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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 January 17, 2019

            8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

            8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

            In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

            Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

            Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

            Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

            Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

            The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

            There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

            How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

            According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

            Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

            Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

            The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

            Listen carefully:

            We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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            The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

            Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

            8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

            There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

            Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

            1. Pray Daily

            You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

            When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

            Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

            Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

            2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

            A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

            By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

            Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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            If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

            This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

            How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

            3. Smile Often

            Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

            Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

            Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

            The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

            4. Organize Your Working Desk

            A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

            When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

            Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

            Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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            5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

            I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

            Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

            What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

            6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

            God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

            I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

            I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

            7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

            You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

            How do you do that? This is my formula:

            First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

            If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

            If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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            If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

            Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

            8. Go Exercise

            Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

            The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

            You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

            12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

            The Bottom Line

            It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

            It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

            Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

            More Resources About Mindfulness

            Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

            Reference

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