YorKitchen: Sushi Maki

Picture credits: Laura Wayman

With lockdown seeming as if it will never end and all of the best sushi restaurants closed, there are only two options for people craving the salty, fresh, mouth-watering taste of sushi: either to spend half your student loan on a sushi delivery or to try to make them yourself!

Myself and my housemates opted for the latter and have loved spending time together in the kitchen, making and rolling sushi as a fun lockdown activity. Once you have bought the staple ingredients of nori seaweed sheets and sushi rice, you will only have to purchase the fresh filling of your choice to be able to repeat the process again and again, making it cost effective and delicious!

To feed 2 hungry students you will need:

180g of sushi rice (£1.25) (you can buy 1kg of this from Amazon, or any local Asian supermarket, for around £6.89 meaning you will have loads spare for the next time!)

360 ml of salted boiling water

30 ml rice wine vinegar (£0.38)

15-30g sugar (£0.02)

1 ½ tsp salt

2 sheets of sushi nori (£1.42) (again, from amazon you can buy 7 sheets for £4.99!)

A pack of smoked salmon, thinly sliced (£2.99)

An avocado, thinly sliced (£0.95)

Sushi rolling mat (these are around £1.99 each from amazon, and are a great investment, however, you can just use clingfilm to roll the sushi it just won’t be as easy to roll.)

Soy sauce, for dipping (£0.90)

Cost

This works out at £3.95 per person and you will get around 12 rolls each!

Method:

For the sushi rice, add rinsed rice to boiling water and bring to the boil. Turn it down, cover and let it simmer for 15 minutes, do not uncover.

Meanwhile mix the rice wine vinegar, salt and sugar together to make a thin paste.

Turn off the heat and leave the rice to stand for ten minutes, still refrain from uncovering the pan to let the rice steam.

Put into a large bowl and sprinkle with the rice wine vinegar mixture. Turn the rice with a spatula, be careful not to mix it though as this will break up the rice causing it to become mushy. Fan the rice whilst turning it to cool it faster creating a sticky, glossy coating.

The sushi rice will keep for up to three days at room temperature covered with a clean damp tea towel. It is perfect for poke bowls or even more sushi!

Tear the nori seaweed sheet in half, I have found the easiest way to do this is to fold it first and then tear down the scored line, and place it on your rolling mat so that it is on the half closest to you, leaving a 1cm gap at the bottom edge of the mat.

With wet hands mould about a handful of the rice into a sausage shape and place on the nori sheet. Using both hands, spread the rice evenly right to the edges, leaving a 1cm margin at the top end of the nori uncovered.

Press down across the centre of the rice to create a trench for the filling. Place the filling of your choice on top of the rice. We chose to use slices of smoked salmon and avocado but you can mix it up and try anything: we have also tried salmon, cream cheese and sesame seed and imitation crab, avocado and crispy onion.

Now for the rolling! Lift the near edge of the rolling mat and fold it over the filling (holding the filling in place gently with your fingers). You are aiming to meet the top edge of the rice. Lift the mat slightly to uncover the roll and remove your fingers from inside the roll. Continue to roll until the two edges of the nori meet. Cover the roll with the rolling mat and gently press to shape it into a neat, square sided roll. The first one will never be perfect, seamless sushi, but with practice you will improve! Wet a kitchen knife to prevent the rice sticking to it and cut the sushi into equal pieces. Serve with a dish of soy sauce for dipping and enjoy!