilled vegetables teriyaki, use assorted vegetables such as asparagus, eggplants, red bell pepper, shiitake mushrooms, or even diced cut pinaples.

TEMPURA

Serve 4
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes


When I have no idea to prepare a dish for my daughter, tempura is always come first. This yummy dish is not only delicious to have for a main dish but also not bad ideas for a snack. Maybe that’s why my daughter and her friends never get bored with all kind assorted tempura and dipping sauce.

INGREDIENTS:
60 g all purpose flour for dredging
1 eggplant, cut diagonally into long, thick slices
120 g pumpkin or sweet potato, peeled and sliced into thin wedges
100 g green beans, trimmed
1 small onion, cut in crescents
4 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
90 g fresh or frozen green peas
8-10 prawns, peeled and deveined, with tails intact
4 whitebait, about 60 g each, or white fish fillet, sliced
4 scallops, cleaned and sliced in half horizontally
Oil for deep-frying
Tempura dipping sauce

HOW TO MAKE:
1. Put flour for dredging in mixing bowl and set aside.
2. Heat oil In a wok or deep-fryer to 160 Celcius.
3. To prepare first batch batter, beat 1 egg yolk with 1 cup ice water in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add 1 cup flour all at once, and stir briefly with chopsticks or a fork until just combined. The batter may be lumpy but should be quite thin. Do not overmix.
4. Dredge the eggplant, pumpkin, green beans and onion pieces in flour, shaking off any excess. Dip a slice of vegetable into the batter and gently shake off any excess.
5. Carefully slip vegetables, 5 to 6 at a time, into the hot oil, and cook, turning once, until crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drain on a wire rack or paper towels.
6. To cook mushrooms, spoon batter on the underside of the mushrooms, shaking off any excess. Place mushrooms in oil, batter side down, and fry, turning once, until tender, about 1 minute. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
7. Sprinkle green peas lightly with flour. Scoop about 1 tbsp peas into a slotted spoon and coat the peas in batter. Let excess batter from peas drip from spoon. Carefully place peas into the oil and cook for 2-3 minutes, turning once, until batter is crisp. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel.
8. Heat oil to 180 C. Meanwhile, prepare second batch batter. Dredge the seafood with flour and dip into batter. Cook seafood until golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes. (Prawns may take 1 minute more, depending the size). Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
9. Pour about 3 tablespoons warm tempura dipping sauce into small bowls and serve with an assorted tempura.


TEMPURA DIPPING SAUCE:
This dipping sauce is made by blending 250 ml basic dashi stock, 4 tbsp soy sauce, 3 tbsp mirin, 3 tbsp shredded daikon, and 3 teaspoons shredded fresh ginger. Stir well to mix.

BASIC DASHI STOCK – BONITO FLAKE STOCK

Makes: 1 liter
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

In most of Japanese soups, usually dashi stock is used as a basic ingredients. Even it’s easy to make, sometimes we are to lazy to do it. In case you do that, you can always find the ready to use dashi stock in Japanese store. This time, I will try to encourage you to make it the fresh basic dashi stock.

INGREDIENTS:
10 cm square piece konbu (kelp), wiped clean
1 liter water
60 ml cold water
90 g bonito flakes

HOW TO MAKE:
1. Cut konbu (kelp) square into 4 narrow strips. Place in a saucepan with 4 cups water and cook over medium heat. Heat until just about to boil, then discard konbu.
2. Add the cold water and bonito flakes to the konbu broth. Bring to a boil then remove immediately from heat, and set aside to cool.
3. When all the bonito flakes have sunk to the bottom, pour the liquid over a strain and discard the flakes.

Monday, February 25, 2008

TUB OF SPRING SUSHI

Serve 4-6



This is a pretty modern variation of chirashi-zushi decorated with ‘petals’made of radish and egg – ideal for the Girls’ Day Festival, which falls on 3rd March in Japan, or any spring gathering.

INGREDIENTS:
1 quantity vinegared rice

Radish petals:
4-5 radishes, trimmed
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoon sugar

Egg petals:
1 egg, beaten
¼ teaspoon cornflour mixed with a little water
Sunflower oil, for frying

Your choice of:
5 dried shiitake mushrooms
5 tablespoons sugar
2 ½ tablespoons
mirin (rice wine)
1 teaspoon Japanese soy sauce (shoyu)
50 ml chicken stock
½
carrot, sliced into 2-3 cm matcsticks
25 g mangetut (snow peas), trimmed
75 g cod fillet
1 tablespoon sake
Red vegetable food coloring (optional)
3 tablespoons white
sesame seeds, lightly toasted in a dry frying pan
200 g small prawns, peeled and lightly cooked
Salt

Flower cutter or a small sharp knife

HOW TO MAKE:
1. Make the vinegared rice (sumeshi).
2. Cut a wedge out of each radish, then slice each radish crossways to form 5-6 petal shapes. Put the rice vinegar and sugar in a bowl and stir well until sugar has dissolved. Add the radish slices and marinate for a few hours or overnight. The red color dissolves into the vinegar, making the slices cherry pink.
3. Mix the egg in a bowl with a pinch of salt and the blended cornflour. Heat a small frying pan, brush with sunflower oil, add the egg mixture and cook until set. Using moulds or a small knife, cut out small shapes from the egg pancake such as hearts or petals.
4. Soak the shiitake in warm water for 30 minutes, then drain, retaining the soaking liquid. Discard the stems and thinly sliced the caps crossways. Put the shiitake slice, 100 ml from the soaking liquid and 2 tablespoons of the sugar, then simmer until the liquid disappears.
5. Put the chicken stock in a saucepan, add ½ teaspoon of the sugar, a pinch of salt, and the carrot. Bring to the boil and cook for 2-3 minutes until just soft. Let cool in the juice.
6. Blanch the mangetout in lightly salted water. Slice diagonally into diamonds.
7. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add the cod, simmer for 3-4 minutes, then drain. Carefully remove the skin and all the bones. Return to a dry saucepan, add 1 tablespoon sake, the remaining sugar and a pinch of a salt. Finely flake over a low heat, using a fork. If using red coloring, dilute it in a little water, then quickly stir to make a light pink soboro (fish flakes).
8. While the rice is still warm, fold in the shiitake, carrot matchsticks, flaked fish, prawns and sesame seeds. Top with the radish and egg ‘petals’and serve.


SEARED TUNA SASHIMI SALAD

Serve 4



You may take some time to get used to the idea of eating completely raw fish, but lightly blanched or seared fillet with salad is a good starting point. You can use other fish such as turbot, salmon or swordfish.

INGREDIENTS:
200 g fresh tuna or swordfish, skinned
Green salad leaves
A small clump of enoki mushrooms, trimmed and separated

Wasabi dressing:
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons wasabi paste
1 ½ tablespoons Japanese soy sauce (shoyu)

HOW TO MAKE:
1. Grill the tuna or swordfish at a high heat for about 1 minute on each side until the surface are seared, but the inside is still raw. Plunge into ice water. Drain and pat dry with kitchen paper. Slice into 5 mm thick pieces.
2. Mix the lemon juice, wasabi and soy sauce in a small bowl and set aside.
3. Arrange the salad leaves and enoki mushrooms in the centre of a large serving plate and arrange the seared fish over the leaves. Just before serving, pour the wasabi dressing over the top.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

LETTUCE BOATS SUSHI

Makes 12



As an alternative, serve the nigiri in lettuce ‘boats’. They look very pretty and are also easier to pick up and eat – important at a party.

INGREDIENTS:


½ quantity vinegared rice

Hand vinegar:
4 tablespoons Japanese rice vinegar
250 ml water

Toppings:
100 g beef fillet, about 7 cm thick
Vegetable oil, for rubbing
1-2 rollmops (marinated Bismarck herring)
8 asparagus tips
2 teaspoons wasabi paste or powder
4 Little Gem lettuce leaves
8 small chicory (witloof) leaves

To serve:
Sprigs of cress or shredded spring onions
A small strip of nori seaweed
1 spring onion, finely chopped
2.5 cm fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons white wine
1 ½ tablespoons Japanese soy sauce (shoyu)
Juice of ½ lemon

HOW TO MAKE:
1. Make the vinegared rice (sumeshi). Mix the hand vinegar ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Rub the beef all over with vegetable oil. Grill at a high heat until golden brown on all sides, but rare in the middle. Plunge nto iced water to stop the cooking. Remove from the water, pat dry with kitchen paper and cut 4 thin slices, about 7x4 cm. All the slices should be red inside and brown around the edges.
3. Cut the rollmops into 4 and make a little lengthways slit in the skin of each piece.
4. Cook the asparagus in lightly salted water for 5 minutes until soft. Drain and place under running water to arrest cooking and bring out the color. Pat dry with kitchen paper.
5. If using wasabi powder, mix with 2 teaspoons water in an egg cup, stir to make a claylike consistency, then turn upside down to stop it drying out.
6. Dip your hands in the hand vinegar and take a handful of the cooked rice in one hand (about 1-2 tablespoons). Mould it into a rectangular shape about 5x2x2 cm. Repeat with the remaining rice, making 12 portions. Put a tiny dab of wasabi on top of 4 portions.
7. Arrange a slice of beef on 1 portion of wasabi-and –rice, with the two short sides hanging over the end. Top with a few sprigs of cress. Repeat with the other 3 slices of beef and set them in 4 Little Gem lettuce leaves.
8. Arrange 2 asparagus tips on another rice portion and tie with a nori ribbon. Repeat to make 3 more. Arrange a piece of rollmop on each of the remaining 4 rice portions and insert chopped spring onion and grated ginger into the slits. Arrange all the leaf boats on a serving platter. Mix the white wine, soy sauce and the lemon juice in a small bowl. Serve the lettuce boats with a small bowl of lemon sauce and another of plain soy sauce.

STUFFED SQUID SUSHI - IKA-ZUSHI

Makes 10-12 pieces



Meat is rarely used in sushi but this sweet, dry-cooked minced meat goes well with vinegared rice. It can be eaten as it is, or use it as a stuffing for squid and serve as an unusual party canapĂ©. If you don’t like to use meat, just use the squid flaps and tentacles in the sumeshi mixture, but reduce the cooking juice accordingly.

INGREDIENTS:
2 medium squid, cleaned
3 tablespoons sake
2-3 tablespoons Japanese rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon mirin or sweet sherry
2 tablespoons
Japanese soy sauce (shoyu)
50 g minced chicken or beef
2 cm fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2/3 quantity
vinegared rice (sumeshi)
Pickled ginger, to serve

HOW TO MAKE:
1. Peel the outer skin off the squid. It comes off easily if you hold the two flaps together and peel down the body. Put the 2 main bodies in a saucepan, add 1 tablespoon sake, cover with boiling water an simmer for 1-2 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain, rub the surface with a damp cloth to remove any marks, then sprinkle with the rice vinegar all over to retain the whiteness. Chop the flaps and tentacles.
2. Put the remaining sake, the sugar, mirin and soy sauce in a saucepan, mix and bring to the boil over moderate heat. Add the minced chicken of beef, the chopped squid flaps and tentacles and the chopped ginger, then stir vigorously with a fork until the meat turns white. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked meat to another bowl, leaving the juice in the saucepan. Boil the juice over high heat for 1-2 minutes until thickened. Stir the meat back into saucepan to absorb the juice and remove from heat.
3. Make the
vinegared rice (sumeshi) and while still warm fold in the dry-cooked meat. Tightly stuff each squid body with half the rice mixture and, using a sharp knife, slice crossways into 5-6 pieces.
4. Arrange on plates and serve with
pickled ginger.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

TOFU BAGS SUSHI - INARI ZUSHI

Makes 6 tofu bags
a shrine dedicated to agriculture and the fox is regarded as the envoy of the god. People used to offer abura-age (fried bean curd) to the fox; hence this special name. This sushi makes an ideal picnic lunch and children's snack.



INGREDIENTS:
½ quantity vinegared japanese rice
3 fresh Japanese fried bean curd (abura-age)
200 ml chicken stock
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons mirin or sweet sherry
2 tablespoons Japanese soy sauce (shoyu)
2 dried shiitake (mushrooms)
5 cm carrot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sake (optional)

To serve:
Pickled ginger
Japanese soy sauce (shoyu)


HOW TO MAKE:
1. Make the vinegared sushi (sumeshi).
2. Put the fried bean curd (abura-age) on a cutting board and roll each one with a rolling pin. This separates the thin layers inside the bean curd, making a bag. Put the bean curd in a mixing bowl, pour over boiling water, then drain – this will reduce the oilness.
3. Cut each piece in half and carefully open each piece from the cut side (if not opened already), to make a bag.
4. Put the chicken stock or water in a saucepan, add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and bring to the boil. Add the bean curd bags, cook 3 minutes on moderate heat, then add 1 tablespoon mirin and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Simmer over a low heat for about 10 minutes until all the liquid disappears. Remove from the heat and transfer to a plate.
5. Meanwhile, soak the dried shiitake in a bowl of warm water for at least 30 minutes, then drain, reserving the liquid. 6. Cut off the stems and finely chop the caps. Pour 50 ml of the soaking liquid into a saucepan, add the remaining sugar, mirin, soy sauce and sake and bring to the boil. Add the carrot and shiitake and simmer for 3-4 minutes until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let cool.
7. While the rice is still warm, fold in the cooked carrot and shiitake. Dip your hands in the hand vinegar and divide the rice mixture into 6 balls. Squeeze out excess juice from the bean curds bags and open with your fingers. Stuff a ball of rice into each bag and fold in the edge (optional). You may cut some bags in half and stuff rice in the corner to make a three-cornered ‘Napoleon’s hat’shape.
8. Arrange the bags on a serving plate and serve with pickled ginger and soy sauce

STARS, HEARTS AND FLOWERS
Makes 18-20 pieces


Just like cookies, these children’s sushi are made in pretty colors and shapes. Specially shaped moulds are sold in Japanese stores, but if you don’t have access to such exciting shops, use decorative cookie cutters and other mould shapes.

INGREDIENTS:
½ quantity vinegared rice

Cherry blossom sushi:
100 g cod or haddock fillet, skinned
2 tablespoons sugar
Salt and pepper
Red vegetable food coloring (if you don’t want to use food coloring, use grilled fresh salmon, flaked, instead of the white fish and coloring)

Spring green sushi:
100 g shelled green peas
2 teaspoons sugar
Salt

Golden star sushi:
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon sugar

Star, daisy and diamond or heart shaped sushi moulds, or cookie cutters

HOW TO MAKE:
1. Make the vinegared rice (sumeshi).
2. Put the fish in a saucepan, add just enough boiling water to cover and simmer until well cooked. Drain, then carefully remove all the small bones. Pat dry with kitchen paper and put into the dry saucepan. Using a fork, crush into fine flakes. Add the sugar and a pinch of salt, then cook over a low heat, continuously stirring with a fork, for about 2 minutes, or until the fish is very dry and flaky. If using food coloring, dilute 1 drop with 1 tablespoon water, then stir quickly through the fish to spread the color evenly. Remove from the heat and let cool. (alternatively, use fresh salmon cooked to flakes in the same way or crush canned cooked red salmon into flakes.)
3. Bring a small saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil, add the peas and cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Drain and pat dry with kitchen paper. Crush with a mortar and pestle or in a food processor to form a smooth green paste. 4. Stir in the sugar and a pinch of salt.
5. Lightly oil a small saucepan and heat over a moderate heat. Put the eggs, milk and sugar in a bowl, mix, then pour into the pan. Quickly stir with a fork to make soft scrambled eggs. Remove from the heat and let cool.
6. Divide the vinegared rice into three. To make the cherry blossom sushi, put 1 tablespoon of the pink fish flakes in the bottom of a small heart-shaped mould and press about 1 tablespoon of the rice on top. Turn out onto a plate, fish side up. Repeat until all the pink flakes and a third of the rice are used. Using a second mould, repeat using the green pea paste and another third of the rice. Using a third mould, repeat using the scrambled eggs with the remaining third of the rice. If using grilled fresh salmon, use a fourth mould.
7. Arrange cherry blossom, flower, star and spring green sushi on a large serving plate.

SMOKED FISH SUSHI - MASU ZUSHI

Makes 1 block (16 pieces)



Oshi-zushi (pressed sushi) like this, or Bo-zushi (log sushi) will keep for up to 36 hours – as a result, they are the best-selling items at all Japanese airports. Travellers buy them for Japanese friends living abroad as a reminder of the true taste of Japan. They are easy to make and can be made the day before.

INGREDIENTS:
½ quantity vinegared rice (sumeshi)

Hand vinegar:
2 tablespoons Japanese rice vinegar
125 water

Toppings:
150 g smoked rainbow trout or smoked salmon, thickly sliced
2 slices lemon, cut into 16 fan-shaped pieces

To serve:
Pickled ginger
Japanese soy sauce (shoyu)

A wooden mould or rectangular plastic container, 18x12x5cm

HOW TO MAKE:
1. Make the
vinegared rice (sumeshi). Mix the hand vinegar ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Lay the smoked trout or salmon slices evenly in the bottom of a wet wooden mould. Alternatively, use a rectangular container lined with a piece of clingfilm large enough for the edges to hang out of the container.
3. Wet your hands in the hand vinegar, transfer the vinegared rice into the mould and press it firmly and evenly into the mould. Put the wet wooden lid on top. If using a plastic container, fold in the clingfilm to cover the rice and top with a piece cardboard just big enough to cover the rice, and put a weigh on top. Leave in a cool place (but never refrigerate) for 2-3 hours or overnight.
4. When ready to serve, remove from the container and unwrap any clingfilm. Take a very sharp knife and wipe it with a vinegar-soaked cloth or piece of kitchen paper. Cut the block of sushi into 4 lengthways, then in 4 crossways, making 16 pieces.
5. Arrange on a large serving plate. Put a fan-shaped piece of lemon on top. Serve with pickled ginger and a little Japanese soy sauce.


EGG CUP SUSHI

Makes 10-12 pieces


Hand moulding of rice is rather a messy job and it’s also difficult to make identical shapes and sizes. I have come up with a simple solution, using an egg cup as a mould. These sushi are very easy to make, pretty to serve and delicious to eat.

INGREDIENTS:
½ quantity vinegared rice
5-6 smoked salmon slices, about 125g , halved to make 10-12 pieces
Lemon or lime wedges, to serve

Hand vinegar:
4 tablespoons Japanese rice vinegar
250 ml water

A small egg cup

HOW TO MAKE:
1. Make the vinegared rice (sumeshi). Mix the hand vinegar ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Line an egg cup with clingfilm so it hands over the edge of the cup. Line the whole cup with a piece of smoke salmon, filling any gaps with small pieces of salmon. Put 1 tablespoon of vinegared rice in the cup and salmon from the rim. Lift up the clingfilm and turn out the moulded sushi, upside down, onto a plate. Repeat to make 10 pieces.
3. Arrange on a serving platter, add lemon or lime wedges and serve.

Variation:
Make soft scrambled eggs, using 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon sugar and a pinch of salt. Let cool. Lay a piece of clingfilm in the egg cup. Put 1 teaspoon of the scrambled eggs on the bottom. Gently press to make a firm base – the egg should come about half way up the side of the cup. Put 1 tablespoon of vinegared rice on top of the egg and again gently press down with your thumbs. Do not over-fill. Using the clingfilm, turn out the moulded sushi, upside down, onto a plate. Repeat this process for the remainder of the egg and rice. Serve with a tiny bit of red caviar on top.


BATTLESHIP ROLLS - GUNKANMAKI

Makes 12




This battleship-shaped version of nigiri-zushi has a ribbon of nori seaweed wrapped vertically around the rice, with added toppings such as ikura (salmon caviar) and sea urchin. This recipe includes western variation using crabmeat.

INGREDIENTS:
½ quantity vinegard rice
1 ½ sheets nori seaweed

Hand vinegar:
4 tablespoons vinegar
250 ml water

Toppings:
8-12 tablespoons crabmeat (use white and brown crabmeat from your fishmonger)
About 1 teaspoon sake
2 teaspoons wasabi paste or powder
4-6 tablespoons salmon caviar (ikura) or red lumpfish caviar
12 pickled caperberries or capers

To serve:
Pickled ginger
Japanese soy sauce

HOW TO MAKE:
1. Make the vinegared rice (sumeshi). Mix the hand vinegar ingredients in a small bowl.
2. Put the crabmeat in a small plate and sprinkle with a little sake. If using wasabi powder, mix 1-2 teaspoons powder in an egg cup with 1-2 teaspoons water to make a clay-like consistency. Turn it upside-down and set aside to prevent it drying.
3. Cut the whole sheet of nori crossways into 8 ribbons, 18x2.5cm, and the ½ sheet into 4, making 12 ribbons in total.
4. Dip your hands in the vinegar mixture, then take about 1-2 tablespoons rice in one hand and squeeze it into a rectangular mound about 5x2x3cm high. Wrap a nori ribbon around it, overlapping about 2cm at the end. Glue it together with a grain of vinegard rice. Put 2 teaspoons caviar and a few pickled caperberries or capers on top. Repeat to make 3 more rolls with caviar, 4 with crabmeat topped with a little salmon caviar and 4 with crabmeat, with a tiny dot of wasabi on top.
5. Arrange on a platter, and serve with the pickled ginger and a small dish of soy sauce as party food. If making individual servings, serve the soy sauce in small, separate dishes.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

STEP BY STEP ASSEMBLING HAND ROLLS




1. Take one piece of nori seaweed in one hand and add 2-3 tablespoons of vinegared rice (sumeshi). Spread the rice over one half of the nori.
2. Arrange your choice of fillings diagonally over the rice from the centre to the outer corner.
3. Take the bottom right-hand corner and curl it towards the middle to form a cone.
4. Keep rolling the cone until complete. To glue the cone closed (optional), put a few grains of rice on the edge of the nori, and press together.
5. When the cone is complete, add your choice of a few drops of soy sauce, a few pieces of pickled ginger and a dab of wasabi paste.

WASABI

JAPANESE HORSERADISH
Makes enough for 10 pieces rolled sushi




Freshly grated wasabi root, available in Japan, is divine. However, ready made wasabi pastes are now so good that many restaurants, even in Japan, use them rather than laboring to grate fresh ones. Pastes are sold in tubes, and powder in cans. Tubes are handy to use but freshly made paste from powder has more kick and better flavor.

SUSHI IN A BOWL - CHIRASHI ZUSHI

Serve 2



A bowl of sushi with sashimi on top is a favorite in Tokyo. You can use just one ingredient like tuna, or the assorted sashimi normally used in restaurants including tuna, prawn, eel, sea bass, shellfish, herring roe, salmon roe – almost any good material from the market on the day. My selection is good for serving at home.

INGREDIENTS:
½ quantity vinegared rice

Sashimi (your choice of):
2 uncooked tiger prawns, peeled but with tail fins intact
1 octopus tentacle
125 g fresh tuna and/or salmon
1 turbot fillet, about 75 g
1 small squid, cleaned and skinned
2 large dried shiitake mushrooms
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon mirin (rice wine)
Salt

To serve:
4 cm cucumber
Pink pickled ginger
Wasabi paste
Japanese soy sauce (shoyu)

HOW TO MAKE:
1. Make the vinegared rice (sumeshi).
2. Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil, add the prawns and poach for 1-2 minutes until just pink.Remove with a slotted spoon, cool under running water, then pat dry with kitchen paper.
return the pan of water to the boil, add the octopus tentacle and cook for 7-8 minutes. Drain and cool under running water. Pat dry with kitchen paper and slice diagonally into thin discs.
3. Cut the fish into 4 slices each.
4. Put the squid, skin side up, on a cutting board and make very fine slits two-thirds of the way through the thickness, first lengthways, then crossways.Put in a bowl, pour over boiling water and drain. As the squid curls up, the slits open to form a flower. Immediately plunge into cold water. Pat dry with kitchen paper and cut into 4 bites size pieces.
5. Soak the shiitake in warm water for 30 minutes and drain, retaining the soaking liquid. Cut off the stems and put in a saucepan with the sugar, mirin and a pinch of salt. Cover with some of the soaking liquid, stir, then bring to the boil and simmer for 4-5 minutes until most of the liquid disappears. Let cool in the liquid.
6. Cut 2 green slices off the cucumber, 5 cm wide. Make fine slits lengthways, leaving 1 cm intact on one side. Open up the slits to make 2 cucumber fans.
7. Divide rice between 2 bowls and arrange the seafood over the rice and top with a cucumber fan and a pile of pink pickled ginger. Serve on small individual plates with a tiny heap of wasabi, and a little jug of soy sauce.

SMOKED SALMON HAND ROLLS - TEMAKI

Makes 8 rolls





A perfect sushi for parties. Serve the rice, nori sheets and prepared ingredients on plates and let people roll their own. Choose ingredients with varied tastes and colors. This is a delicious variation of the hand roll using smoked salmon instead of crabsticks.

INGREDIENTS:
½ quantity vinegared rice

4 sheets nori seaweed or 8 salad leaves
Pickled ginger, to serve

Hand roll fillings:
125 g smoked salmon
4 spring onions
6 cm pickled daikon (takuan)
1 avocado
Juice of 1 lemon

HOW TO MAKE:
1. Make the vinegared rice (sumeshi).
2. Cut the smoked salmon lengthways into 5 mm wide strips.
3. Finely slice the spring onions lengthways into 8-10 cm strips. Slice the pickled daikon thinly.
4. Cut the avocado in half, remove the stone and peel carefully. Thinly slice the flesh and brush with lemon juice.
5. Toast the nori sheets by quickly passing over a low flame to make them crisp and bring out the flavor. Cut each sheet in half crossways.
6. Put the rice in a serving bowl and arrange salmon, spring onion and avocado on a platter. Serve them on the table with the nori and pickled ginger in small separate plates.
7. To assemble, follow the step-by-step directions of how to make a hand roll.

Pressed sushi – MACKEREL SUSHI PIECES -BATTERA

Makes 1 battera (16 pieces)



Battera, a speciality from Osaka, is one of the most popular sushi in Japan. It is made in a container or moulded into a log with a sushi mat and cut into small pieces. In restaurants and shops, it often comes wrapped up with a transparent sheet of kombu (dried kelp).

INGREDIENTS:
1 medium fresh mackerel, about 400 g, filleted
3-4 tablespoons Japanese rice vinegar
½ quantity vinegared rice
Salt

Hand vinegar:
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
125 ml water

To serve:
Pickled ginger
Japanese soy sauce (shoyu)

A wooden mould or rectangular plastic container, 18x12x5 cm

HOW TO MAKE:
1. Start the preparation for this dish a few hours before cooking the rice. Take a dish larger than the fish fillets and cover with a thick layer of salt. Put the mackerel fillets, flesh side down, on top of the salt and cover completely with more salt. Set aside for 3-4 hours. Remove mackerel and rub off the salt with damp kitchen paper. Carefully remove all the bones with tweezers, then put into a dish and pour the rice vinegar over the fillets. Leaves to marinate for 30 minutes.
2. Make the vinegared rice (sumeshi). Mix the hand vinegar ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
3. Using your fingers, carefully remove the transparent skin from each fillet, starting at the tail end. Put the fillets, skin side down, on a cutting board and slice off the highest part from the centre of the flesh so the fillets will be fairly flat. Keep the trimmings.
4. Line a wet wooden mould or rectangular container with a large piece of cling film.
5. Put a fillet, skin side down, in the mould or container. Fill the gaps with the other fillet and trimmings. Dip your fingers in the hand vinegar, then press the cooked rice down firmly on top of the fish. Put the wet wooden lid on top, or fold in the cling film and put a piece of cardboard and a weight on top.
6. You can leave it in a cool place (not the refrigerator) for a few hours. When ready to serve, remove from the container and unwrap any cling film. Take a very sharp knife and wipe it with a vinegar-soaked cloth or piece of kitchen paper. Cut the block of sushi in 4 lengthways, then in 4 crossways, making 16 pieces in all.
7. Arrange on a plate, and serve with pickled ginger and a little soy sauce in small individual dishes.

JAPANESE OMELETTE - TAMAGO YAKI

Makes 1 omelette





This is the basic method for cooking Japanese omelette. It is a regular breakfast item as well as being used for sushi.

INGREDIENTS:
4 eggs
1 egg yolk
2 ½ tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon Japanese soy sauce (shoyu)
1-2 tablespoons sunflower oil
Salt

1 Japanese omelette pan or 20 cm non-stick frying pan
Hashi (chopstick) or fork

HOW TO MAKE:
1. Using a fork, beat the eggs and egg yolk and strain through a sieve into a bowl. Add the sugar, soy sauce and pinch of salt and stir well until the sugar has dissolved. Do not whisk or make bubbles.
2. Heat a Japanese omelette pan or frying pan over moderate heat and add a little oil. Spread evenly over the base by tilting the pan, then wipe off excess oil with kitchen paper, at the same time making sure the surface is absolutely smooth. Keep the oiled paper on the plate.
3. Lower the heat and pour one-third of the egg mixture evenly over the base by tilting the pan. If large air bubbles pop up immediately, the pan may be too hot – then remove the pan from the heat and put it back on when the egg starts to set.
4. Prick any air bubbles with a fork and when the egg is about to set, using chopsticks or a fork, roll the egg layer 2-3 times from one side to the other. Oil the empty base of the pan with the oiled paper and push the rolled egg back to the other side.
5. Again using the oiled paper, brush the base of the pan, then pour half the remaining egg mixture evenly over the base by tilting the pan and lifting the egg roll so the egg mixture flows underneath.
6. When the egg starts to set, roll again, using the first roll as the core. Repeat this oiling and rolling using up the remaining egg mixture. Remove from the pan and let cool before cutting.

Monday, February 11, 2008

STEP BY STEP MAKING SIMPLE ROLLS

Make the vinegared rice (sumeshi), prepare and assemble the ingredients, then dip your hands in the bowl of hand vinegar.




1.Put a sushi rolling mat (makisu) on your work surface, then put half a sheet of toasted nori seaweed on top. Take a handful of the rice (2-3 heaped tablespoons) in your hands and make into a log shape. Put the rice in the centre of the nori.
2. Using your fingers, spread it evenly all over, leaving about 1.5cm margin on the far side. (The rice will stick to your hands, so dip them in the hand vinegar first.)
3. Take a small dot of wasabi paste on the end of your fingeer and draw a line down the middle across the rice, leaving a light green shadow on top of the rice (not too much – wasabi is very hot).
4. Arrange 1 strip of cucumber across the rice, on top of the wasabi.
5. Pick up the mat from the near side and keep the cucumber in the centre.
6. Roll the mat over to meet the other side so that the rice stays inside the nori.
7. Lift the top edge of the mat. Press and roll the cylinder slightly. The join should be underneath so it will stick well (it sticks together because of the moisture in the rice.) Remove the cylinder from the mat and put, join side down, in a covered flat container while you make the remaining rolls.
8. Cut each roll in half, then each half into 3, making 6 pieces. Arrange on a serving plate and serve with pickled ginger, a little pile of wasabi paste and a dish of Japanese soy sauce.

VINEGARED RICE - SUMESHI

Makes 1 litre



Sushi is a general term for all food with ‘sumeshi’or vinegared rice. Remember – sushi should never be put in the fridge (it will go hard). The vinegar will help preserve it for a few days if kept, wrapped, in a cool place, such as a shady window sill. To make sushi rice, boil 15 percent more water than rice. So use 1 cup rice to 1 cup plus just over 1 tablespoon water.

INGREDIENTS:

400 ml Japanese rice
1 piece of dried kelp (kombu), 5 cm square, for flavoring (optional)
3 tablespoons Japanese rice vinegar
2 ½ tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons sea salt

How to make it:


1. Put the rice in a large bowl and wash it thoroughly, changing the water several times, until the water is clear. Drain and leave in the strainer for 1 hour. If short of time, soak the rice in clear cold water for 10-15 minutes, then drain.
2. Transfer to a deep, heavy-based saucepan, add 460 ml water and a piece of dried kelp (kombu), if using. Cover and bring to the boil over a high heat, about 5 minutes. Discard the kelp.
3. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed. Do not lift the lid. Remove from the heat and leave, still covered, for about 10-15 minutes.
4. Mix the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small jug or bowl and stir until dissolved.
5. Transfer the cooked rice to a large, shallow dish or handai (Japanese wooden sumeshi tub). Sprinkle generously with the vinegar dressing.
6. Using a wooden spatula, fold the vinegar dressing into the rice. Do not stir. While folding, cool the rice quickly using a fan. Let the rice cool to body temperature before using to make sushi.

ROLLED SUSHI VARIATIONS

Makes 36 pieces


Other ingredients traditionally used for rolled sushi in Japan include kanpyo (dried gourd ribbons), tuna with spring onion, natto (steamed fermented soy beans), chili-marinated cod’s roe and salted plum (umeboshi) with shiso herb. You can also make variations using ingredients more readily available in the west.

INGREDIENTS:


¾ quantity vinegared rice
3 sheets nori seaweed
A sushi rolling mat (makisu)

Hand vinegar:
4 tablespoons Japanese rice vinegar
250 ml water

Filling:
100 g fresh salmon, skinned
6 cm pickle daikon (takuan), cut lengthways into 1 cm square sticks
4-6 fresh shiso leaves or 6-8 basil leaves
2 small red salted plum (umeboshi), pitted and torn in pieces
Wasabi paste

To serve:
Pickled ginger
Extra wasabi paste
Japanese soy sauce (shoyu)

HOW TO MAKE:


1. Make the vinegared rice (sumeshi). Mix the hand vinegar ingredients in a small bowl.
2. Cut the piece of salmon into 1 cm square sticks. To make a salmon sushi, follow the method on the previous page, using a row of salmon strips instead of cucumber. (enough to make 2 rolls).
3. To make a pickled daikon sushi, put 3 strips of pickled daikon (takuan) in a row, and omitting the wasabi paste. (enough to make 2 rolls) and follow the steps how to make a sushi roll.
4. To make the pickled plum sushi, use the shiso or basil leaves and the pieces of plum (enough to make 2 rolls) and follow the steps how to make a sushi roll.
5. Cut each roll into 6 pieces, then arrange on a plate and serve with pickled ginger, a mound of wasabi paste and a dish of soy sauce.

Variation:
You can also leave the salmon fillet whole, then lightly grill it for about 2 minutes on each side. Cool, put in a bowl, flake with a fork, then stir in 2 finely chopped spring onions. Mix in 2 teaspoons mayonnaise, salt and pepper, then proceed as in the main recipe.

LETTUCE ROLLS

Makes 12



Battleship rolls can be made with lettuce leaves instead of nori. Use a lettuce with flexible leaves, such as butter lettuce or lollo rosso as ribbons and iceberg as cups.

INGREDIENTS:

½ quantity vinegared rice
4 small lollo rosso leaves
4 butter lettuce leaves
4 small iceberg lettuce leaves
Japanese soy sauce (shoyu) to serve

Hand vinegar:
4 tablespoons Japanese rice vinegar
250 ml water

Toppings:
75 g smoked haddock
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon sugar
75 g smoked salmon, finely chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4-6 tablespoons black lumpfish caviar
1 tablespoon caperberries or capers, drained

HOW TO MAKE:

1. Make the vinegared rice (sumeshi) following the last recipe. Mix the hand vinegar ingredients in small bowl and set aside.
2. Put the haddock and bay leaf in a saucepan, cover with boiling water, return to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes or until cooked. Drain well. Remove and discard the skin and all the small bones. Put in a bowl and flake finely with a fork. Stir in the sugar and let cool.
3. Sprinkle the smoked salmon with lemon juice.
4. Cut a 3 cm wide strip crossways from the top of the lollo rosso and butter lettuce leaves. Make a small cup, 7 cm diameter, from the inner iceberg leaves.
5. Make 12 rectangular mounds of rice. Instead of wrapping in nori, wrap 4 in lollo rosso leaves, 4 in butter lettuce and 4 in iceberg lettuce cups. Put 1-1 ½ tablespoons caviar in the iceberg cups. Top the haddock with a little caviar, the salmon with caperberry or caper and the caviar with a few flakes of haddock.
6. Arrange on a platter or small plates and serve with a small dish of soy sauce.

BIG SUSHI ROLLS - FUTOMAKI

Makes 3 rolls (24 pieces)




Thick nori rolls normally contain 5 ingredients with contrasting colours, all wrapped up in a whole sheet of nori. A little difficult to eat, but a beautiful party dish.

INGREDIENTS:



1 quantity vinegared rice
3 sheets nori seaweed
1 sushi rolling mat

Hand vinegar:
4 tablespoons Japanese rice vinegar
250 ml water

Fillings:
9-12 uncooked king prawn tails, unpeeled
4 eggs
4 tablespoons sugar
250 g spinach
3 ½ tablespoons Japanese soy sauce (shoyu)
20 g dried gourd (kanpyo) or 1 carrot, cut into 5 mm square shreds
5-6 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 tablespoon mirin or sweet sherry
Salt

To serve:
Pickled ginger
Japanese soy sauce (shoyu)

HOW TO MAKE:

1. Make the vinegared rice. Mix the hand vinegar ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Skewer a cocktail stick through each prawn from head to tail to prevent curling while cooking. Blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes until firm and pink. Immediately plunge into cold water and drain. Remove and discard the cocktail sticks, shells and dark back vein.
3. Using the eggs, 2 tablespoons of the sugar and a pinch of salt, make an omelette . Let cool, then cut lengthways into 1 cm square sticks.
4. Blanch the spinach in lightly salted water for 1 minute. Plunge into cold water. Drain and pat dry with kitchen paper. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons soy sauce and set aside.
If using kanpyo, rub it with salt and a little water, then soak in water for 10 minutes and drain. Cut into 20 cm lengths. 5. Soak the shiitake in warm water for 30 minutes, then drain, retaining the soaking water. Cut the shiitake into 5 cm strips. Put 250 ml of the soaking liquid in a small saucepan with 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the mirin or sherry. Bring to the boil. Add the kanpyo or carrot shreds and shiitake strips. Simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes. Let cool in the liquid and set aside.
6. Toast the nori and put, crossways, one whole sheet at a time, on a sushi rolling mat, follow the method how to roll sushi. Dip your hands in the hand vinegar. Take one sixth of the rice and squeeze it between your hands into a firm ball. Put the rice ball on one side of the nori sheet in the centre and, using wet fingers, spread evenly over the half side of nori, leaving about 3 cm margin on the far side. Repeat this once more to fill the other half. The rice layer should be fairly thick – add extra rice if necessary.
7. Arrange 3-4 prawns in a row across the rice about 5 cm from the front edge. Add a row of omelette strips and a row of spinach on top of the prawns. Add a row of kanpyo or carrot and a row of shiitake on top, so that all 5 ingredients are piled in the centre of the rice,like logs of timber. Each roll should use one-third of each ingredient.
8. Pick up the mat from the near side and, keeping all the ingredients in the centre, roll the mat as you follow the steps how to make a sushi roll. Remove the mat and put the roll on a plate, join side down. Repeat to make 2 more rolls.
9. Cut each roll into 8 and serve with little dishes of soy sauce and pickled ginger.

INSIDE-OUT SUSHI - URAMAKI

Makes 20 pieces ( 4 rolls)





Uramaki is an inside-out roll, with nori inside and rice outside. This prawn tempura version is popular in restaurants – the nori prevents the vinegar in the rice and the oil in the tempura from touching each other. The unlikely combination of two opposing tastes makes a surprisingly delicious match.

INGREDIENTS:
¾ quantity vinegared rice
2 sheets
nori seaweed
Pickled ginger, to serve
8 cocktail sticks or bamboo skewers
A sushi rolling mat (makisu) covered with clingfilm

Hand vinegar:
2 tablespoons Japanese rice vinegar
125 ml water

Tempura prawns:
8 large uncooked tiger prawn tails, 4 peeled completely, 4 left with tail fins intact, deveined
100 g plain flour, sifted
4 tablespoons sesame seeds, black or white
Salt
Sunflower oil, for frying

HOW TO MAKE:

1. Make the
vinegared rice (sumeshi) and divided into 4. Mix the hand vinegar ingredients in a small bowl. Skewer a cocktail stick through each prawn from top to tail to prevent curling while cooking.
2. Cover one side of a sushi rolling mat (makisu) with clingfilm and put it on a dry cutting board, clingfilm side up.
3. Fill a wok or deep saucepan one-third full of oil and heat to 170C (340F) or until a cube of bread browns in about 60 seconds. To make the tempura batter, put 100 ml water in a bowl, sift the flour into the water and mix with a fork. One by one, dip the prawns in the batter, then fry in the hot oil for 3-4 minutes or until golden-brown. Remove and drain on kitchen paper and carefully remove and discard the cocktail sticks.
4. Put a nori on a completely dry cutting board. Dip your hands in the hand vinegar. Take a handful of the rice (2-3 heaped tablespoons) in your hands and make into a log shape. Put the rice in the centre of the nori. Using your fingers, spread it evenly all over, right to the edges. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon sesame seeds all over the rice.
5. Turn the whole thing over onto the clingfilm-covered mat.
6. Arrange 2 tempura prawns down the centre of the nori, with the tails sticking out at the ends (you can remove the tail fins if preffered).
7. Roll the mat. Remove from the mat and repeat to make 3 more rolls, using black or white sesame seeds.
8. Cut each roll into 5 pieces and arrange on a platter. Serve with pickled ginger and a little soy sauce in a small dish beside the platter or in small individual plates.