Making Homemade Sushi

I absolutely love healthy food, and sushi is definitely my number one favorite. Dating back to the second century, sushi was originally used as a way to preserve the food.The fish was placed in rice, to ferment, which allowed people to keep the fish edible for a longer period of time. Later, the rice would be thrown away and the fish eaten. Clever or what?

Since then, sushi went through a lot of changes, and evolved from a very simple to a very elaborate meal, going from being served at food stalls to being served at some of the best restaurants around the world.

I believe every dish tastes even better when you make it at home, with a lot of love, so last year, I’ve decided to give it a first try. And it worked beautifully, so I want to share my first experience of making homemade sushi.

I know it might seem hard to make, for a beginner, but practice makes perfect, so you can try as many times as you want, until you’re happy with the results. Actually, I was surprised to see my rolls look pretty decent on the first try (beginner’s luck I guess).

What I love most about sushi is probably the preparation process. It teaches you patience in order to turn your food into a piece of art. Maybe this is why I like it this much 🙂 Besides, the longer you wait, the better it taste, so in the end, it’s worth it!

Maki rolls

Ingredients (for 4 rolls):

  • sushi mat
  • 1 cup sushi rice (short-grain rice)
  • rice vinegar
  • 4 nori sheets
  • cream cheese
  • 1 pack smoked salmon
  • 1 avocado, halved, stoned, peeled, sliced intro long strips
  • one carrot sliced into thin long strips
  • one egg for an omelette
  • soy sauce
  • wasabi paste
  • pickled ginger
  • sesame seeds


Preparation:

sushi_instructions1. Cook the rice with vinegar – after boiling it should have a sticky texture – then divide it into 4 equal portions.

2. Cut the salmon and omelette into 1 cm wide strips. Peel the avocado, half it, then cut it into long strips.

3. Put the sushi mat on a cutting board with the slats running horizontally. Place the first nori sheet, shiny-side down, on the mat.

4. Spread the first rice portion evenly, on the nori sheet, leaving a 2 cm wide border along the edge furthest away from you.

5. Place the salmon, egg and / or avocado strips on the rice, 1 cm away from the border closest to you. You can add wasabi, in case you want to make your rolls spicy, cream cheese, ginger.

image_16. Holding the filling in place, roll the mat over to enclose the rice and filling.

7. Repeat with the remaining ingredients for the other 3 nori rolls.

8. Use a sharp knife to slice the sushi rolls into 1.5 cm thick slices.

Excited to see the first rolls look edible, in spite of being told it’s not nice to do this at the table, I’ve decided to play with the food, and see what else I can achieve. Let’s just say the results were delicious 🙂

Inside Out Rolls

Next, I made an inside out roll, for which I turned the nori rice side down, facing the mat, and added the filling directly on the nori, closing it using the mat, and coating the rice roll with sesame seeds. You can see how they turned out like, after slicing the rolls, in the last picture of the post.

Sesame Seeds Maki Rolls 

I absolutely love the sesame seeds sushi, so I had to try making some of these, as well.

I usually leave these for last, as the mat gets dirty and sticky, so you can’t use it anymore for the nori rolls.

sseedssushiHere’s how you make them:

1. Place the sesame seeds on the mat, for the entire length of a roll, twice the size of a sushi roll, in width.

2. With your fingers, place the rice carefully on the sesame seeds, until you cover them completely.

3. Place the filling ingredients, in the middle of the roll.

4. Use the rolling mat and bring the two ends together.

5. Use a sharp knife to slice the sushi rolls into 1.5 cm thick slices.

Nigiri

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These are tricky, because you have to get your hands dirty 🙂 No other way to do them, but they are definitely worth it!

Here’s how I make them:

1. Take one spoon of rice, and shape it in your hand, until it looks like in this picture.

2. Use the egg, salmon strips and add them on top of the nigiri.

3. You can cut 1 cm long strips of nori, and wrap the middle nigiri with them, so it holds the filling into place. Remember to add water to the nori first, become cutting the strips, so it becomes soft, otherwise it will break.

4. Voila! 🙂

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I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and you will find the tips and tricks useful, for when you decide to make it at home. Bon appetit!

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Doggy’s Birthday Party – Happy 12th Birthday, Lisa!

DSC_3606The day I’ve been looking forward to, for quite a while, has finally arrived:

Lisa’s Birthday Party!!!

Everything started with making the birthday cake, of course. I didn’t had to hide, because she had no idea it’s for her. I guess this is the advantage of planning a birthday party for the furry kid 🙂

Choosing a cake was very hard, but I’ve decided to go for her favorites (outside the meat department): carrots, bananas, peanut butter and the never-missing treats.

Birthday Cake Recipe 

Sponge Ingredients (I used the blender to mix them) :

  • half a large banana
  • 1 egg
  • 5 gr baking powder
  • honey (optional)

Filling:

  • peanut butter
  • apple sauce
  • 1 boiled carrot
  • small size doggy treats

making the cake

The cake had 4 tiers, the size of a small coffee plate, all cooked in a no-stick frying pan. For the filling, I’ve used the boiled carrot, cut into thin slices, and the peanut butter / apple sauce, as glazing.

I’ve used the remainder carrot to write her name on the top tier, being very grateful her name isn’t Marmaduke or Scooby Doo, or something even longer.

Next on the list, bringing the cake to the birthday girl. Blowing out the candles – thank you Violeta for your help – and making a wish, followed shortly by her favorite part: eating the yummy cake, what else?

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My wish for her was to live for many many years and be as healthy as a dog can be.

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Opening the birthday gift box – exciting!

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Last, but not least, giving the birthday cuddles and kisses.

image_1By the looks of it, she absolutely loved the cake, the treats, the extra attention, so I’ll call this a total win! 🙂

Happy Birthday to our sweet Lisa, and to many more to come! xo

Broccoli Christmas Tree

With the holiday season approaching fast, I’d like to share with you my favorite type of Christmas Tree. Building one myself feel much more rewarding, and besides, it’s edible!

What you need

1 broccoli flower head

1 large carrot

1 yellow bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

toothpicks

knife

Instructions

1. Take the carrot and place it on a plate or cutting board.

2. Starting with the largest broccoli heads, place them on the carrot, starting at the base and work your way up, securing them with toothpicks.

3. Cut the bottom of the yellow bell pepper and using a knife, shape a beautiful star. Using a toothpick, place the star on the top of the carrot.

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4. Cut the red bell pepper in half, and then into thin slices. Use the slices as the Christmas Tree’s tinsel.

5. Using the remainder bell peppers, cut them into small pieces, and decorate the rest of tree.

6. Sit back and enjoy 🙂

DSC_3482 Even if it doesn’t look perfect, I think it’s pretty good for a first try. My guests definitely enjoyed it. What do you guys think?