The World-Wide Sushi Restaurant Reference
Make sushi. A roll made with nori seaweed and a layer of rice on the outside, wrapped around a core of vegetables or other fillings.
Related words and phrases
Norimake. A roll with nori seaweed on the outside, a layer of rice, and a core of vegetables or other fillings.
California roll. Crab meat (or fake crab meat sticks), smelt or flying fish roe, avocado.
Philidelphia roll. Salmon (sometimes fresh, sometimes smoked), cream cheese and some sort of vegetable filler.
- ``One of my favorite hand rolls is something a sushi chef once made for me when I requested something different. It's now my favorite dessert, i.e., last thing to order. ¶ Take some tomago (egg custard) and kani (fake crab), chop them up fine, mix with a little bit of mayonaise, then stir in a good dollop of tobiko (flying fish roe - the tiny red roe). Stir up and make a handroll. Excellent!''
- ``The cheaper nori (in my experience) tends to be pale green or purple. It has a poor texture (coarse), and it may contain holes. My favorite nori tends to be a very dark green color with a high (glossy) finish. I hope this helps. I'll try to get some common brand recommendations for you later, unless someone else has then closer at hand. And since you are asking about nori, let me repost some rolling tips for maki-zushi. ¶ First, it's important to use the correct sushi rice. Do not use sweet rice. I would recommend Kokuho Rose or Nishiki brand found at your local Asian grocer. I posted a piece on rice preperation a few weeks ago, so I will skip that here. ¶ Next, as I'm sure you have already deduced, you need to have a bamboo mat that is made for rolling sushi. I like to cover my mat with plastic wrap (Saran or whatever) so that I don't have to mess with cleaning it later. I use a long piece of plastic wrap so that it covers one side then the other and then the first side again. Make sure the edges get sealed by folding the edges toward the middle before wrapping the last side. This will keep the wrap from coming off your mat. ¶ Lay the mat flat on your kitchen counter. Then take a piece of your sushi seaweed (nori) and lay it on the mat so that one of the longer edges is nearest you. Place the glossier side down. For thinner rolls I cut my sheets in half (cutting from one longer side across to the other), but for now use a whole sheet as it will be easier. Wet your hands and then scoop about half a cup of rice out of the bowl with your hands. Make a thick, loose, "line" of rice across the seaweed from left to right, about a third of the sheet away from you. Wet your hands again, and then, with your fingertips, gently massage the rice so that you distribute the rice into a thinner sheet that covers all but about 3/4 of an inch of the sheet along the edge farthest from you. Do not pack the rice into oblivion! The grains should still be intact. The resulting rice sheet should be less than 1/4 inch thick. If your rice comes out thicker - use less rice in the next roll. ¶ Next, place your fillings on top of the rice, from left to right, about 1/3 the distance away from you. Do not overfill the rolls! Also, try to use long things if possible (i.e. long strips of cucumber rather than chopped cucumber) they will stay in the roll better. Using the bamboo mat to help you roll, start the roll by taking the edge nearest you and curling it over - just as if you were rolling up a sleeping bag or a poster. Try to tuck the edge in as tightly as you can (within reason). You may have to use your finger tips to make sure the filling stays in the middle of your roll. ¶ Once the roll is started, use the bamboo mat to finish rolling so that the last 3/4 inch of seaweed overlaps the seaweed roll (like someone rolling their own cigarette). Do not roll the bamboo mat into your roll! It won't taste very good. Once the roll is begun, you will need to lift the edge of the mat that's about to get rolled inside, so that the rolling continues, but the mat doesn't get rolled up too. Now, with the seaweed seam on the underside of the roll, and the bamboo mat still over the top of the roll, I usually pinch the left end of the mat (with the roll inside) with my left hand, and the right end in my right hand. Then, and this is a little tricky, with other fingers I try to compress the roll into a square cross-section, while still holding the ends so that the filling does not get squeezed out the ends. I make a square cross-section because I like it. You can make round ones if you prefer. ¶ Finally, using a *VERY* sharp, clean knife, I cut about a half inch off each end. You should wipe your knife frequently. Some people use a vinegar/water solution to clean the knife. Don't use a sawing motion, instead just cut straight down trhough the roll very quickly. Next, cut the roll in half and put the two identical shorter rolls next to each other. At this point you should be able to cut the short rolls into thirds by eye. I like to cut both short rolls at once so that the pieces come out the same size. You should end up with six bite size pieces. These can be arranged very nicely on a plate by having two pieces standing on end, the two on their side right next to the first two, and then the remaining two on end again - or vice-versa. You can also experiment with cutting your rolls on a diagonal instead of straight across. Finally, you can try wrapping your rolls inside-out, by flipping the nori sheet over after you massage the rice, and putting the fillings on the other side. This is where the plastic wrap really comes in handy. If you try this you also have to turn the sheet around so the there is no seaweed exposed at the roll's seam. ¶ Good luck!''
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