If I had to say what my favourite food is, I’ll probably have to say Japanese food. When I was a kid, I hated fish, especially Chinese style fish (eg the steam and fried fish you get at Chinese restaurants). Up till today, I’m still not a fan of it and would avoid it as much as possible. However, weird as it sounds, I loved sashimi – raw tuna being my favourite! When we were staying in Mauritius, we had a family friend who was the best sashimi chef. The raw tuna that goes through her knife, comes out thinly sliced, fresh and “melts” in your mouth. Hhmmm….In Malaysia, my favourite place for Japanese buffet is at the Renaissance Hotel. In my opinion, they have THE best jap buffet! They have a wide selection of japanese food – ranging from sushi, california rolls, sashimi, teppanyaki, desserts etc. Yum! Unfortunately, Tassie had no good jap restaurant until lately. When Orizuru first opened at Mures Fish Centre, they were really good. Sadly, the quality of the food there has dropped tremendously. Thankfully, Kawasemi opened in Moonah or else, there goes my source of good jap food.I learned to make sushi in my first year here. Over the years, after trialling over and over again, I’ve come to realise that the best way to prepare sushi rice is in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Remember to cool the rice fully. DO NOT ever serve hot sushi rice.Ingredients:
- 300g Japanese short grain rice
- 330ml water
- 4 tbsp Japanese rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Japanese bean curd/tofu skin
- A few sheets of nori seaweed
- Fresh raw salmon/tuna
- Wasabi and soy sauce
- Wash rice and drain well with a sieve. Put the rice and water in a saucepan, cover the lid and bring to boil over medium heat. When you hear the sound of boiling coming from the pot, lower the heat and allow it to simmer for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to stand with lid on for another 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, prepare the vinegar mixture. Heat vinegar, sugar and salt in a saucepan till sugar and salt dissolves. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- Transfer the rice into a large, clean bowl. Slowly pour the vinegar mixture into the rice and with slicing motions, coat the rice with the vinegar. Set aside to cool completely.
- Boil carrots to soften them then slice into thin slices. Slice avocado and raw salmon/tuna into thin slices. Bring a kettle to boil and soak prawns for about 5-10 minutes.
- Prepare a bowl of water with a few drops of vinegar in it and lay out the sushi mat. Wet your hands with the vinegar water (this is to prevent the rice from sticking to your fingers). Place a sheet of seaweed and use your hands to spread rice evenly. The filling is laid out at the bottom of the seaweed. With your finger, spread some wasabi along the rice. Place carrots, wasabi, prawns/tuna/salmon across horizontally.
- Slowly lift the mat with the seaweed and ingredients and lightly press and roll at the same time. As you roll, lightly press the sushi so the shape forms properly.
- Cut into thin slices with a sharp knife that’s been wet slightly with the vinegar water. Lay out on serving plate.
- Use your hands and form small rice rolls. Spread a little wasabi and top with a slice of raw salmon/tuna.
- Drain inari sheets properly. Form medium size rice rolls and slowly slit open the middle compartment. Stuff it with the rice roll and spread a little wasabi. Seal the edges and lay out on serving plate.
- Serve with wasabi and soy sauce (and preserved ginger slices if you want). Itadakimas!