I was never a great fan of sushi until I was shown how to make it by a charming Japenese lady who came to visit us at the Smokehouse. We had great fun in the kitchen, and I realised once the rice is cooked properly and a little care is taken with the moudling, it's not too difficult. That said, the recipe will never meet the exacting standards of a real sushi chef, but it tastes wonderful, and looks pretty good too!
Makes about 20 pieces
For the Vinegared Rice
- 400ml Japanese rice (measure by volume, not weight for this)
- 7 tablespoons Japanese rice vinegar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
For the toppings
- 4 medium-sized raw, shell-on tiger prawns (no heads)
- 200g (7 oz) royal fillet or par-smoked trout fillet, skinner
- 200g (7 oz) sliced smoked sea bass
- 200g (7 oz) smoked mackerel fillet, trimmed
- 2 teaspoons wasabi paste or powder
- shiso micro greens, Japanese soy sauce and pickled ginger, to serve
- Put the rice in a large sieve and wash under cold running water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in cold water for 10-15 minutes and then drain well. Transfer to a heavy-based saucepan, pour in 460ml water, cover and bring to the boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Without removing the lid take off the heat and leave to stand for about 10-15 minutes.
- Mix 3 tablespoons of the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small jug or bowl and stir until dissolved. Spoon the cooked rice into a large, shallow baking dish. Sprinkle generously with the vinegar dressing. Use a wooden spatula to fold the vinegar dressing into the rice. Do not stir, but gently fold. Let the rice cool to room temperature before using to make the sushi.
- Mix together the remaining rice vinegar with 250ml (8 fl oz) cold water for the hand-dipping vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.
- Skewer a cocktail stick through each prawn from top to tail to prevent curling while cooking. Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes until lightly cooked and pink. Drain and put under cold running water. Remove and discard the cocktail sticks, peel off the shell and remove back vein from each prawn. Make a slit up the belly lengthways and open out (butterfly). Slice the royal fillet or par-smoked trout fillet, sea bass and mackerel fillet into rectangular pieces about 7cm x 3cm.
- If using wasabi powder, mix with 2 teaspoons water in an egg cup and stir well to make a clay-like consistency. Leave upside down to prevent drying.
- Wet your hands in the hand-vinegar and take about 1-2 tablespoons of the cooked rice and mould into rectangular cylinders - about 5cm x 2cm x 2cm. Put a small dot of wasabi on top of each rice cylinder and cover with the fish or prawns. Cover and chill, but serve at room temperature.
- Arrange on a platter and serve with pickled ginger and Japanese soy sauce in small dishes for dipping. Alternatively, serve as party canapés or on small plates as a starter.
- This recipe can also be made into a delightful rice salad - carefully mix the vinegared rice with the diced fish, diced cucumber, and some chopped spring onions.