When we are dieting for weight loss, it seems that our snacks choices are limited. It's salad, sandwich or instant meals bar. And although sushi is indeed one of the best choices for diet snack, it is too much hassle to make sushi by our own. And sushi never comes cheap! Chawan mushi might be a great appetizer but preparing chawan mushi can be a tedious job.
But there's actually a variation of sushi which is easy to make at home. In fact, it's easier to make this sushi variation compared to grilled salmon. And best of all, there's no fancy ingredients required. Although you will need Japanese rice, but that one is also easy to get.
In order to make it "low carbs" you can use brown rice instead of Japanese rice. I have seen a lot of restaurants swap Japanese rice with brown rice and the taste is still great although slightly different. This sushi variation dish is called temaki. Temaki comes from Japanese word which means "hand roll". That's why it's easy to make, we don't have to use any tools beside our hands. Here's the temaki recipe:
Don't let the beautiful appearance of Temaki deceives you. Temaki is actually a very simple dish. There are three main parts which are important in making Temaki. The first part is rice. Japanese rice (japonica rice) is the essential ingredient of Temaki. Although some people do not mind eating Temaki made from other rice but I prefer to use Japanese sushi rice. We will cover more about how to cook the rice for the best result.
Temaki is rich in protein because of the nori. Nori is an excellent protein source and since Temaki just use a few spoons of rice the carbs are not much also. If you use fish as fillings, then you will get the omega 3 fatty acid bonus. Temaki is a complete low carb, high protein, good fat diet snack which is easy to make.
The second part is the filling. There are tons of varieties here. You can use scrambled egg, caviar, avocado, crab stick, raw fish, cucumber, beet, shrimp, cuttle fish, smoked fish and many more. My favorite filler is raw salmon fillet.
The third part is the wrapper. Temaki uses nori (seaweed) as the wrapper and you should make sure you buy the large paper size nori instead of small nori.
4 cups of Sushi rice
4 sheets of nori seaweed
Fillings of your choices
1 cup of Sushi vinegar
Dashi soup stock
1. Use the instant ichiban dashi powder to make your dashi soup stock. Just mix the powder with boiling water and then let it cool.
2. Then soak the rice with water and rinse the water repeatedly until the water becomes almost clear.
3. Drain the rice and let it dry for a while before putting it in your rice cooker. Soak the rice (but don't over soak it)with your cooled dashi soup stock and turn on the rice cooker.
4. While the rice cooker is working, prepare the sushi vinegar. It would simplify things if you can get instant sushi vinegar, but if you don't, it's not hard to make either. Mix 1/4 cup of cider vinegar with 1 teaspoon of mirin (Japanese rice wine), 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Mix them on light fire until the the salt and sugar have been dissolved.
5. After the rice has been cooked, quickly plough the hot rice while moving them to small bowl. Then mix the vinegar to the rice while you are ploughing the rice. This ploughing will make the rice cool faster. Plough until the rice is not dazzling hot.
6. Then it's time to make the temaki. Cut the paper size nori into half and put some tablespoons of rice and the fillings in the middle of nori. I used raw salmon and tuna fillet with cucumber as fillings but it's up to you what to use. Avocado and smoked fish will taste wonderful too. Even scrambled egg and cucumber can make a tasty filling.
7. Wrap the nori around the rice and the fillers. And voila, it's done! If you don't want to consume your temaki immediately, make sure you separate the nori from the rice as the nori will become damp.
You can also make a buffet style party by providing various fillings and the rice in the table so that your guests can make their own temaki. This makes a good party snack and the best of all, you don't need chopsticks. Just eat them by hand! Don't forget to eat this dish with soy sauce!
Most of the ingredients can be found in this extensive Asian Food Grocer.
Technorati Tags: sushi, sashimi, Japanese Food, temaki
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