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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 May 22, 2019

            10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

            10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

            There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

            One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

            In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

            Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

            1. Cat Camel Stretch

            Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

            Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

            Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

            Here’s a video to guide you through:

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            2. Go for a Walk or a Run

            This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

            Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

            The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

            Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

            Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

            3. Jumping Jacks

            Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

            Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

            4. Abductor Side Lifts

            Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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            Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

            5. Balancing Table Pose

            This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

            Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

            ablab

              6. Leg Squats

              Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

              Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

              The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

              7. Push Ups

              You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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              An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

              Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

              This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

              8. Bicycle Crunches

              There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

              Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

              9. Lunges

              Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

              Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

              This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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              10. Bicep Curls

              You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

              Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

              Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

              Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

              Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

              These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

              You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

              Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

              More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

              Reference

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