For detailed instructions on shaping sushi, this is a great website Sushi Basics . My most successful was the Spiral Roll. It turned out really well. Following the instructions for cooking the rice is critical. I had not given a thought to the importance of the rice. But after all, it is the largest ingredient in sushi.
The toppings I used for the nigiri were Carolina jumbo shrimp, teriyaki carrot slice, avocado, shashimi tuna, steamed green pepper, carmelized navel orange and omelet. Check out the wasabi in the dish! Isn't that cute. I found that idea online and liked it.
The following recipe is an adaptation from Daring Cooks, And, if followed to the letter, it really works and makes perfect sushi rice.
Makes about 7 cups of cooked sushi rice. Prep time – 1 ¾ total consisting of rinsing and draining (35 min), soaking (30 min), cooking and steaming (25 min), finishing (15 min).
2 ½ cups uncooked sushi rice
2 ½ cups water
3 “ square of dashi konbu (or kombu) dried kelp seaweed, optional
2 ½ tsp sake
1. Swirl rice gently in a bowl of water, drain, repeat 3-4 times until water is nearly clear. Don't crush the rice in your hands or against the side of the bowl because dry rice is very brittle.
2. Gently place rice into a strainer and drain well for 30 minutes.
3. Gently place the rice into a heavy medium pot with a tight fitting lid (if you have a loose fitting lid use a piece of aluminium foil to make the seal tight). Add 2½ cups of water and the dashi konbu. Set the rice aside to soak for 30 minutes, during this time prepare the sushi rice dressing.
4. Sushi vinegar dressing – 5 T rice vinegar, 5 t sugar, 1 ¼ t salt. Mix together in a pan and heat until sugar and salt are dissolved. Set aside at room temperature until needed.
5. After 30 minutes of soaking add sake (if using) to the rice. Bring rinsed and soaked rice to the boil. Reduce heat to the lowest setting and simmer, covered, until all the water is absorbed, 12-15 minutes. Do not remove the lid during this process. Turn off heat. Let stand with the lid on, 10-15 minutes. Do not peek inside the pot or remove the lid. During this time the rice is steaming which completes the cooking process.
6. Finishing the rice has 3 stages – turning out the rice, dressing the rice, and fanning the rice.
7. Moisten lightly a flat thin wooden spatula or spoon and a large shallow flat-bottomed non-metallic (plastic, glass or wood) bowl. Do not use metallic objects since the vinegar will react with it and produce sour and bitter sushi rice. Remove the dashi konbu (kelp) from the cooked rice
8. Use the spatula to loosen gently the rice and invert the rice pot over the bowl, gently causing the cooked rice to fall into the bowl in one central heap. Do this gently so as not to cause the rice grains to become damaged.
9. Slowly pour the cooled sushi vinegar over the spatula onto the hot rice.
10. Using the spatula gently spread the rice into a thin, even layer using a 45° cutting action to break up any lumps and to separate the rice. Don't stir or mash rice. After the rice is spread out, start turning it over gently, in small portions, using a cutting action, allowing steam to escape, for about a minute.
11. Continue turning over the rice, but now start fanning (using a piece of stiff cardboard) the rice vigorously as you do so. Don't flip the rice into the air but continue to gently slice, lift and turn the rice occasionally, for 10 minutes. Cooling the rice using a fan gives good flavour, texture and a high-gloss sheen to the rice. The vinegar dressing will be absorbed by the hot rice. Using a small electric fan on the lowest speed setting is highly recommended.
12. Stop fanning when there's no more visible steam, and all the vinegar dressing has been adsorbed and the rice is shiny. Your sushi rice is ready to be used.
13. Cover with a damp, lint free cloth to prevent the rice from drying out while preparing your sushi meal. Do not store sushi rice in the refrigerator leave on the counter covered at room temperature. Sushi rice is best used when it is at room temperature.
14. Cover with a damp, lint free cloth to prevent the rice from drying out while preparing your sushi meal. Do not store sushi rice in the refrigerator leave on the counter covered at room temperature. Sushi rice is best used when it is at room temperature.
* Tip: To make sushi rice: for each cup of rice use 1 cup of water, 2 Tbs rice vinegar, 2 tsp sugar, ½ tsp salt and 1 tsp sake. For superior results use equal volumes of rice and water when cooking the sushi rice since the weight of rice can vary. Weight of 2½ cups of uncooked rice is about 525 grams or 18½ ounces.
* Tip: While the rice is draining, soaking and cooking prepare your rice vinegar dressing, sushi fillings and toppings.
* Tip: Photo series on How to Cook Rice with a Pot http://www.sushiencyclopedia.com/how_to_make_sushi/how_to_cook_rice_with...
* Tip: Photo series on How to Make Sushi Rice with Tools You Already Own http://www.sushiencyclopedia.com/how_to_make_sushi/how_to_make_sushi_rice
NOTES: Sushi Rice – choose a short or medium grain rice. Do not use Arborio, long-grain, or parboiled white rice. Medium-grained calrose is a suitable rice. Rice expands (about 3 times) when cooked so make sure your pot is large enough. Washing the rice removes the rice flour that coats the rice and gives a fresh flavour and scent to the cooked rice. Look for rice that is labelled 'sushi' rice. Cooked sushi rice can be placed in plastic bags and frozen for 3 months, microwave when needed. Cooked sushi rice should be sticky, shiny and the individual grains of rice can been see. Price: AUS $4/KG.
Dashi konbu – or ( dashi kombu) – dried kelp, it looks like broad, leathery, wrinkly greenish ribbon often coated with a white powder. The darker green the leaves, the better the quality of kelp. Dashi konbu adds a refreshing light ocean taste to sushi rice. Price: AUS $1.50 for ten 3”(75mm) squares.
Caterpillar Roll (Dragon Roll