Embarking on my Asian adventure is like stepping into a whole new universe to me. The people, the sights, the atmosphere—it was a sensory overload in the best possible way. And of course, the cuisine! It’s like a kaleidoscope of flavors, each dish telling a unique story. I had a chance to discover this cuisine through Thai noodle soup.
Now, let’s talk about Japan, my first stop on this culinary journey. I could say that Japanese cuisine is an art form, meticulously crafted and deeply rooted in tradition. From the delicate balance of flavors to the precision in presentation, every meal feels like a work of edible art.
So here I was, extending my stay in Asia, not just for the breathtaking landscapes or the vibrant culture, but primarily because every meal feels like a journey of its own. And in Japan, my journey began with the exquisite world of sushi.
Maki sushi recipe
Speaking of Japanese cuisine, sushi is a dish I cannot miss. With a history spanning over 1,200 years, this traditional dish is one of the most famous dishes in the world.
Sushi is a dish that combines vinegared rice with various ingredients, which can include seafood, vegetables, and occasionally tropical fruits. One of the key elements of sushi is the rice, which is seasoned with a mixture of rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. This not only adds flavor but also gives the rice a slightly sticky texture, making it easier to shape and handle.
There are different types of sushi, each type has various ingredients and appearance. They all taste good, but some of them are too complicated for me to do. So, I chose the easiest one – Maki Sushi.
There are 3 types of Maki Sushi, divided by size: Futomaki (the biggest), Chumaki, and Hosomaki (the slimmest). Hosomaki roll is the smallest in size, usually with only one type of filling. On the other hand, Chumaki and Futomaki sushi have many types of fillings and are quite big in size.
I decided to make the thin rolls – Hosomaki Sushi. For the filling, I thought the fried egg was my best option. It’s simple and easy. I was struggling a little bit with the rolling things to make a tight, compact roll with a bamboo mat called a makisu. After a few times, I nailed it, although it didn’t look so good. So, here is how to make Maki Sushi:
Maki Sushi with fried egg and vegetables
- 1 cup sushi rice
- 2 sheets nori seaweed
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1/2 cucumber julienned
- 1 boiled carrot julienned
- 1/2 avocado sliced
- Soy sauce for dipping
- Cook the sushi rice according to package instructions.
- While the rice is still hot, mix it with a mixture of rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Allow it to cool to room temperature.
- In a non-stick pan, scramble the beaten eggs until fully cooked. Set aside.
- Place a bamboo sushi rolling mat on a flat surface. Put a sheet of nori, shiny side down, on the mat.
- Wet your hands to prevent sticking and take a handful of rice, spreading it evenly over the nori, leaving about 1 inch of nori on the top edge.
- Arrange a line of cucumber, carrot, avocado, and fried egg along the bottom edge of the rice.
- Carefully lift the bottom edge of the bamboo mat with the nori and rice, and roll it over the filling tightly. Seal the edge with a bit of water.
- Using a sharp knife, moisten with water to prevent sticking, and slice the roll into bite-sized pieces.
- Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients.
Different types of sushi
As I mentioned above, there are many types of sushi. Besides the Maki Sushi, here are some of the popular ones:
- Nigiri Sushi is one of the most common sushi types. This classic sushi consists of small mounds of vinegared rice topped with various slices of raw or cooked fish and sometimes draped with a thin slice of seaweed (nori). The simplicity of nigiri allows the quality of the ingredients to shine through.
- Chirashi Sushi: Chirashi, meaning “scattered,” is a bowl of sushi rice topped with an assortment of sashimi, vegetables, and other ingredients. It’s a colorful and vibrant dish, offering a variety of flavors and textures in each bite.
- Temaki Sushi: Temaki, or hand rolls, are cone-shaped sushi rolls with nori seaweed on the outside. They’re typically filled with a combination of rice, fish, vegetables, and sauces.
- Oshi Sushi is a style originating from Osaka, where ingredients are pressed into rectangular molds, creating compact, layered blocks. The pressed sushi is then sliced into bite-sized pieces.
- Uramaki Sushi: Uramaki, or inside-out rolls, feature rice on the outside and nori on the inside, typically with a layer of sesame seeds or fish roe. This style is opposite to the Maki Sushi, which allows for creative combinations of ingredients and is often seen in popular rolls like the California roll.
- Gunkan Sushi: Gunkan, meaning “battleship” in Japanese, refers to sushi resembling a battleship with a seaweed “belt” wrapped around the rice. These small cups of rice are often filled with ingredients like seafood, fish roe, or other flavorful toppings.
- Inari Sushi is a sweet and savory delight, consisting of sushi rice encased in a pocket of marinated and slightly sweetened tofu skin.
Each type of sushi offers a distinct eating experience, from the simplicity of nigiri to the vibrant complexity of Chirashi and the playful nature of temaki. Whether you’re a sushi traditionalist or an adventurous eater, the world of sushi has something to offer for you.