I thought this would be a fun, tasty personal challenge.
It was fun, it was very tasty, it was definitely challenging.. and my brother ran off so it was quite personal, verging on lonesome.. until he came home and asked if he could eat it.
My experiments turned out better than expected, but because I'm lazy, instead of crying 'Fame, fortune and franchises!', I'm going to show you how to do it yourself.
I tried three different designs. I'm sure there are many more.
Also, you may be interested in these more sensible i'bles on making regular nori rolls or even real sushi.
Step 1: Stuff I Used:
1/2 cup short grain white rice
Nori sheets (seaweed)
Tasty filling: smoked salmon slices, cucumber, stuff that will stick or stay put (avocado may be too slippery for some of these but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try)
Very sharp knife
Bamboo rolling mat
Step 2: Cooking Rice
This is not it. See comments below for some excellent tips on real sushi.
This is how i made super-gooey rice-paste for sculpters:
- - -
1/2 cup sushi rice (short or med grain white) makes enough for one sheet of nori.
rinse until water is clear
add 1 cup water
bring up to boiling
lower heat, simmer for about 10mins
turn off, put the lid on and let it sit for another 10mins
if at this point you feel the rice is not sticky enough, add a little more boiling water, put the lid back on and wait another 10mins
This works really well for me. I have heard of people using the oven, which I guess would be very consistent. The rice just needs to hold together really well.
Also, I just learned a trick that would have been useful when I started which is to have wet fingers if you need to pat the rice down because at first it was sticking to everything but itself.
Step 3: First Method: Nori Roll Kebab
The seaweed is so tough and stretchy so I tried a serrated knife but it started to make a mess. Cutting very slowly with long strokes using a very sharp smooth knife worked better.
2- Place the rolls in a line and aim the skewer in the middle of the seaweed.
It's easy to veer up or down, so I ended up pushing them on one-by-one.
3- Marvel at your feat of culinary engineering.
Try to lift it if you dare. The pieces begin to slide and rotate.
Best to just enjoy it with your mouth. Don't forget the soy sauce and wasabi!
Step 4: Second Method: Nori Pop
1- First attempt: the lengths were too short and only just wrapped around the filling, not the stick.
2- Cut a much different shape with longer bits to wrap around the outside.
3- Place the filling: circle of rice, filling in the centre, rice on top.
4- Wrap carefully! the seaweed sheet needs to be moistened quite a bit before it will stick to things. It will not stick immediately but if you hold it, the water will be absorbed and it should hold. Later on, I couldn't get it off the stick.
Further experimentation would have yielded more efficient designs but I started running out of rice.
Step 5: Third Method: Sushi Spiral
I had grave doubts that it would ever work, at least with my relative inexperience at making sushi. I was pleasantly astonished.
1- Needed more rice.
I made the rice a little bit stickier this time by adding a little more water at the end (from the kettle), turning the heat back on until I heard it bubbling, then turning the heat off and leaving the lid on for another 10mins.
2- Spread the rice over the nori sheet the same as a regular roll.
3- The filling needs to be in a thin layer over the whole sheet. I used thin slices of this delicious smoked salmon that I had trouble not eating.
4- Roll! This was a lot easier in my head.
I had planned to cut the nori into strips and lay them in a big long line to roll in one go, but then there's the question of spreading the rice neatly.
So what I did was roll the first strip, place it at the top of the next one, and repeat until I was sure it would fall apart.
You can lay it flat and pat it straight if it's going wonky.
5- Secure and skewer!
I used extra strips of seaweed sheet dipped in water the secure the outside and stop it unraveling.
Sticking the skewer in was the easy part. Lifting it without everything falling off is a different story.
I scraped some of the surface rice away so you can see the pretty spiral.
This is a meal in itself (and quite a messy one at that). My brother helped me eat it. He added soy sauce to the last bit and stuffed it into his mouth. A few seconds later, cheeks bulging, he suddenly pulled a face of extreme delight. Apparently the flavours had hit an optimal combination, resulting in "one of the single most delicious things" he had ever tasted. A very good reason to look for the best ingredients. Do i get a gold star now?