Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Learn How to Vacuum Sushi without Destroying it


Learn how to vacuum sushi without destroying it!

A little history
Sushi is a Japanese food consisting of rice, raw fish, seaweed and vegetables. Sometimes chefs also use fruits in the preparation of their sushi. In Japan, Sushi making is considered to be an art and it takes many years of practice and dedicated labor to master the art of Sushi making.

Sushi making is considered an art because the appearance and presentation of a plate of Sushi is as important as the taste.

What differentiates a good sushi from a perfect sushi is for many master sushi makers, the rice. Sushi rice must be firm but not gluey or mushy. The rice must be cooked but still have a crunchy like texture and every rice kernel should have the ability to stick together. On top of all that, every rice kernel must be shiny like they have individually been polished.

Sushi is still a pad of rice with a slice of raw fish but the impeccable rice, appearance and presentation on a plate, brand Sushi making an art and sets good Sushi apart from the perfect Sushi.

Originally Sushi was invented as a way to preserve raw fish. Thin slices of fish were layered between rice and salt, a weight was placed on top until the fish fermented. That was before refrigeration existed.  
Somewhere in the 18th century a Tokyo based chef, Yohei Hanaya, came with the idea to forget about fermenting the fish and started serving Sushi the way we are all familiar with.  

In Japan there are no less than 101 different varieties of Sushi and Sushi is a 14 Billion (USD) industry in Japan alone. Sushi is made with raw fish, cooked fish, vegetables and also meat. Well known varieties of Sushi are those with slices of tuna and salmon on top of rice. 

Sushi Maki

The rolled –up version, ‘Sushi Maki’, with cucumber and avocado is familiar to many as well, together with the ever popular California roll.

Making Sushi

You may be tempted now wanting to try making your own Sushi. The key as explained is the rice. With a sharp knife we can all get thin slices from a cut of salmon or tuna, but make no mistake cutting the fish correctly is an art as well. But let us stick to the rice for now.

To make the rice you need:
  • 326 grams short grain rice cooker cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

1. Wash the rice thoroughly and very carefully at the same time not to break any kernels.

2. When the rice is free of excess starch and the water is not cloudy anymore, drain and place in a rice cooker.

3. Add the water and let the rice cooker do its work. If you do not have a rice cooker, cook the rice on low heat in a covered stockpot but be careful not to burn the rice.

4. When the rice is cooked, allow it to steam- up for ten minutes, so do not remove the cover before these ten minutes have passed.

5. While the rice is cooking, combine the other ingredients making sure the sugar has dissolved. You can warm the mix in a microwave a bit if the sugar does not dissolve well.

6. Spread the cooked rice over a flat surface, a wide based bowl is best.

7. Call somebody to help you! You need to add the vinegar mix, ladle it carefully through and fan the rice, by hand, at the same time and you only have two hands.

8. The fanning is important, it helps to let the excess liquid evaporate with that you get a nice polished shine.

9. The Sushi rice is now ready for use.

10. Form a bit of the rice in an oblong shape in the palm of your hand and top with a piece of your favorite fish.

Here's the secret of vacuuming Sushi:

Most likely you have some left over rice. Vacuum the rice and freeze it for a next round of homemade Sushi.

Presumably you will have some fish leftovers as well and no immediate intended use for it. Vacuum the fish and freeze. It will stay in tip top condition for another round of Sushi this way.

In case you have used vegetables, most likely that must have been cucumber and avocado, well they do not freeze very well so I advise to add them to a salad served with dinner.

This is the perfect way to vacuum Sushi. 

When it comes to the ‘Great looking Fresh Sushi’ you made. 
Do not vacuum those.

Eat them as fresh as possible in honor of the….    ‘Art of Sushi making’.    

By: Marinus Hoogendoorn            


Annie Peters said...

The art of sushi making! I am so excited to try this recipe. I've always wanted to make sushi at home, but it has been a little intimidating for me as just a home chef. I'm really happy to hear how easy it is to vacuum seal the leftover rice and fish. I wish avocados lasted in the freezer, but I've noticed they turn brown very quickly too. One question I have for you, Marinus: Do you know approximately how long the sushi will keep after I've vacuum sealed it? Thanks in advance for your advice. Great blog!

Marinus said...

Oops, do not vacuum the sushi, as I mentioned. The sushi you make should be consumed freshly made.

The components will keep up to 3 months when frozen and up to 1 week vacuumed and chilled.

Rebecca said...

It’s helpful to know it will last 3 months in the freezer. I think I’ll vacuum pack and freeze a lot of extra fish and rice, that way it’ll be less time-consuming on the day that I actually attempt to make Sushi for the first time. I can basically just start putting it all together with the fresh cucumbers and avocados. I’m eager to try it. Thanks for writing this post!

Kim said...

I never thought to use a vacuum packer on sushi ingredients. That's great! Because last time we made sushi I made as much as I was willing to eat and felt awful throwing the rest away. Thank you for the rice recipe, too. Our rice came out kind of weird and fell apart but then again we bought the store bought “sushi rice”.

Derreck said...

Ah, thank you so much for including a recipe. I’ve always wanted to make sushi. Would vacuum sealing work with any type of sushi?

Mason said...

What a novel idea! How long can vacuum sealed sushi be left in the freezer?

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