Have you ever had one of those days when you just can’t be bothered to cook, and you’ve invited a few friends over? Don’t be tempted to order in food, instead why not get your friends involved. Growing up, there would be times my mum ‘cooked’ us Temaki Sushi. I thought it was fun that we could choose our own filling and make it ourselves, but now I realize it also gave her a much needed rest.
Recently I have had a few Temaki Sushi parties just as a way of bringing everyone together for a meal. Everybody brings their own fillings to share and that way we have lot’s of different flavours and variety. Obviously I don’t expect people to bring their own rice, so I’m sorry but there is a little preparation, unless you want to only eat seaweed, veg and fish! Not only is this fun for your friends but if you have children, it’s a great way of getting them to cook too.
I have four classes called in my ‘Sushi at Home’ course, that are normally in the evening, so my students generally arrive hungry. As a fun introduction and to get focused, I often start with Temaki Sushi, because its so fast and easy to make. In each class I use different fillings, but the most popular ones are spicy tuna and prawn with avocado sauce, or sea bream ceviche with yuzu sauce and mayo.
Enjoy mixing your own ingredients and develop your own ideas. Temaki sushi is the perfect mix of gourmet food and a sort of easy going Japanese taco night.
Let’s get rolling!
Photography by Keiko Oikawa, originally published in Sushi at Home by Penguin
Shiso Leaf & Umeboshi Temaki Sushi Hand Roll – 梅ときゅうり手巻き
Umeboshi are pickled plums, found in jars in most Japanese homes. My grandparents had an ume (plum) tree in their garden and made their own pickles. I love to use umeboshi in sushi as they have a very sour taste that works well with other ingredients, such as cucumber and aromatic shiso leaves. They are also eaten with rice or as a side dish. As with jam or chutney, everyone has their own family recipes for umeboshi, but you can buy them ready-made at Asian supermarkets and some health-food shops.
Makes 4 rolls
a bowl of cold water for your hands
a 4cm-long piece of cucumber
4 teaspoons of ume paste, or 4 whole umeboshi (stones removed)
2 sheets of nori
4 small handfuls (roughly 200g) of sushi rice
4 shiso leaves
Cut the piece of cucumber lengthways into 4 and remove the seeds carefully with a spoon or a knife. Cut the sticks lengthways into half again, so that you have 8 sticks of cucumber. You will need 4 sticks for this recipe, so wrap and store the rest for 1–2 days to use in other sushi. If you are using whole umeboshi, mash them with the back of a teaspoon.
You will be able to see some thin lines on the nori seaweed sheets. Following one of these lines, cut each sheet in half using scissors, but be very careful as the sheets break easily. Place a half-sheet of nori shiny side down on your hand, with a short edge closest to you.
Wet the fingers of your other hand in the bowl of water, and shake off any excess. Damp fingers help when using sticky sushi rice. Pick up the small handful of rice and quickly spread it over the bottom half of the nori sheet. It does not have to be spread as neatly as the other types of rolls in this book. Place a stick of cucumber, diagonally in the middle of the rice, with an umeboshi and a shiso leaf on top.
Bring the bottom corner of the nori that is closest to you over the filling, to meet the rice on the other side, making a triangle. You can then roll the plain side of the nori sheet around it to make a nice ice-cream-cone shape.
Umeboshi can have a very strong acidic and salty flavour, so you might not need to use soy sauce as a dip when you eat your roll.
idea of fillings- Fish and seafood: Salmon, Tuna, Prawn, Smoked mackerel or salmon, Herbs and vegetables; Lettuce, chives, coriander, cucumber, avocado, pickles.
This Temaki Sushi recipe is taken from my book “ Sushi at Home”by Penguin.
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News: Pop along to my demonstration at Harrods: 19th of December 12pm-5pm – Gourmet Kitchen Department (up on the 2nd floor)