We adore sushi in our house. It’s fresh, healthy and quite easy to prepare. Previously I have shied away from the idea of making sushi for a fast day meal, chastened by the thought of the massive 540 calorie count attributed to just one cup of uncooked rice. As all the best sushi rolls are generously plump with a thick layer of vinegared rice, they are generally off my fast day radar due to my lack of self control and inability to stop at just one.
Fortunately, I have recently remembered these; Temaki Zushi. Sushi rolled by hand. The standby dinner table staple of many a busy Japanese household. Self assembly sushi. No bamboo rolling mat required. A stack of nori sheets, a bowl of steamed rice and a selection of finely sliced fillings set in the middle of the table. Each diner chooses exactly which filling and how much to include. My fast day version uses just two heaped tablespoons of vinegared rice per roll and a much more generous ratio of salmon sashimi and fresh salad ingredients. Best of all each hand roll comes in at a calorie count of just 98 calories, meaning I don’t have to stop at one.
Japanese Hand Rolls “Temaki Zushi”
Makes a dozen medium sized rolls (98 calories per hand roll including condiments)
For The Sushi Rice
60 ml (1/4 cup) unseasoned rice wine vinegar (10 calories)
1 tablespoon caster sugar (48 calories)
1 teaspoon sea salt (1 calorie)
1 cup short-grain Japanese rice, koshihikari is best (540 calories)
1 1/4 cups cold water
a generous pinch of sea salt
For The Fillings
200g sashimi-grade salmon (292 calories)
1/2 small Hass avocado (140 calories)
1 lebanese cucumber (24 calories)
1 carrot (25 calories)
4 soft lettuce leaves (8 calories)
6 large sheets nori, toasted seaweed (60 calories)
2 teaspoons wasabi (4 calories)
2 tablespoons pickled ginger (10 calories)
2 tablespoons shoyu, soy sauce (18 calories)
To Prepare Sushi Rice
PLACE vinegar, caster sugar and salt in a saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
MEANWHILE place rice in a large sieve and wash under running water to remove any excess starch, until the water runs clear, about 2 minutes.
TRANSFER washed grains to a heavy based saucepan. Add 1 1/4 cups cold water and a good pinch of salt, bring to the boil on high heat, stirring occasionally.
REDUCE heat to very low, cover with a tight fitting lid and cook for 10-12 minutes undisturbed, until all the water has been absorbed and grains are plump.
REMOVE from heat. Set aside, covered, for 10 minutes. Rice will continue to steam.
TURN OUT cooked rice into a large, shallow bowl. Fan the rice to remove any excess moisture, then gently cut through the rice with a spatula to remove any lumps and separate the grains, gradually drizzling over the seasoned vinegar mixture as you cut the rice. Once all the vinegar has been incorporated, continue fanning until rice is cool.
COVER with a tea towel until ready to assemble your hand rolls.
To Assemble Hand Rolls
SLICE sashimi, avocado and cucumber into 12 long thin batons.
TEAR each lettuce leaf into thirds.
USING a spiral grater or julienne peeler, shred carrot into long thin strands.
CUT each nori sheet in half into two rectangles, and place in a stack.
TAKE a piece of nori in your hand, shiny side of the sheet facing down. Place two heaped teaspoons of rice to one edge of the rough side of the nori. Add a little of each filling and roll into a cone. Place onto a platter as you prepare the remainder of the hand rolls or allow your guests to assemble their own at the table.
SERVE immediately with little condiment dishes of wasabi, pickled ginger and soy sauce on the side.