In Japan, the rice used to make Nori-Maki is seasoned with a blend of rice vinegar, sugar and salt. In macrobiotic circles, plain cooked brown rice or a combination of brown rice and sweet brown rice is most often used. Short-grain white rice also makes delicious nori-maki. If you want to try seasoning your rice, try mixing brown rice vinegar, shoyu, and mirin in a ratio of about 3:1:1, put it in a spray bottle, and lightly spray the mixture on the rice after you have spread it on the nori, but before rolling it.
To prepare simple, home-style nori-maki, toast nori briefly (unless you are using sushi nori, which is pretoasted). Place the nori on a sushi mat or countertop. Spread about 1 1/2 cups cooked rice evenly over the nori, leaving uncovered 1 1/2 inch at the top and 1/2 inch at the bottom.
Various ingredients can be used for the center of nori rolls. A most simple yet delicious roll can be made using only umeboshi paste - rub umeboshi in a line from left to right across the center of the rice. If desired, vegetables such as thin cucumber strips and/or parboiled carrot strips can be placed next to the umeboshi paste. Shiso (perilla) leaves, which come pickled with umeboshi plums, or shiso senmai (whole pickled shiso leaves) are especially good.
Starting at the edge closest to you, gently but firmly roll into a tight cylinder. Let the roll rest on its seam. (If necessary, dampen the top edge of the uncovered nori to seal the roll.) Cut the roll in half, and each half into 3 or 4 pieces. Clean the knife between cuttings.
Other center ingredients, such as pickles; natto mixed with a little shoyu and minced scallion; sauerkraut; avocado; or very fresh, raw salt-water fish and wasabi, provide a variety of interesting tastes and textures. If using wasabi powder, add just a few drops of water to form a paste. It is strong, so rub only a thin layer across the rice.
Depending on the filling, you may or may not need a dipping sauce. More flavorful rolls can be enjoyed as is. Those made with wasabi and unseasoned vegetables or fish are best dipped in a mixture of 3 tablespoons kombu stock or water, 3 tablespoons shoyu, and 1 tablespoon mirin. Combine these ingredients in a small saucepan, simmer for 1 minute, then cool to room temperature. Serve dipping sauce in small individual shallow dishes.
- Use the Tabs below to Select your Favorite Recipe...Bon appétit!
Planning a Sushi Party!
A Te-Maki party is a great way to entertain friends without the stress of a formal dinner. It's fun, easy, out of the ordinary, and delicious.
A wide variety of ingredients can be used. Here is a shopping list to use as a reference. Other ingredients, such as seasoned baked tofu, carrots, and natto can be added or substituted if desired. The amount you will need to buy will vary according to the number of people you are serving. Figure about 5 nori cones per guest (one cone uses ½ sheet of nori).
-Mitoku Sushi Nori
-Lundberg Sushi Rice
-Radish or sunflower sprouts
-English or pickling cucumbers
-Sushi grade fresh tuna, salmon, yellowtail, salmon roe, and/or king crab
-Mitoku Kanazawa Shoyu or a (light soy sauce)
-Mitoku Kyushu Brown rice vinegar
-Mitoku Mikawa Mirin
-Masu 100% Sea Water Sea Salt
At a Japanese market, you may be able to find fresh fish in pre-cut slices. It is more expensive than buying the fish by the pound, but you won't have to worry about cutting the fish into even slices.
Rice - Although you can use plain cooked rice, for an authentic Japanese flavor, scoop the cooked rice into a wooden bowl and sprinkle sushi vinegar over it. (For 3 cups of uncooked rice, use 1/3 cup brown rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon sea salt, and 2 tablespoons mirin. "Cut" the vinegar mixture into the rice with the side of a bamboo rice paddle or wooden spoon. (Do not stir it in, or the rice will become gummy.)
Sake - Heat the sake in sake flasks by placing the flasks in a pot of water and bringing the water to a boil until the sake is hot, but not too hot to drink.
Wasabi - About 10 minutes before you begin eating, in a small cup or custard bowl mix a small amount of water with the wasabi powder to make a paste (about 1 part water to 2 parts powder). The paste should be thick, not runny. Cover the container, or turn it upside down on the counter and let it sit for 10 minutes to allow the flavor to heighten. (Exposure to air will cause it to lose some of its flavor.)
Vegetables and Fish - Scrub the cucumbers (peel if skin is thick or waxed) and cut them into long, thin slices. Cut the avocado in half, remove peel and pit, and thinly slice. Arrange cucumber, avocado, sprouts, and thinly sliced fish on platters, with a small bowl or saucer of salmon roe at the center, if desired.
Sushi Nori - Fold and cut or carefully tear the nori sheets in half.
Set out the platters of fish and vegetables along with wasabi, rice, nori, shoyu, small saucers for shoyu, hot sake, sake cups, and napkins on the table.
To make Te-maki, place a piece of nori in the palm of your hand, spoon about 3 tablespoons of rice on it, and spread it out. With a small spatula or spoon place a thin streak of wasabi along the center of the rice (not too much - it is strong!). Then select whatever ingredients you wish to use. For example, add a slice of tuna on top of the wasabi and place some sprouts alongside the tuna, or try a combination of crab and avocado. Starting at the lower end of the nori, begin rolling it into a cone shape. Dip the top of the cone into a saucer of shoyu and enjoy!
Nori-Maki Hand Rolls
Makes 2 rolls (12-16 bite-sized pieces)
There is a knack to making good sushi that can be learned easily with a little practice. The key is the quality of the cooked rice, which should be slightly sticky and freshly cooked; it should be fairly cool but still contain some warmth. Take time to spread the rice evenly over the nori and to position the filling ingredients carefully. Roll up the nori slowly so the filling does not spill out.
Mitoku Virgin Light Sesame for deep frying
1/2 cup Mitoku Seitan (wheat meat), cut into pieces
2 sheets Mitoku Sushi Nori (toasted)
3 cups cooked Sushi or Brown Rice, slightly cooled
2 tablespoons natural prepared mustard
1/2 teaspoon Mitoku Kanazawa Shoyu
In a small, deep pot, heat 2 inches oil to 350°F. Squeeze excess liquid from seitan and deep-fry until slightly brown and crisp (about 2 minutes). Remove and drain on absorbent paper. When cool enough to handle, cut seitan into thin strips. Place one nori sheet on a bamboo sushi mat with the stripping of the mat running from left to right. Spread half the cooked brown rice evenly over the nori, leaving a clear 1/2-inch space at the bottom of the mat and 1 inch at the top. With a chopstick, make an indentation in the center of rice running from left to right. Mix mustard and shoyu together, and spread half of mixture evenly over rice. Place half of seitan strips in indentation across rice. Starting at the bottom, roll up the sushi mat around the ingredients, pressing the mat firmly onto the nori. While rolling, slowly pull the leading edge of the mat back so it does not roll into the sushi. Continue rolling until the uncovered end of the nori is reached. Dampen this edge slightly with water and complete rolling to seal the sushi. A final gentle squeeze of the mat around the sushi will ensure a tight roll. Prepare the second roll. With a sharp knife, slice each roll in half, and then cut each half into 3 or 4 rounds. (To prevent sushi from drying out, cut just before serving.) Arrange, cut side up, on platter or individual plates, and serve.
Noodle rolls require a delicate hand but are not difficult to make. When patiently and skillfully prepared, the reward is a beautiful, elegant, and tasty main dish. For variety, add other ingredients with the noodles to fill the rolls. Strips of fried tempeh or seitan, sauerkraut, blanched scallion greens, radish sprouts, and toasted and ground sesame seeds are excellent filling choices.
7 ounces uncooked Mitoku Ito-Soba (thin) or Mitoku Somen Noodles
4 sheets Mitoku Sushi Nori (toasted)
1-1 1/2 teaspoons Mitoku Wasabi (Japanese horseradish powder)
1 1/2 tablespoons Mitoku Kanazawa Shoyu
1 1/2 tablespoons water or soup stock
1 1/2 teaspoons Mitoku Mikawa Mirin
Cook noodles according to the directions on the package. Rinse under cold running water or in a cold water bath until cool enough to handle, then drain thoroughly. Once drained, neatly arrange noodles on a clean, dry towel. Spread them out in even lines from left to right.
Toast nori (or use pre-toasted sushi nori). Place one sheet of nori, toasted side down, on a sushi mat, small towel, or counter. Lay one quarter of the noodles side by side across the nori. (There should be 1/2 inch of uncovered nori at the bottom and the top.) Roll up nori as firmly as possible. Let the roll rest on its seam. Repeat with remaining sheets of nori and noodles.
Using a sharp knife (and cleaning the blade after each cut), carefully slice rolls in half, then cut each half into 3 equal pieces.
Make dipping sauce by combining shoyu, water or stock, and mirin in a small bowl. Place in small individual saucers. Add one drop of water at a time to wasabi, and mix until it forms a thick paste.
To serve, place noodle roll pieces, cut side up, on a platter along with mound of wasabi paste. Add wasabi to individual bowls of dipping sauce. Wasabi is strong-flavored, so begin by adding a small amount to sauce, then add more depending on individual taste.