Tuesday, May 3, 2011


With the recent natural calamity that has enveloped Japan, my heart sincerely goes out to the nation, the people and the victims of the beautiful land. One thing that the world has learnt about Japan is their stoicism, civility, courage and discipline even in the face of disaster, the magnitude of it beyond anyone's imaginations, ever.

Needless to say, the Japanese's courage in the face of adversity have earned eternal respect from the world over. And it's with hope that they'll rise once again, for they are the one and only, the Land of the Rising Sun. Let's continue to pray for Japan and its people.

Here's a tribute to 1 of the most-loved Japanese dish (it's origins isn't from Japan though), a nutrition-packed one-dish meal, the sushi.


Sushi Rice:
1 cup of Japanese sushi rice grains (California rice)
1 cup of water

Method for cooking sushi rice:
- Soak the rice for 30 minutes before cooking
- Cook as how u’d cook normal rice i.e. 1 cup of rice grains : 1 cup of water.
- 1 cup of rice grains would yield 3 rolls of sushi. So if u intend to make more rolls, just cook the rice proportionately.
- When rice is cooked, leave it to cool (not cold) before mixing in the sushi rice vingear evenly. Rice needs to be warm to absorb the rice vingear.
- You need about 1 cup of cooked rice for each roll.
- Use a wooden or plastic spoon so that rice does not stick while mixing or scooping.

Sushi Rice Vinegar:
1/2 cup rice vinegar
4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp soya sauce
*OR just use ready mixed sushi rice vinegar
(200ml for 3 cups of rice. so if 1 cup of rice it will be approximately 70ml of rice vinegar)

Method for sushi rice vinegar:
-Mix all the ingredients for sushi rice vinegar, boil over low heat till salt and sugar dissolve then leave to cool.

Dressings/Dip Recipes:

i. Yoghurt with Tomato Paste(1 portion serving)

3 tbsp Natural Yoghurt
1/2 – 1tbsp tomato paste

ii.Mayonnaise with orange juice(1 portion serving)

3 tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 – 1tbsp orange juice (Best to use concentrated juice)

For both of these dressings, blend well till mixture is smooth. Dressing can be spread on rice before putting other ingredients like crabmeat, eggs, etc. Can also be used as the dip.

place the rolling mat first, then a piece of plastic/baking sheet on the rolling mat then nori (seaweed)
nori-matt surface on top and in landscape position
before rolling

spread the rice over 2/3 of nori, no need to seal the air gap after spreading the rice. then spread the dressing that u'd like eg. wasabi or yoghurt or mayonnaise dressing.

next, the ingredients on the rice, u can basically use anything. here, i used the standard crab roll, japanese cucumber and pickled radish.

Roll the mat once over to the other end of the rice.and pull the mat at the opposite side tightly to give the sushi its shape

california maki

ready to be served

or perhaps, u'd prefer tuna roll. :)

Additional and educational information:

1.Nori(Seaweed) is an excellent source of iodine, calcium and iron, all 3 which are important in maintaining a healthy blood and bone structure. It is also rich in vitamins A, B12, and D, which is otherwise present only in animal products.

2.Vinegar has the power to alter proteins and destroy bacteria. Adding sugar to sushi rice vinegar prevents the acidic vinegar taste from being too dominant.

3. Soy sauce is highly recommended as a natural fermented food and is better than salt, sugar or synthetic seasonings.

4. Pickled Ginger(Gari or Shoga) is eaten to refreshen your mouth between 2 pieces of sushi.

5. Horseradish(Wasabi) helps to bring out the flavour of the sushi. Do not use too much wasabi because it numbs the palate and conceals the subtle flavour of the food. Wasabi is an excellent source of Vitamin C.

6. Green tea is the most appropriate drink with sushi. It removes the aftertaste and freshens the mouth for the next serving.

7. Nori wrapped sushis should be eaten first since the crispness of nori does not last long once it comes in contact with moisture, which explains why the rice needs to be cooled first before spreading on nori to retain a certain degree of crispiness of the nori.

Nutrition experts regard sushi as a well-balanced, healthy food because it contains many nutrients including minerals and vitamins which would otherwise be partially lost while cooking.

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