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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 September 16, 2019

            How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

            How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

            You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

            We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

            The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

            Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

            1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

            Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

            For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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            • (1) Research
            • (2) Deciding the topic
            • (3) Creating the outline
            • (4) Drafting the content
            • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
            • (6) Revision
            • (7) etc.

            Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

            2. Change Your Environment

            Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

            One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

            3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

            Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

            Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

            My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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            Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

            4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

            If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

            Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

            I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

            5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

            I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

            Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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            As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

            6. Get a Buddy

            Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

            I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

            7. Tell Others About Your Goals

            This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

            For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

            8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

            What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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            9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

            If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

            Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

            10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

            Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

            Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

            11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

            At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

            Reality check:

            I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

            More About Procrastination

            Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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