The boys ADORE sushi. Going to sushi train for us is ex.pen.sive. Up there with yum cha in that they have NO off switch. Still – I reconcile their addiction with the fact they’re relatively easy to make at home and fall into the “really good for you” category.
The unspoken simply expected rule in this house is that I will make fried chicken to go in the rolls. I could pretty much fry anything and the boys would eat it but MY GOODNESS put some fried strips of chicken in front of them and it’s like twilight at the watering hole.
I’ll give you a quite guide to the fried chicken:
- marinate it in some teriyaki or soy and it lifts the flavour very nicely
- get a little station set up with a bowl of POTATO starch (have to have to have to use this – it is THE flour to use when it comes to frying stuff if you want a cripsy outer shell. Yes cornflour will work but it’s not the same), a bowl of lightly beaten eggs, a bowl of your crumb of choice. In the picture below I just used packet breadcrumbs (I know, I know. I even HAD homemade breadcrumbs in the freezer but in this case a fine crumb works best) but they really are in a different league if you use panko crumbs. My local supermarket doesn’t stock them. It irritates me.
- Get your wok all fired up and pour in enough oil to come up the sides and give the chicken room to move once you start cooking. Now here’s another COMPLETE revelation to me thanks to Ruth at Gourmet Girlfriend – Rice Bran Oil. It has REVOLUTIONISED my frying capabilities and basically eradicated my fear of the fry. It has a much higher smoking point which means stuff cooks better in it without burning the outside and being raw inside, I think.
And I must say here – frying is not the healthiest option in the universe, but in making this chicken when I drain the oil out of the wok afterwards it is obvious that the amount of oil absorbed by the chicken is minimal.
- Make a lot of chicken in one go. Yes it is time consuming but it means you will have left-overs for lunches and/or dinner the next day. I file this under ‘winning’.
So, you’ve got your chicken which you’re going to slice into thinner strips and all your other fillings – carrot, cucumber, shallots, baby corn, capsicum, whatever takes your fancy.
- 4 cups rice
- 1 litre water
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 4tblsp caster sugar
- 1tsp salt
- Mix the rice wine vinegar, caster sugar and salt together and set aside.
- Rinse the rice until the water runs clear the place in a saucepan with the water. Bring it to the boil and once you see little tunnels in the rice appear and most of the water is absorbed turn the heat right down, put the lid on and steam for 10 minutes. Then take off the heat, keep the lid on and let it sit for another 5 minutes.
- Tip the rice into a shallow tray and pour over the vinegar mixture. Keep turning the rice to ensure it’s all covered and to cool the rice down.
So now you’re going to take your seaweed sheet and spread rice over most of the sheet. Leave a small line at the end which is handy for when you roll it up. Don’t be stingy with the rice and don’t overload either – you’ll work it out.
Then choose your fillings and lie them in a row across the rice about 1/3 of the way from the bottom. Don’t go crazy – one single width of each filling if you’re using a variety, a few more if just going with one.
Take the bottom of the roll and then turn over the filling – don’t stress about this step, you’ll be using your fingertips to keep the fillings in place as your palms and thumbs pull the seaweed sheet over them.
You want the roll to be nice and tight so when you eat it it doesn’t fall apart.
But you know what? If it falls apart it is OK. You’ll get more adept at it with each roll.
And there you have it – you made your own sushi! Serve with a little dipping dish of soy, some wasabi, pickled ginger and a cup of delicate Japanese green tea.
Get onto it will you?
OH, other things that you can make to round the meal out: