Sunday, 29 September 2013

Week 33- Making Maki My Way

Sushi and Sashimi- restaurant version
Sushi is very trendy at the moment. It's healthy and pretty- and very tasty too.

I ate in a sushi restaurant in the summer and had some gorgeous dishes, as you can see here.

It occurs to me however that this delicacy is not just a classy-looking meal- it can be cheap too, especially if you use leftovers and less specialized ingredients.

For example, instead of nori seaweed sheets- how about wrapping in spinach leaves?

Or instead of sushi rice- leftover cooked rice, seasoned well?

And what about using smoked salmon trimmings instead of premium slices?

With this idea in mind, I've made a cheapskate's version of a Japanese meal- sole and salmon maki with miso soup to start, followed by mixed sushi and sashimi main dish and sweet maki rolls for pud.

In each case, you can contrast the restaurant dish with mine. I guarantee you two things- mine won't look so pretty but will cost a fraction of the price.

First of all, the sole and salmon maki.

I used fresh lemon sole (£1 each) , using 1 small fish (4 fillets) for two people. You can buy the fillets ready done of course but it's not that hard to do yourself, and much cheaper.

Lay the fish on a chopping board and make a long incision down to the bone, Then with sweeping strokes of your knife, gently cut the fillet away from the bones. Freeze the leftover fish skeletons in a plastic container for making stock or soups.
Filleting a lemon sole
Once you have your fillets, you are ready to assemble your maki rolls.

Lay spinach leaves on a rolling mat or tea towel (J cloths are good). Place your sole fillets on top. Lay a small slice of smoked salmon over the top, or use smoked salmon trimmings, and then roll up.

Now give each roll 1 minute at 650w in the microwave, slice and serve with a bowl of miso soup (1 tablespoon of miso paste dissolved in 500 ml of boiling water.)

Sole and salmon maki 

Restaurant version- £5.95
My version- 63p
The next course is easy too. Make 3 different sorts of yummy bits: I've copied the restaurant dish at the top of the page by doing some sushi rolls, and two different sorts of sashimi (rice topped with prawns or salmon).

This time, for the sushi rolls I have used nori sheets - (approximately 20 p each, but blow the expense for once!)
For the rice, I've used cooked short grain rice, mixed with a little rice wine vinegar and some dry sherry (or saki if you have it). Any sticky rice is good- leftover risotto would be interesting, sort of fusion sushi. Might give that one a try.
I used blanched red pepper slices, smoked salmon trimmings (£1.50 per pack in supermarkets) and cucumber to jazz up the fillings.

So, as before, lay the nori out on the mat or tea towel.
Brush with water to make it sticky and then work quickly before it curls up- spread over some rice, add some strips of cucumber, salmon or pepper (or tuna, or avocado or even cooked carrot if you have any of these to use up).

Ready, steady, roll - and slice.

Use the rest of the rice for the sashimi.

Line a small rectangular dish with cling film and oil it very lightly with vegetable oil.

Press the cooked and seasoned rice down into the dish and chill.

Using a sharp, wet knife- cut small oblongs of rice. Lift out the cling film and lay each of the pieces on your serving dish.

Top with a butterflied cooked prawn or slices of smoked salmon.
My sushi and sashimi- £1.25  for two

Now for the piece de resistance- the pudding!

In the restaurant, we had sweet maki rolls: bean curd pancakes, filled with sliced banana and topped with swirls of Nutella. My version uses up some leftover coconut rice pudding (remember I told you to put some aside last week), some stewed blackberry and maple syrup to garnish. Use your imagination, and your store cupboard to come up with any version you like.

Lay a crepe on your rolling mat: I've cheated and got one ready made here because I'm sure you don't need me to show you how to make a pancake. Warm is best though, as the crepe is more pliable when freshly cooked.

Spread on your rice pudding (or sliced banana and toffee sauce for a ban-ushi roll/ Nutella and cream cheese/ toffee apples/ anything you like in a pancake!), then some fruit.

Roll up, slice, stand on it's ends and garnish with syrup, sauce, cream, ice cream whatever you want!

It's a sweet maki- but maybe not as you know it, Jim!
Restaurant version- £6.50 - worth it though!

My version is a bit scruffy- but it was a first attempt.
My version- 30p- but a bit meagre
They look a bit underfilled with just maple syrup on the top- so a swirl of cream or chocolate sauce would have helped. I bet you could do better.

I look forward to seeing the photos!

どうぞめしあがれ (douzo meshiagare)

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