Note to Self: Sushi Rice

Vegetarian Sushi

I like making sushi (mostly vegetarian, rarely authentic, often pretty),  but I can never remember, what proportion of rice to water to sushi sushi seasoning  you need, and I never remember how many sushi rolls (maki) you get out of a given amount of rice.   So for reference, here are notes from when I made sushi last weekend.

1. Thoroughly rinse your rice with clean cold water to remove extra starch, until water runs clear.

2. Add rice to a saucepan with water (1.5 cups water for every cup of rice), and cover with a lid.  Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low and cook (covered)  until water is absorbed – 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Once cooked, spread rice out in a shallow, non-metallic tray and sprinkle sushi seasoning* over the top – just over 1/2 a cup for 3 cups of cooked rice (3 tablespoons per cup of cooked rice).  Stir in with a non-metallic spoon.  At this point,  you are also supposed to fan the rice to cool, although I didn’t.

4. Once the rice is cool, make sushi!

1 cup uncooked sushi rice makes 3 cups cooked.  I cooked 1.5 cups of rice, hence making 4.5 cups cooked rice.  From this I was able to make  3 ‘big’ sushi maki (i.e. using a whole nori sheet each), and 2 ‘small’ maki, using a half nori sheet. At 8 pieces of sushi per roll, that’s 40 pieces all up.

Protip: Keep a small cup of water close by, to wet your fingers. Wet fingers are the best way to keep the sushi rice from sticking over your fingers.  A bit of water is also very useful for sticking down wayward nori too 🙂

This was my first opportunity to use the sushi mould I was given for Christmas last year, and so I decided to try out heart shaped sushi! I love the idea, but execution still needs work – in particular I think my hearts lost shape because they needed something more solid in the middle than grated carrot  and bean sprouts.  As ever,  I think my most beautiful sushi are the ones with the beautifully green and round asparagus. (They taste good too.)

Vegetarian Sushi

Vegetarian Sushi

*Some people might be asking at this point why I haven’t provided a recipe for the sushi seasoning. This is because I buy it pre-prepared 😛

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Bread and Butter

No Knead Bread

So I’ve been making Jim Lahey’s No Knead Bread most weekends for 6 or so weeks. I’m not actually sure that we’ve bought bread since I started making it. This weekend’s batch was pronounced the Best!Bread!Evah! by the BF, and I’m not sure if the superiority of this weekend’s loaf is down to some random variable, or the fact that this is first time I’ve use my (new!) digital scales to weigh out the ingredients by mass, rather than measure by volume ( e.g., 400 g of flour, rather than 3 cups). I guess I will have to make some next week and see if I can reproduce this weekend’s results…

Which brings me to the subject of butter. Ever since we ate the Best Butter Ever in France (purchased from some convenience store near our apartment, so nothing super special), I’ve be researching why butter here in Australia is… not the Best Butter Ever. I first wondered if it was the salt content – european butter is generally salt free. But even the unsalted butter here doesn’t have the sweetness of the butter we had in France. Then I found this article,  which explains that up to 10% of Australian butter is frozen, which turns rancid when mixed with fresh butter. Oddly enough this hasn’t stopped me from buying ‘normal’ butter for baking,  but I’ve been trialing more exotic butters for my bread. To date, Girgar Butter has been the best substitute, though still not 100% the same. There are a couple of specialty food places around that do stock the proper French cultured butter too. I’d like to try them,  although that requires planning and breaking my normal shopping routines.  (If only I could buy it online!!)

No Knead Bread  No Knead Bread