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Kitchen Hack: Five-Minute Maki Sushi Rolls

Kitchen Hack: Five-Minute Maki Sushi Rolls

So you want to make a Maki sushi roll? Well, the good news is that you don’t have to go to culinary school nor visit with a Japanese Iron Chef to make a tasty Maki roll which is the most basic form of sushi making. All you need are some quality ingredients, a little patience and this guide.

What You Need Prior to Making Your Sushi

  • Sushi rice/short grain rice (you can use white, brown, black).
  • Nori
  • Piece of sushi-quality fish (unless you’re a vegetarian/vegan). Do not use regular fish from the super market unless you like food poisoning. The fish you use must be sushi-grade!!
  • Vegetables/Fruits – some popular choices are avocado, green onion, cucumber and mango.
  • Rice vinegar.
  • Bowl of water.
  • Sharp knife.
  • Bamboo mat. If you’re a beginner, this is probably a necessity as it’ll make rolling your sushi way easier.
  • Saran wrap. (You’ll want to use this to cover your bamboo mat).

Optional Things for Making Sushi

  • Rice cooker. This will make your life so much easier when making rice in general. You can also use a rice maker for making oatmeal or use it for some of these cool kitchen hacks.
  • Kombu kelp. This will give your rice that umame flavor.
  • Sesame seeds
  • Tobiko/flying fish roe.
  • Ginger (for the side – helps to clean the palate).
  • Wasabi and soy sauce (for dipping your rolls).

Making the Rice

Prior to making your Maki roll, you’re going to need to make your rice as this is the most important component to a great sushi roll. I prefer using a rice cooker as you can just set it and leave it, however you could cook your rice over a stove, though you’ll need to constantly keep an eye on it.

When I make my rice, I like to use a piece of Kombu kelp which I stick in my rice maker prior to cooking my rice. This is completely optional, however I find that it helps with giving your rice that umame flavor. 

After your rice is done, you’ll preferably want to put it in a wooden bowl so that when you use the rice vinegar, it doesn’t react with the bowl’s material. For a more detailed set of instructions on how to make the perfect sushi rice for your Maki roll, check out this sushi rice recipe.

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1. The Beginning of Your Maki Sushi Roll

Spread rice on the nori

     

    Your Nori sheet has a shiny and rough side; make sure to place the shiny side on your bamboo mat so that the rough side faces up. Lightly moisten your hands in a bowl of water to help prevent the rice from sticking to your hands and then take about a 1/2 cup of rice and place it on the center of your Nori sheet. (I typically like to use a 1/4 of a cup of rice to avoid eating too many starchy carbs in one sitting).

    2. Spread it Out

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    Spread the rice out without pressing down

       

      Gently spread the rice along the Nori but make sure not to compress it so that the rice doesn’t get mushy. Leave approximately two centimeters on the top uncovered as this empty space is needed to ensure that you’re able to close your sushi roll properly.

      3. The Fun Part

      Place ingredients in the center

        Now it’s time for the fun part! Place your ingredients of choice, either along the center or along the edge (it comes down to a matter of preference on rolling – in this tutorial, the ingredients are in the center). Let your imagination go wild – think about colors and taste as you place your ingredients. Just make sure not to put too many otherwise you will have a hard time rolling the sushi. A good rule of thumb is one piece of fish and 1 – 3 pre-cut slices of vegetables/fruits. You can even sprinkle sesame seeds or tobiko on the rice. Some people like to put a very thin layer of wasabi in the roll.

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        4. Roll Your Maki Sushi Roll

        Dampen a paper towel and lightly wet the edge of the Nori that has no rice on it. Use your bamboo mat to begin the rolling process and press lightly. As you press on the sushi mat, you want to make sure to apply even and gentle pressure, pressing the roll into a square shape. As you form a square, make sure to press on all the sides in the middle and then on the outer edges. Confused? No worries!! Watch the video tutorial above which will explain how to roll your Maki sushi.

        5. Cut the Sushi

        Cut Sushi Roll

          Take your knife and wet it slightly. Cut your roll in the middle and then take each of these halves and cut in the middle again. Repeat this process again and you’ll be left with 8 perfectly cut rolls.

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          6. Display Your Beautiful Maki Rolls

          Sushi Maki Rolls Final

            Put the rolls on a serving plate… bonus points for a wooden serving tray. Serve with ginger, soy sauce and wasabi.

            Stay tuned for a tutorial on making inside-out rolls! Let us know in the comments if you found this easy to do and what type of rolls you decided to make!

            Featured photo credit: Smit via shutterstock.com

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            Last Updated on March 13, 2019

            How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

            How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

            Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

            You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

            Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

            1. Work on the small tasks.

            When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

            Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

            2. Take a break from your work desk.

            Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

            Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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            3. Upgrade yourself

            Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

            The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

            4. Talk to a friend.

            Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

            Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

            5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

            If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

            Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

            Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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            6. Paint a vision to work towards.

            If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

            Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

            Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

            7. Read a book (or blog).

            The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

            Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

            Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

            8. Have a quick nap.

            If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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            9. Remember why you are doing this.

            Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

            What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

            10. Find some competition.

            Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

            Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

            11. Go exercise.

            Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

            Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

            As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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            Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

            12. Take a good break.

            Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

            Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

            Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

            Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

            More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

            Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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