Sunday, November 30, 2008

Making Your Own Temaki (Handrolls)

california roll ingred

A great way to enjoy sushi at home without all the fuss of rolling and slicing, is to make temaki sushi (handrolls). Temaki sushi is simply sushi rice with various toppings on a rectangular piece of nori seaweed, which is then rolled up into a cone-shape (imagine an ice-cream cone, where everything is inside the cone instead of on top, although I shudder a little at making that comparison). 

Your temaki sushi may be as beautiful or as ugly as you wish - mine turned out so ugly I couldn't bear to photograph them, but their looks didn't detract from the taste. Anyway, the whole point of making these handrolls is to enjoy the sushi, without worrying about how it looks. As presentation in sushi is usually very important, making ugly handrolls for private home consumption is actually quite liberating...

This is also a great dinner party suggestion, where guests can roll up their own temaki handrolls - it's interactive, and great if you have fussy eaters or a mix of vegetarians and carnivores at the table... Also, you can prepare all cooked meats/seafood, so those wary of raw Japanese food can also enjoy this dish... 
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What you need to make your Temaki Sushi (handrolls):
  • A pot of sushi rice (Maki at Just Hungry has detailed instructions on how to make sushi rice. If you are lazy like me though, I just cook some white, short-grained Japanese rice using a rice cooker, then mix in a little sushi vinegar and stir through whilst rapidly fanning it);
  • Rectangular sized pieces of nori seaweed (you can buy them in long rectangles - look for pictures of temaki sushi on the packet - or you can buy large squares of nori and cut it into half);
  • Sauces - Japanese mayonnaise (eg. Kewpie), soya sauce, wasabi;
  • A platter of fillings for the handrolls. There are a huge variety of fillings that you can add, and feel free to be as traditional or as non-traditional as you wish. Just slice everything up into strips. Here's what I had on my platter -
Imitation Crab sticks
Tonkatsu Pork (I cut the pork into strips first, then battered and fried it)
Fried Egg (cut into strips)
Tobiko (flying fish roe)
Teriyaki Chicken
The various combinations of handrolls I made were:
California - avocado, cucumber, crab sticks, egg, tobiko and japanese mayonnaise;
Teriyaki Chicken - teriyaki chicken, cucumber, egg, avocado and mayo;
Tonkatsu - tonkatsu pork, cucumber, avocado, mayo.
Other suggestions for handroll fillings:
Raw salmon or tuna (buy sashimi quality fish, and slice them up into long strips)
Canned tuna (with mayonnaise)
Canned salmon
Crab meat
Prawns (boiled or battered)
Butter lettuce
  1. Scoop and flatten some sushi rice onto one end of a rectangular piece of nori seaweed. 
  2. Lay the fillings on top of the rice.
  3. Roll up the nori seaweed with the rice and fillings inside to form a cone-shape.
  4. Dip the handroll into a little soya sauce mixed with wasabi (optional) and eat!

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