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how to make sushi rice & pickled carrots

January 16, 2013

speedy sushi and quick pickled carrots

It all started with a bushel of good intentions.

Run daily. Only one piece of cake per day. Do your work. Sleep well. Hydrate.

And then New Year’s Eve tumbled into a sad and sorry New Year’s Day tumbled into a three (!) week long cold (starting on Boxing Day, for those who think my mathematical skills are somewhat lacking) tumbled into watching all of the Mad Men and David Attenborough and tennis that a body can handle before stumbling off to get more Thai takeaway.

Oops.

What I planned on doing for you (well, for me) was a series on quick, tasty, not-too-expensive, not-too-bad-for-you meals that would get you past the past-Christmas-credit-card-blues and all of that ham.

(Will the ham ever be done with? My bets are on no).

And the plan looked to be a total, dismal, sad and sorry could-have-been until I remembered a little gift that I’d received just before the silly season hit.

A hamper full of easy dinner in the form of assorted sushi.

speedy sushi and quick pickled carrots

The key to the speed at which I was able to make sushi rice – enough to feed four hungry tummies – is the SunRice Sushi Rice pictured above.

Yes, it was given to me, but those of you who regularly read this here blog would know that I wouldn’t even think about letting you know about it if I didn’t think it was the bees’ knees. (And no, I’m not getting paid to make sushi rice either).

The low down? 2 minutes in the microwave + 2 tbsp sushi vinegar and all you need to do from then is rock and roll.

speedy sushi and quick pickled carrots

Salted salmon and avocado, ginger beef and pickled carrot, pickled carrot & cucumber made up my selection of Norimaki (海苔巻き), each cocooned in a sheet of seasoned nori.

My favourite though (to make and to eat) were the temarizushi (手まり寿司), or rice balls, peppered with Japanese rice seasoning, stuffed with salted salmon and topped with a dollop of wasabi infused Kewpie.

speedy sushi and quick pickled carrots

temarizushi

 

temarizushi
Cuisine: Japanese
Serves: 10 balls
 

These rice balls make great finger food. Their shape and sturdy nature means they can be packed in lunchboxes too without fear of them falling apart mid-school day. Just wrap each ball in a piece of cling film and twist at the top to seal. This recipe makes 10 balls.
Ingredients
  • 1 packet SunRice Sushi Rice
  • 2 tbsp sushi vinegar (from a Japanese or Korean grocery store)
  • 2 tbsp Japanese rice seasoning powder
  • Kewpie mayonnaise (optional)
  • Your choice of filling (tinned tuna, fried fish, cooked mince)
  • 1 sushi ball press (available from Daiso for $2.80)

How to make it
  1. Microwave the rice in its bag for 2 minutes. Tip the contents of the bag out into a bowl and add the sushi vinegar. Mix well with a rice paddle.
  2. Add the Japanese rice seasoning and mix well with a rice paddle.
  3. Put enough rice in the sushi ball press to fill it to half way. Make a dent in the rice and place the filling inside the indent.
  4. Fill the sushi ball press to the top with more rice and place the lid on. Squeeze the two halves together.
  5. Remove the lid and pop the rice balls out. Top with mayo.

 

quick pickled carrot
 

This condiment can be served alongside sushi, as you would normally serve pink pickled ginger, or put inside a sushi roll for a crunchy, piquant hit.
Ingredients
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp white sugar

How to make it
  1. Peel the carrots. Using a vegetable peeler, run the blade along the side of each carrot to produce long, thin strips until you reach the core.
  2. Place the vinegar, water & white sugar into a snap lock bag. Add the carrot, seal and shake well.
  3. Squeeze as much of the air out of the bag as you can and seal. Leave the carrot to pickle for at least 20 minutes before using.

 

norimaki
Serves: 8 pieces
 

I made three rolls from each packet of sushi rice and cut them into 8 rounds apiece. You can purchase nori (the outer seaweed wrapping) from most supermarkets.
Ingredients
  • 3 sheets of nori
  • 1 packet of SunRice Sushi Rice
  • 2 tbsp sushi vinegar
  • your choice of fillings (I used pan fried salmon, ginger beef left over from the night before, carrots, cucumber & avocado)
  • a sushi rolling mat (purchased from local Asian grocer)

How to make it
  1. Prepare your fillings first. Chop the vegetables into thin strips. Shred any meat you may be using. Also, get a bowl of cold water and stick it on your benchtop. This will help you with the rolling process later.
  2. Microwave the rice in its bag for 2 minutes. Tip the contents of the bag out into a bowl and add the sushi vinegar. Mix well with a rice paddle.
  3. Place one sheet of nori on your sushi rolling mat. Plop one third of the rice in your bowl in a line about 3cm up from the bottom of your nori sheet. Squish it flat with wet hands and form an indent along the middle.
  4. Place the filling in the indent along the middle of the rice line.
  5. Using the mat, carefully roll the nori around the rice until it has formed a neat roll.
  6. Chop the ends off (for neatness, cook’s treat!) and slice each roll into eight rounds. Serve with pickles, soy sauce & wasabi.


  • #1
    Narelle Rock
    January 16th, 2013

    I would make vegetarian sushi, carrots, cucumber, avocado and a bit of chilli.

  • #2
    lugeman
    January 16th, 2013

    I would go a “Kariforunia rooru” (aka California roll).Inside out stuffed with blue swimmer crab, avacado and Tamagoyaki. All dressed with sesame seeds and roe. As Dr Dre says… “California knows how to party”

  • #3
    Joey
    January 16th, 2013

    I’d make an inside out soft shell crab roll. with julienned cucumber, tobiko roe and mayonnaise. rolled on roasted black sesame seeds..Mmmm…

  • #4
    January 17th, 2013

    I’ve never seen the temarizushi before, but it looks really interesting (kind of like an onigiri but round?) I have a massive sushi craving now haha, I think I would make aburi salmon and scallop sushi with plenty of kewpie mayonnaise!

  • #5
    January 18th, 2013

    That really is super quick sushi! Think I need to give this a go. Sometimes i refrain myself from getting store bought sushi as you really dont know how long its been sitting there..

  • #6
    Jade
    January 18th, 2013

    I would make the simple yet satisfying onigiri, triangular Japanese rice balls wrapped in nori.

    For the filling, I would mix canned salmon with some mayo and salt and pepper. Next, I would sprinkle some roasted sesame seeds on the top for added flavour and that wonderful fragrance =)To round out the meal, I’d serve the onigiri with soy sauce, wasabi, and slices of cucumber and apple!

  • #7
    January 18th, 2013

    Looks fantastic Shez! Glad you are on the mend. I think I would actually make your temarizushi if I won. This looks to be the easiest way to get those lovely ingredients into my mouth!

  • #8
    January 21st, 2013

    that sushi looks so simple and delicious, it has been a while since i last made sushi at home! shall give this a go again!

  • #9
    Aaron S
    January 23rd, 2013

    Spicy crab! A little mayo, sriracha and surimi crab is so simple. Put it in a roll, on a roll, next to some rice, on a cracker, etc…

  • #10
    helen
    February 4th, 2013

    What about poor kiwis? :) )

Shez