When you do sushi, people usually think... salmon, tuna, crabsticks... you know, fishy things, hehe. But me, I'm a chicken girl. I eat so much chicken that I will probably sprout feathers one day. But not fly. Chickens don't fly... or at least, not very far. It would be kinda cool to fly though. See the world from up above.
... Okay, getting sidetracked here... Anyway, back to the topic on hand, whenever I go to Japanese restaurants in Brunei, I either go for the teriyaki chicken option or... tori katsu maki special in Excapades, which is basically an inside-out sushi roll with a chicken fried in breadcrumbs filling. Yum! I'm not too big a fan of fish... particularly raw ones.
Of course, sushi is relatively easy to make at home, so I thought... well, why not? :D The instructions below are for makizushi, a type of sushi which is usually wrapped in nori and rolled into a cylinder before being cut. So here we go!
What you need:
5 1/4 cups sushi rice
1 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon salt
Note: I cheated. I used a seasoned rice vinegar used for making sushi. There are also powdered mixes available, but its easier to mix in the rice if its liquid. :)
Sheets of nori (seaweed)
Skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into long thin strips
Japanese soy sauce
Salt, for seasoning
Japanese breadcrumbs (panko)
Bamboo rolling mat
What you do:
- To make the rice, cook according to directions on packet. Let stand for about 10 minutes, covered.
- Meanwhile, combine vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan. Cook and stir over high heat until sugar and salt dissolve. Remove from heat.
- Place rice in a large non-metallic bowl. Drizzle vinegar mixture over rice, to taste, and gently fold in to combine. Leave to cool completely.
- To cook the teriyaki filling, combine the chicken with soy sauce and sugar and stirfry over high heat until cooked. Season to taste.
- To make the tori katsu (chicken cutlets), season the chicken well and roll in flour until evenly coated. Mix equal amounts of flour and water in a bowl to make a thick batter. Dip in flour coated ingredients, then roll in breadcrumbs until well coated. Gently press. Deepfry until breadcrumb coat is golden brown and drain.
- To assemble, place a sheet of nori over the bamboo mat (makisu). To keep it clean, its best to wrap the mat in cling film before using.
- Spread about a cup of the sushi rice over the nori sheet. Leave a 1/2 inch border around the edges. Make sure not to make the rice layer too thick either. You should still be able to see the nori through the rice. If using your hands to spread the rice, moisten them with water first so that the rice doesn't stick. Place the strips of cooked chicken across the middle of the rice.
- Roll the mat lightly by holding it with your thumbs and the ingredients with your fingers. Make sure not to roll the mat into the sushi!
- Remove the mat, trim both ends of the makizushi and slice into six to eight pieces using a sharp serrated knife. Serve immediately with soy sauce and wasabi, if you wish.
Anyway, as you may have guessed, I made two types of chicken filling - teriyaki and tori katsu. For me, the teriyaki was easier to make, slightly healthier and more flavoursome as well. I probably didn't season the tori katsu well enough. It was a bit bland, even with the soy sauce dip.
Speaking of dip, I didn't use wasabi since I am not a big fan. But I found out something interesting... did you know that the wasabi paste/powder or whatever that you buy from the shops as well as those served in restaurants are not actually the authentic wasabi made from Japanese horseradish which is apprently quite expensive. Usually, its made from normal horseradish, green food colouring and some mustard. This is the case, even in Japan apparently. Check out the wiki article for more info. :)
Anyway, because the tori katsu was so blad, for another batch, I decided to mix the teriyaki with the katsu - a double chicken filling, hehe. Yum! I do think Excapades' is better... which is obviously because they are more experienced in making sushi, plus they have that extra orange crunchy seasoning thing on the outside of the rolls. Oh well, never mind. This managed to satisfy whatever craving I had for that sushi, so it served its purpose, hehe. ;)
Quote of the day: Sometimes sushi is just superb, and other times there's nothing like a great big steak. It depends where your taste buds are at the time.