Sunday, 23 February 2014


Which in my best Japanese means if you do not enter the tiger's cave you will not catch its cub.

I.e nothing ventured, nothing gained

I like sushi. I love it. Hubby didn't. Until recently when I made him try one of those supermarket prepacked ones. Yes I know they're not as good as the real fresh thing but they're a decent enough attempt in my opinion.

I decided that I should therefore try my own as my diet had yet again fallen by the wayside for the week (back on it again tomorrow lol). I purchased a sushi mat on Friday (the Ching He Huang one which comes with bamboo spoon which is great for spreading the rice out).

Our large Tesco has an international aisle so I could get sushi rice and nori but sadly they had neither wasabi nor pickled ginger which I found disappointing for such a well appointed international aisle. Luckily Waitrose had both. Tick!

Sushi rice:
So many different ways to cook. Double the amount of water to rice? Enough water to cove the rice? 10% more water than rice? To rinse the rice beforehand or not?
I decided not to rinse and put in the pan with enough water to cover but even with the lid on it absorbed it all before it was cooked so I just added a bit more. It took 15 minutes. The rice was 95% cooked when I took it off the heat and added 1 tsp of caster sugar and 2 tbsp of rice wine vinegar. I left the rice to cool in the pan until I wanted to roll my sushi.

So to assemble, get your sushi mat and a sheet of nori. Oh my goodness, it stinks of fish food. I wasn't quite prepared for that!

There's a shiny side which needs to face the mat then spread enough sticky rice onto the seaweed, not too thick and leave an edge free at the top (I did at the bottom too). Add your fillings into the middle then roll the mat up tightly cupping round the roll as you go then leave for a minute rolled up before unrolling the mat and slicing 

You can use any fillings you want really. 

I also decided we'd have gyoza as well. We love gyoza. I especially love Wagamama's duck and chicken gyozas. The duck have a hard shell and the chicken are steamed so I thought I'd try a go at two ways of cooking them.

Unfortunately I didn't realise I'd run out of strong white bread flour so had to use just plain.
200g strong white bread flour
100ml boiling water

Mix together until a dough is formed, you might need to use more or less water. Knead for 5 minutes then cover for 30-60 minutes. Roll out and use a large circular cutter then add a teaspoon of filling and close. This quantity will give approximately 18 gyoza wrappers.

For the filling I used the following:
One pack of king prawns chopped
1 tbsp oyster sauce
Salt and pepper
One small chunk of ginger, grated
2-3 spring onions, chopped 

Mix all of these together in a bowl before filling the gyoza wrappers.

Wrapping them up was not my forte but I got the approximate shape eventually. You need to fold the wrapper over in half then pinch close a bit like making a pasty. YouTube some tutorials!

I cooked them in two batches. The first half I fried one side in a bit of oil then added 100ml of water and covered with a lid to create steam and steamed for ten minutes.

The second batch I fried on both sides and only steamed for a couple of minutes with only a dash of water. I preferred the longer steamed one, hubby preferred the fried ones.

But I'll definitely be making gyoza again and will make sure I have the proper flour in.

We served our dishes with soy sauce, pickled ginger and wasabi. Oh my, that wasabi was a hot hot hot one!! 

Douzo meshiagare

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