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Sushi – things to make and do

17 Sep

I’ve always been a bit of a Japan-o-phile and as such, a lover of sushi. I’ve tried many different places and if you’re looking to get some great and affordable food you could do a lot worse than go to the Japan Centre in London.

But how healthy is sushi and is it easy to make I asked myself. It looks pretty healthy and simple enough…

Well thanks to a sushi making class at Suzu and some desk research I have the answers I was looking for. 

Firstly the health.

On the up side:

Very loosely speaking, sushi is a combination of rice and seaweed topped off with raw fish and/or veg, so far, so good.

Fish is a great source of protein and is lean and low in saturated fats and cholesterol, making it good for your heart. Salmon, mackerel, herring and tuna are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce cholesterol and lower blood pressure.

Nori, the pressed seaweed sheets wrapped around the rice contain iodine, which is good for hormone function, magnesium, which helps build strong bones and iron which is used in the production of red blood cells  and helps stave off fatigue.  

Things to consider:

While a lot of sushi is healthy you need to watch out for mayonnaise and tempura  which are a source of hidden calories and fats. Also keep soy sauce to a minimum as it’s high in sodium, which counteracts the omega-3’s positive effect on the heart. Wasabi is OK, so if you like spice pile it on.

Fish can also contain high levels of mercury, which is a toxin, however the health benefits of fish far outweigh the risks, just don’t go overboard and be careful if you are pregnant.

Now the cooking, or not as the case may be…

I arrived at the class of around 15 people and sat at a place, which was set out with a rolling mat, some nori, salmon, avacado and cucumber, everything we needed to get started, well nearly.

After a brief introduction from our teacher, we were told how to make the sushi rice.

Making the sushi rice:

Start with three cups of rice, 660ml of water and 120ml of sushi vinegar

1. wash the rice some cold water

2. leave the rice in a sieve for a minimum of 30 minutes

3. put the rice in a pot with the water

4. cook on a medium heat for 10-13 minutes

5. Once the water has boiled turn down the heat and cook for 30 seconds

6. turn off the heat and leave for 10-15 minutes

7. drain rice

8. add the sushi vinegar spoon by spoon gently stirring

9. once the vinegar is completely soaked in leave the rice to dry

10. leave for a final 10 – 15 minutes

Preparing the sushi

We started with the seaweed on the sushi mat and spread a thin layer of rice over the nori, making sure it was evenly covered, with a gap at the top the width of our little finger. We then placed the cucumber horizontally along the middle and rolled the edge which had been covered in rice just over the cucumber so that it touched the rice. We then placed the mat on top of the rolled section holding the end with our left hands and pulling it away from us while pushing it down with our right hands, thus making a full roll. From there we simply cut the large roll into smaller maki.

The next lot of sushi was much more simple. We took a cherry sized lump of rice and put it into the crook of our fingers and squeezed it into a small oval shape. We then put a thin slice of salmon in the crook of our finger and put the rice on top and pushed the two together using the other hand.

We also went onto make california rolls, which were very similar to maki, but turning the nori and rice strip over before laying on the toppings.

So that’s what I’ve found out about sushi

Hope you like it

Good luck and good health,

Ni, the Supplementer