As the heat of the day really starts to kick in over summer, there is nothing I crave more than a plate of fresh sushi and a cold glass of white wine. Sadly, during the week it is unlikely I can snaffle a glass of wine on my office lunch break. Nor was there anywhere in the vicinity of the office that sold sushi.
But with the introduction of international food aisles to the likes of Sainsbury’s and Tesco, supermarkets have really stepped up the range of Asian food staples on offer. Although this doesn’t yet include fresh sushi grade fish, it does mean that packets of Nori seaweed sheets and sushi rice are readily available.
Here’s a refreshing change to your packed lunch. Give it a try.
Nori seaweed sheets (1 large sheet for 2 rolls)
400g Sushi rice
Smoked salmon slices, cooked prawns, ocean sticks or cold chicken strips.
Salad (soft rocket leaves or lambs lettuce)
Sushi rolling mat or baking paper.
Wash the sushi rice gently in a sieve using cold water, rinsing out any lose starch and dirt. Place in a saucepan filling with cold water (about half a pint) no further than 2/3 of the pot. Bring the pot to the boil and then immediately turn the heat down to simmer gently for 15 minutes with a lid. Remove from the heat and leave to stand and cool completely.
Lay out the Nori seaweed sheet onto your rolling mat or baking paper. Following one edge of the sheet, spread and flatten out a line of rice just over an inch wide, before making a shallow trough along the centre of your rice. If you find the rice is sticking too much to you as you do this, use wet fingers dipped in rice wine vinegar. Into the trough lay the main filling – salmon, chicken, prawns or even a mix. Then top with a light helping of salad and a drizzle of mayonnaise. Now with dry hands lift the seaweed sheet using the sushi roll mat or baking paper to help, and roll to make a tight cylinder of rice and filling in a seaweed outer shell. Place fold side down on chopping board and slice the roll to your desired length. Cut into inches for bite sized party aperitifs or longer for single snacks.
Braver sushi aficionados can spread a little wasabi paste on to the nori which will act like glue and keep the roll from unravelling.
Making fish cakes with a home made tartare sauce is as easy as mashed potato. Prepared in advance summer starter for a dinner party, lunch time snack, or quick and easy main course – these little ocean beauties will give you a healthy little dose of Omega 3 and are a darn site healthier than cardboard fish pockets you get down the local chippy.
New Potatoes (half a small bag or about 1kg)
Crab meat (2 dressed crabs fresh or 1 tin – white and/or brown meat)
1 tin of salmon (tinned often works better in this case – holding the cake together.)
Small bunch of coriander
1 spring onion
2 slices of stale white bread
1 beaten egg
In a pot of salted water, boil the potatoes to a soft mash-able texture. Leave the skins on – they contain plenty of nutrients. Drain.
Finely slice the coriander and spring onion and mash these into the potato. Add the salmon and crab meat and mix through. Leave to cool.
When the potato mix is cool make small patties; the size that fits comfortably in your hand. Or fill the inside space of a 2-inch diameter cookie cutter and push out carefully onto a plate. Do this until all your mix are in cake form. Cover with cling-film and leave to firm up and chill in the fridge for at least half and hour. (You can, at this point, freeze the patties for a later date – just make sure they are fully defrosted when it comes to cooking)
Reduce the stale bread to breadcrumbs in what ever way you please. Blitz them in a blender or freeze them and bash them out in advance. Place in a shallow dish, next to a beaten egg on a plate.
When slightly firmer, the fishcakes are ready to fry. Roll each side gently in the beaten egg and then turn them through the breadcrumbs to coat them evenly. Fry each side in a little oil for five minutes or until a nice brown, turning gently with a spatula or palette knife.
Set the cakes aside on a baking tray and keep warm in the oven on a low heat (120º) until they are ready to eat.
Serve with home made tartare sauce which is just 3:1:10 ratio of chopped capers to chopped parsley to mayonaise accordingly. Or some Thai sweet chilli sauce is great too.
Simple food out in town – Often only as good as the company you share it with.
Having frequented Yo!Sushi so much so that we are recognised and welcomed as regulars by the lovely manager, it was not long before the curiosity to attempt making sushi at home set in. A timid, yet well formed first attempt of salmon and prawn nigiri and vegetable maki. Tip: mould the nigiri rice after wetting you hands in rice vinegar. The grains do not stick quite as much.