Can you believe that it's almost christmas?
My uni exams stole a whole chunk of my November, so I was pleasantly surprised to find Christmas decorations everywhere when I came out of my studying shell and entered the real world! Christmas and New Year is by far my favourite time of the year- there is something indescribably joyful about hearing the sounds of Christmas carols and seeing beautiful Christmas trees and other decorations everywhere!
With so much Christmas spirit in the air, I can't quite get it off my mind and have been making plans for a Christmas themed cake....but it's probably a bit early for that!
1. Cake decorating- not with fondant and everything but just making them look nicer or more presentable.
2. Sushi making- which is of course, the subject of today's post.
I've been terrible at making sushi for as long as I can remember. Whilst I've had practice from helping my mother out since I was young, my rolls have always been much too loose, lop-sided and pretty much terrible no matter how much effort I put into making them. Even my friend's first attempt at sushi was better than mine!!
To be honest, I wasn't too fussed at my lack of sushi making ability until I discovered decorative sushi, where the pattern is found inside the sushi, when you cut it open. The idea itself was very intriguing, but I was even more amazed when i searched online to find beautiful designs, including my personal favourite, the apanman sushi. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a wonderful sushi book when I was in Hong Kong, which introduced me to more beautiful (and mostly simple) designs- and it was quite detailed and easy to follow!
I started off making panda shapes, since it looked simple enough, with only two colours that I had to mix (black from sesame powder and brown from a homemade soy-based sauce). Making decorative sushi is a little different to making normal sushi, in that you sort of pile everything up into its shape before rolling together and the roll is much larger than normal. It's also important that the sushi is packed nice and tight, or else the picture will not show properly- which was difficult for me since my rolls have always been too loose.
The rolls are larger than normal sushi rolls, and my first ones accidentally turned out massive- so big that I needed an extra half a sheet of seaweed to cover the outside of the roll! My second ones were a lot better and manageable- even if the shape didn't turn out as defined as those in the book :)
To be honest, these were much nicer to look at than to eat- after all, it's just a roll of rice! I thought the sesame and rice combination was rather weird- both in taste and texture. It's less noticeable when you're not eating the sushi by itself (I ate it with my leftover tuna), so I guess I'll just have to think of more things to accompany the rolls! I'll definitely be making my way through this book in the next couple of weeks, and should hopefully see an improvement in my sushi making skills ;) Maybe I'll even get the photograph the making of the sushi rolls for you to see!
So unfortunately, there's no recipes or instructions today, but I will leave any of you experienced sushi makers with a question:
How do you get a clean cut on your sushi rolls? I already used my sharpest knife (and I'm pretty sure it is very sharp) and wiped away all the sticky stuff on it before making another cut! I'm thinking it might have something to do with the fact that the rice is loose?
Thanks in advance for any suggestions :)