Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Making Maki

This barely counts in my Japan prep-course, because a) I don't think anyone's going to demand I make them food while I'm there, and b) the sushi-party was thrown entirely in the interests of good times and deliciousness, not education. But I got all three out of it, and some good pictures and advice, as well. If you are curious as to how it's all done, I can try to share what the party-throwers told me, below. Keep in mind though, I was only told once, I was nervous trying to do something dextrous in front of strangers, and my googling powers are only so great. So take this all with a grain of salt (or rice?)

First you need a maki su or sushi rolling mat (a mat of little bamboo sticks/that thing on the bottom layer in this picture). On that you put a sheet of delicious nori (dried seaweed). You cover two-thirds of that with a layer of sushi rice, which is both a specific kind of white short-grained rice and a recipe for mixing said rice with sushi or rice vingar. You flatten the rice on with this flat paddle-shaped spoon the name of which I can't find, and then you are ready to start adding toppings.

The toppings can be whatever you want, unless you are hanging out with snobs. Here, our toppings are salmon, avocado, carrots, and fish roe. It was delicious.
Then, you roll. The secret to rolling is a) keep it tight (this was repeatedly emphasized, to the point where I suspected a joke I didn't get. I can sense those, you know), b) use your fingers to tuck errant fillings inside, and c) take your time. This is not a rolling race.

Then, when it's all rolled but the riceless nori-flap, you stick your fingers in a glass of water and moisten the inside of the flap, like an envelope and seal the thing shut. Ready to slice into rolls which maybe fall apart a little, but still taste delicious and don't get photographed because this is when your camera dies. Which is fine, because at this point, one wants all available hands free for eating.

I hope everything I do relating to Japan is this entertaining and delicious.

Is the world so big / it make you feel small?


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