Thursday, 29 March 2007

Homemade Sushi

Since there are only 3 of us at home this week, decided to make sushi for dinner last night. Despite the fact that I have made these sushi for the 5th time this year, I still couldn't manage to roll the maki neatly :(

I find it very tricky to be able to spread the sushi rice evenly on the sheet of nori (Japanese seaweed). Even if I could get a decent rolled "log" of maki, I always "deformed" them when trying to slice it into pieces. Instead of neat round shapes, they ended up in irregular forms. I wonder how many times I must try before I could get a nice and neat on my maki?!

For the filling, I used crab meat sticks (my kids favorite), cucumber, salmon spread (ayam brand) and some pork floss. The combination of these ingredients was just right, although they were not the ones used in authentic California rolls.

With these basic ingredients, I made 4 types of sushi...Chumaki, Hosomaki, Gunkan-maki and Uramaki.

Maki Zushi
Maki Zushi or rolled sushi is made with a sheet of seaweed spread with vinegar flavored Japanese rice and then rolled up with different fillings. Hosomaki are small sushi rolls about 1 inch in diameter. I simply rolled up crab meat sticks with some mayonnaise to form these thin rolls. The medium ones are called Chumaki, around 1 1/2 inches wide. I have not ventured into making Futomaki which are large rolls, more than 2 inches wide.

Gunkan-Maki (Battleship Sushi)
These are special type of the nigiri zushi(finger sushi). Battleship sushi is make by wrapping a strip of seaweed around a small oval-shaped rice ball, and topped with soft fillings such as fish roe. The collar of nori that's wrapped around the rice ball make the sushi looks like a tiny vessel...hence the name battleship sushi. I made mine with pork floss and salmon spread toppings.

My younger boy enjoyed making the rice balls. Somehow, small kids simply like to play with anything that they could shape with their hands, like playdough and making sandcastles.

Uramaki Zushi (Reverse Maki)
These reverse maki or inside-out rolls are wrapped with the rice on the outside and the nori within. This is supposed to be easier to make than Chumaki as the sushi rice on the outside helps stick everything together when you roll it up. On the contrary, I found it more difficult as the filling couldn't stick on to the nori, as such they were not firmly bounded together. I coated the outer layer of rice with toasted black seasame. The seasame really enhanced the taste of the maki, and they were the most delicious of the lot!


Anne said...

Although I was never really interested in japanese food, still I couldn't help but admire how they present there food. In fact your sushi looks really cute, colorful and so pretty to look at I would rather stare at it than destroy it's nice appearance. I'm impressed :)

bossacafez said...

busy lately? i sent u email, did u receive?

SteamyKitchen said...

They look great! The trick is to use a super super sharp knife and to wet the cleaned knife blade before cutting into the roll. That way rice does not stick to knife and 'drag'. but it still looks delicious

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Jaden, thanks for your tips! I do try to wet the knife blade each time before slicing...but my knife is not sharp at all...only good enough to cut tofu, I think, hehe ;)

Mommy Red said...

I have been trying my hand at homemade sushi too! I need to have more patience, and let the rice get cooler - and yeah, I need a much sharper knife and a deeper bowl of vinegar water to dip my fingers and knife in. your photos are FABULOUS! GOOD JOB!

Scal said...

Did you heat the nori before putting it on the maki-su? Just wave it over stove flame for a very short while to dry it up, so it will cut easily. Sharp knife will definitely help to

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Scal, thanks for your advice :) Yes I did heat the nori over the stove flame. I think I have to make it a point to sharpen my knife whenever I am about to make sushi :)

Anonymous said...

I really like your sushi! It's so pretty and well-presented ^-^ Your uramaki looks so yummy!

Me and my sister make sushi sometimes, so here are some useful things we do. When you spread the sushi rice onto the sheet of nori, try wetting your hands. That way the rice doesn't stick to your fingers, making it easier to spread. Also, when you're rolling it, tuck the edge underneath so it's against the rice before you roll it(that's the best way I can describe it), then wet your fingers again and run your fingertips on the seam at the end to seal it. You should probably only spread the rice to about a third of the way up the nori.

Hope some of that helps,

Anonymous said...


What a wonderful spread ! My kids will love it if they have this for their lunch.

Can you teach me how to do ?
Firstly, how to make the rice?(please advise brand, quantity)
Secondly do you need special tools to make sushi-eg. roller?

Thanks !

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Anonymous, I am sorry I am really not qualified to show you how to make the sushi :) Can I suggest that you do a google search, I am sure you can get videos and recipes showing you step by step how to go about making them? I learned it from reading a cookbook which I borrowed from the library. You will need a sushi mat for rolling the sushi. As for the type of rice, (are you a local?) you can get Japanese short-grain rice from cold storage.

Anonymous said...


I'm local.

You are right,I've never thought of google search. OK will do.
But how about the rice, need to add anything once cooked ? I saw they add vinegar. What's the proportion. I went cold storage, they have only calrose rice from Australia.

Thanks & Regards.

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Anonymous, for the rice you will need to add Sushi vinegar or a mixture of Rice vinegar with sugar. Sushi recipes will always include a section on how to go about making the rice.
You can get Japanese rice at Cold Storage, they come in small packs about 2.5kg, the usual brands are: KOKUHO and Songhe, both are calrose rice from the States. If not you can try Japanese supermarts like the one at Liang Court or Isetan Scotts. Hope this helps :)

Anonymous said...


I managed to buy 1kg of calrose rice from Australia. So getting ready to do my next project.

Do you need to cook the crabmeat stick ? If so how to go cook it ?

Thanks !

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Anonymous, you just need to par boil the crabmeat stick for a 2-3 minutes.

Anonymous said...

OMG i seriously LOVE sushi ><

Anonymous said...

What's up?
Maybe I can help you with a few of your problems in making your makizushi. I actually live in Japan so maybe some of the tools I am going to mention you may not be able to get easily. Try your local Chines/Korean/Japanese grocer.

First off, for spreading the rice on the nori. There is a special spoon (ours came with our rice cookeer)which is large and flat that his little pimples all over it. If you use this to spread the rice becomes very easy. You can also use your bare hands but the rice will tend to stick to your fingers making the task more difficult than it has to be. In this case wetting your hands a little might help.

For the rolling part, you might be able to get a bamboo mat which is just a little bit bigger than the nori in size. It has many long lengths of bamboo that kind of look like chopsticks. They are rounded on the bottom and flat on the top and they are all tied together to make the mat. If you use one of these you should have no trouble at all. Just make sure you have the flat side up.

As for cutting, the best thing is to dip your knife in water in between cuts. This will prevent it from sticking to the rice. If you are crushing the rolls too much as your cutting this could be due to two things. 1. Your knife is not sharp enough. 2. Your makizushi has not been rolled tight enough.

Hope this helps.

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, thanks so much for your useful tips! I have never thought of using the rice spoon to spread the rice! I have the bamboo mat, but thanks for your tips, now I know which side to use! I had problem slicing because my knife is not sharp enough, I dip the knife in water and clean it after every slice. Thanks again for your help, I am sure I will make better sushi the next time round :)

Jeanette said...

Yr sushi looks really good. I bought some sushi mold from Daiso, lately. They also sell the mats there. There are many different shapes and sies molds which are quite useful esp for first-timers.
Cheaper than buying from Isetan. Same quality but at only $2. You can try using them. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, sandy here again. Can i know what is height of yr base cake after bake. I followed yr recipe but it seems not so high and not easy to slide into 3 slices

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi sandy, I am sorry I am not sure which cake recipe are your referring to?