The Importance of a Good Sushi Rice

salmon-and-tuna-nigiris-with-caviar-salmon-maki-rolls-600x450

One of the most important elements of good sushi is a good sushi rice, says Jiro in Jiro Dreams of Sushi. The rice should have the right temperature (body temperature), texture (not too sticky, not too watery, not to dry) and the right amount of vinegar, salt and sugar.

It’s easy to cook bad sushi rice. I’ve done it more than a couple of times. I try to skip steps, I hurry, I don’t take it seriously enough. One thing that I learned from JP (the photographer behind this blog) is that when it comes to sushi rice you have to take your time and enjoy.

It all starts with washing the rice. You can wash it 4, 5, 6, 7 times, as much as your rice needs until the water runs clear. Then let it rest in cold water for 45 minutes in the same quantity of water, as rice. Then pour into a saucepan, cover the rice and bring to boil on high heat. When it boils, turn the heat low and cook without lifting the lid for another 20 minutes. Turn the heat of, then let it rest for another 10 minutes.

In a bowl, prepare your sushi vinegar with salt and sugar. Prepare this to your taste, but start with the proportions of salt and sugar 1/2. One teaspoon should be more than enough for a 250 ml mug.

Put your rice into a glass bowl and start adding the vinegar,a little bit each time, then taste it, all this while fanning the rice to help it cool faster. The rice shouldn’t be hot when you start adding it to makis or nigiris.

Now you are ready to make sushi.

Crunchy Toasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Reduction

Crunchy Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Reduction

I love brussels sprouts. These miniature cabbages, part of the brassica genus are close relatives of broccoli, cauliflowers, mustard and of course, cabbage and they contain a chemical called sulforaphane, which is believed to have anticancer properties. The best way to cook them (if you don’t want to reduce amount of the above-mentioned compound) is to steam of stir fry them.

This recipe keeps the sprouts crunchy yet with that wonderful toasted flavour. The mix of the goat cheese with the acid green apple and pomegranate seeds is wonderful.

crunchy brussels sprouts with goat cheese

Ingredients:

  • brussels sprouts
  • one pomegranate
  • goat cheese
  • a handful of almonds
  • fresh ginger
  • fresh parsley
  • one orange

Optional:

  • one teaspoon sugar for the pomegranate reduction
  • lettuce
  • garlic

Season with salt and pepper.

Time needed: 30 minutes

First wash and cut your brussels sprouts in halves. Wash and dry some fresh parsley and chop some ginger into not so small dices.

brussels sprouts ginger and parsley

Then pit your pomegranate and chop a handful of toasted almonds.

winter granadilla

pomegranate seeds and almonds

Cut the goat cheese in big chunks and then sprinkle the juice of half an orange on top of it.

goat cheese orange and garlic

Take your pomegranate seeds and a teaspoon of sugar and start boiling them at very low heat until they juice becomes a thin sauce. Add the juice of the other half orange while they boil.

pomegranate reduction

In a pan toast the sprouts. You don’t need a lot of oil, a drop is enough. If you have a bit more time (30 minutes) you could toast them in the oven. Just put some olive oil in your palms and massage the sprouts, then sprinkle some salt and roast at high heat.

If you’re in a hurry, the pan will roast your brussels sprouts in a few minutes. toasting brussels sprouts

When everything’s ready chop some apples and mix everything together.

Bon profit!

crunchy brussles sprouts

An Idea to Try: Sweet Potato Hummus

You know when you see a recipe and you instantly feel excited thinking how amazing it will taste when you’ll cook it later in the evening?

I love this sweet potato hummus recipe from New York Times’ Dawn Lerman, author of the Fat Dad series.

To make this hummus you will first need to bake the sweet potato. When it has cooled off, add the canned chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice and any other spices you like in your hummus. Serve with raw carrot and celery chips and warm pita breads.

Yum!

(image by moxlux on flickr)