#sushiweek: DIY sushi!

Today’s post will be about how to make your own onigiri (Japanese for rice ball) in a few easy steps! It’s very simple and fun and we made these in school for lunch.

Sprinkle a generous amount of Japanese seaweed seasoning
Sprinkle a generous amount of Japanese seaweed seasoning
  1. Cook 2 cups of Japanese sushi rice and leave it in the fridge overnight so that it’s cold and sticks better together.
  2. Sprinkle your favourite type of Japanese seaweed seasoning (you can buy it at most mega supermarkets). We recommend buying the seasoning that comes in resealable packaging as it’ll be easier to keep.
  3. Mix the seasoning well
  4. Scoop the rice into onigiri moulds which we got at DAISO for $2 each

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To prepare the ingredients in the moulds:
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It's a simple and fun way to enjoy food with your friends!
It’s a simple and fun way to enjoy food with your friends!
  1. Prepare the ingredients on a plate. We used canned tuna. (Edit: You can add other ingredients like egg mayo, bonito flakes, grilled salmon, or eat it plain! Almost anything goes well with onigiri.)
  2. Wet the inside of the onigiri mould so that the rice sticks to it. Fill half the mould with rice, add the ingredients and then top it with more rice.

Finally, push the flap to release the onigiri from the mould and wrap it with a strip of seaweed. We bought packs of seaweed snacks that came in strips from the supermarket and they fit perfectly around the rice balls!

Doesn't that look amazing?
Doesn’t that look amazing?

It was a wonderful way to destress from all the projects and IAs due in school that week. The best part was that we had fun together and the onigiri turned out to be very filling.

Oishi! 


– Nomster Ally

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#sushiweek: The Koh Grill and Sushi Bar

The Koh Grill and Sushi Bar is a cozy restaurant tucked away in the corner of Wisma Atria. Complete with the Japanese vibes and the open concept for their kitchen, the restaurant is sure to grab your attention as you walk past. The chefs expertly char the salmon over the open flame, visible to their customers. The restaurant is very well laid out, and gives the appearance of being extremely spacious and comfortable, with its interestingly placed mirrors. Overall, it was a restaurant environment you would not want to leave for a while.

Without much deliberation, we ordered the Shiok!! Maki!, the signature dish we had heard so much about. Needless to say, it did not disappoint. The dish was, while confusing, an extremely pleasant cacophony of flavours. The dish was presented as 8 rolls sitting on the cream sauce, topped with a generous heap of roe. Pickled ginger was placed on the side to accompany it.

Shiok Maki
Shiok Maki

The combination of eel and mayonnaise-like sauce was an absolute delight to our taste buds, although we did think the sauce was a bit too creamy and sour and left a not-so-pleasant aftertaste.  While the roe was able to provide texture to the dish, we did find it a little overwhelming, as there was so much roe and the taste was quite overpowering.

The presentation of the sushi, was, arguably, better than the dish itself. The aesthetics were definitely enough to make your mouth start watering, and we could not wait to dig in.

The sushi costs $16.80, but we felt the portions were not worth the price we paid.

Overall, the sushi itself, besides the sauce and roe, was tantalizing and if you ever want to indulge yourself, this is the place to go!

Rating: 4/5

-Nomsters Cordelia and Amrit

FUN FACTS ABOUT SUSHI

Let’s take a look at some fun facts about our favourite Japanese dish!

  1. The wasabi you are served in sushi restaurants is most likely not real wasabi. It’s a combination of horseradish and mustard powder dyed green to look like the real deal.
  2. Sushi is supposed to be eaten with your fingers. Chopsticks are for sashimi. Get it right.
  3. Wasting soy sauce is bad form. Put the teensiest amount in your dish and top it up as necessary. Your wastage will be frowned upon.
  4. Do NOT dip the sushi rice in soy sauce. It will fall apart in your cup. Turn it upside down and dip the fish instead. Celebrate good form.
  5. 80% of Blue Fin Tuna caught in the world is made into sushi and sashimi
  6. Sushi chef’s knives are sharpened every single day to ensure paper-thin slices of fish
  7. The term “sushi” refers to the vinegar rice, NOT the fish
  8. Mixing wasabi with soy sauce can be offensive to the chef
  9. Western styles of sushi incorporating bizarre foodstuff like beef, okra and avocado are frowned upon and rarely actually found in Japan.
  10. Good sushi rice is sticky and chewy, but not too much so

– Nomster Tori

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THE ORIGIN OF SUSHI

Sushi, though often synonymous with Japan, did not actually originate from Japan. In fact it was first developed in South East Asia as a way to preserve fish in fermented rice. It then spread to South China before making its arrival in Japan around the 8th century.

As refrigeration had not been invented yet, the people needed a way to keep fish fresh. They would first salt the fish, and then wrap it in fermented rice to prevent the fish from spoiling. Afterwards, the fermented rice would be discarded and only the fish inside would be consumed. When it reached Japan, the Japanese would ferment the sushi with Sake, their form of rice wine.

The Japanese loved to eat Namanare during the Muromachi Period. It consisted of partly raw fish wrapped in rice and consumed fresh before its flavour changed. Then, in the Edo period, Haya-zushi was introduced, allowing both the rice and dish to be eaten at the same time. This made a special mark in the Japanese culture, as rice was no longer used just for fermentation.

Thus, this dish was no longer just a preservation method, but a new addition to Japanese cuisine. People began adding fish, vegetables and other dried food wto rice mixed with vinegar. This would evolve to become the type of sushi that you and I are familiar with today.

It is said that sushi has changed the Japanese way of life and cuisine. For example, the Japanese began to consume three meals a day. They also began boiling rice instead of steaming it, and soon after, rice vinegar was invented. Sushi was initially created as an inexpensive fast food to cater to the people of Edo. It proved to be a commercial success from the beginning. When Japanese businesses started to expand into the US in the late twentieth century, more and more sushi restaurants were set up to serve the Japanese living there. Other than catering to the Japanese, sushi chefs in the US tried to introduce sushi to the locals. This proved to be a challenge as people were not comfortable eating raw fish. However, fusion sushi, also known as the California Roll, was soon created to cater to the tastebuds of Americans. It did not contain raw fish and was the best introductory sushi to them. With the revolutionary California roll, more and more people began to eat sushi, slowly progressing to the original raw fish form as well.

California Roll

Upon reflecting on sushi’s rich history and how it has developed over the years and evolved to suit people’s tastebuds, I think we can say that, as sushi lovers, we can’t wait to see how sushi will evolve in the future! 🙂

– Nomster Tricia

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