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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 November 5, 2019

            How to Cultivate Continuous Learning to Stay Competitive

            How to Cultivate Continuous Learning to Stay Competitive

            Assuming the public school system didn’t crush your soul, learning is a great activity. It expands your viewpoint. It gives you new knowledge you can use to improve your life. It is important for your personal growth. Even if you discount the worldly benefits, the act of learning can be a source of enjoyment.

            “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” — Mark Twain

            But in a busy world, it can often be hard to fit in time to learn anything that isn’t essential. The only things learned are those that need to be. Everything beyond that is considered frivolous. Even those who do appreciate the practice of lifelong learning, can find it difficult to make the effort.

            Here are some tips for installing the habit of continuous learning:

            1. Always Have a Book

            It doesn’t matter if it takes you a year or a week to read a book. Always strive to have a book that you are reading through, and take it with you so you can read it when you have time.

            Just by shaving off a few minutes in-between activities in my day I can read about a book per week. That’s at least fifty each year.

            2. Keep a “To-Learn” List

            We all have to-do lists. These are the tasks we need to accomplish. Try to also have a “to-learn” list. On it you can write ideas for new areas of study.

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            Maybe you would like to take up a new language, learn a skill or read the collective works of Shakespeare. Whatever motivates you, write it down.

            3. Get More Intellectual Friends

            Start spending more time with people who think. Not just people who are smart, but people who actually invest much of their time in learning new skills. Their habits will rub off on you.

            Even better, they will probably share some of their knowledge with you.

            4. Guided Thinking

            Albert Einstein once said,

            “Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.”

            Simply studying the wisdom of others isn’t enough, you have to think through ideas yourself. Spend time journaling, meditating or contemplating over ideas you have learned.

            5. Put it Into Practice

            Skill based learning is useless if it isn’t applied. Reading a book on C++ isn’t the same thing as writing a program. Studying painting isn’t the same as picking up a brush.

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            If your knowledge can be applied, put it into practice.

            In this information age, we’re all exposed to a lot of information, it’s important to re-learn how to learn so as to put the knowledge into practice.

            6. Teach Others

            You learn what you teach. If you have an outlet of communicating ideas to others, you are more likely to solidify that learning.

            Start a blog, mentor someone or even discuss ideas with a friend.

            7. Clean Your Input

            Some forms of learning are easy to digest, but often lack substance.

            I make a point of regularly cleaning out my feed reader for blogs I subscribe to. Great blogs can be a powerful source of new ideas. But every few months, I realize I’m collecting posts from blogs that I am simply skimming.

            Every few months, purify your input to save time and focus on what counts.

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            8. Learn in Groups

            Lifelong learning doesn’t mean condemning yourself to a stack of dusty textbooks. Join organizations that teach skills.

            Workshops and group learning events can make educating yourself a fun, social experience.

            9. Unlearn Assumptions

            You can’t add water to a full cup. I always try to maintain a distance away from any idea. Too many convictions simply mean too few paths for new ideas.

            Actively seek out information that contradicts your worldview.

            Our minds can’t be trusted, but this is what we can do about it to be wiser.

            10. Find Jobs that Encourage Learning

            Pick a career that encourages continual learning. If you are in a job that doesn’t have much intellectual freedom, consider switching to one that does.

            Don’t spend forty hours of your week in a job that doesn’t challenge you.

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            11. Start a Project

            Set out to do something you don’t know how. Forced learning in this way can be fun and challenging.

            If you don’t know anything about computers, try building one. If you consider yourself a horrible artist, try a painting.

            12. Follow Your Intuition

            Lifelong learning is like wandering through the wilderness. You can’t be sure what to expect and there isn’t always an end goal in mind.

            Letting your intuition guide you can make self-education more enjoyable. Most of our lives have been broken down to completely logical decisions, that making choices on a whim has been stamped out.

            13. The Morning Fifteen

            Productive people always wake up early. Use the first fifteen minutes of your morning as a period for education.

            If you find yourself too groggy, you might want to wait a short time. Just don’t put it off later in the day where urgent activities will push it out of the way.

            14. Reap the Rewards

            Learn information you can use. Understanding the basics of programming allows me to handle projects that other people would require outside help. Meeting a situation that makes use of your educational efforts can be a source of pride.

            15. Make Learning a Priority

            Few external forces are going to persuade you to learn. The desire has to come from within. Once you decide you want to make lifelong learning a habit, it is up to you to make it a priority in your life.

            More About Continuous Learning

            Featured photo credit: Paul Schafer via unsplash.com

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