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Traditional Sushi (Makizushi)

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Sushi Rolls (Makizushi)

To Prepare Rice

5 Japanese cups (Japanese cup measurement is 180ml) of white rice or sushi rice

5 level "Japanese" cups of water - Use just under 5 cups of the water. For best results, use a rice cooker, however if using a pot, follow the instructions on the rice packet.

Wash a few times until water becomes clear, then drain on a sieve. Let sit for 30 minutes, then place the rice into rice cooker or deep pot with the correct measurement of water (just under 5 cups so that there is some "bite" to the rice) and cook.

Preparation of fillings (while the rice is cooking)

Filling Ingredients for traditional sushi rolls

10 small or 5 big dried Shiitake mushrooms,

2 eggs

185g tin of red salmon

1 cucumber

Small bunch of spinach

1/2 carrot

Sauce: soy sauce, sugar, salt, mirin, and optional if you have it but not essential dashinomoto (bonito powder)

Fillings cooking Method: Mushrooms

Dried shiitake mushrooms

3 Tbsp sugar

1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce

1 Tbsp mirin,

Wash the mushrooms and pour boiling hot water and allow to rehydrate & soften for 30 mins.

Place mushrooms and 1 cup of mushroom water into a small pan, bring to boiling point, change to low heat and cook for 5 minutes. Add sugar, cook for another 5 minutes. Add soy sauce and cook until liquid has almost evaporated. Add mirin, stir for 30 seconds, remove from heat, place on a plate and set aside to cool down. Cut into thin strips.

Fillings Cooking Method: Eggs

Crack eggs into a small bowl and beat eggs with pinch of salt and sugar.

Heat a pan over medium heat and coat the surface with 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil.

Pour 1/2 of the egg mixture for one roll into the pan. Carefully remove from pan and set aside.

Pour remaining egg mix and repeat. Cut into long strips (and allow to cool)

Fillings: Cooking Method: Carrots

Pinch of salt

1/2 tsp sugar

Finely Dice carrots into matchsticks. Place into small pan with 1 /2 cup of water adding a pinch of salt and ½ teaspoon of sugar (and Dashi if you have it). Cook on low simmer for 5~7 minutes until tender.

Fillings: Cooking Method Red Salmon

1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp soy sauce, 1 dash of mirin

Squeeze out the liquid from the red salmon and place salmon into a small pan over medium heat and cook out to so that the liquid evaporates, then add sugar, stir, add soy sauce, stir , add mirin and mash with a fork. Remove from heat and set aside to cool

Fillings: Cooking Method for Spinach

1/2 tsp Salt


Wash the spinach. Boil the spinach in salted water for 2 minutes, rinse in cold water.

Squeeze as much of the liquid to remove moisture and cut off the roots. Set aside.

Fillings: Preparing Cucumber


Wash and cut into long stripes. Sprinkle salt over. Set aside.

Filling B ingredients

1 avocado

100g smoked salmon

Half a lemon

Fillings: Avocado & Salmon


Cut avocado into slices. Splash lemon juice to prevent from changing colour.

Cut smoked salmon into long strips

Prepare the sushi vinegar seasoning

100ml Japanese rice vinegar or Chinese white rice vinegar

50-60g sugar

20-23g salt

Add vinegar, sugar and salt into a small pot on very low heat as we simply want to combine and let the sugar & salt dissolve. Set aside.

Sushi Roll Method

Now, prepare wooden sushi bowl washing with water thoroughly beforehand and dry, if you do not have a wooden sushi bowl, you can simply use a large bowl instead. You’ll also need a hand fan or you could use a magazine to wave around which is to cool the rice.

Once the rice has cooked, transfer to the bowl, sprinkle the vinegar dressing over the rice and using a flat wooden spoon or the spoon that comes with your rice cooker, toss the rice with horizontal cutting strokes while cooling with the hand fan. When all the grains of rice are coated with the vinegar, each grain will glisten. cover the rice with a cloth to cool further.

To make the rolls you will need a “Makisu” rolling mat made out of bamboo

On the kitchen bench, prepare a kitchen board and place a clean kitchen towel. Place a makisu bamboo mat and a Nori sheet.

Put the vinegar rice lightly on the nori sheet and spread over taking care not to rip the Nori, leaving 1 cm at the top uncovered.

Place A or B ingredients in the middle on the rice, placing long ones first, then small ones last. Lift the edge of both the bamboo mat and nori sheet nearest you, and bring over to meet the far edge of the sheet.

Gently but firmly press the bamboo mat around the roll to shape it. Push both ends of roll toward the centre firmly a few times. On to a clean kitchen board. (The video shows further details)

Cut with a sharp knife and after each cut, clean the knife with wet towel cloth. Place onto a serving plate and serve with soy sauce, pickled ginger and wasabi (Optional).

Eat with soy sauce and wasabi( option)


Sushi roll is one of the most popular foods in the world now but when we came to Australia in mid 1970 there was hardly any Japanese food or ingredients. So my mother in Japan used to send us our favourite Japanese foods and ingredients in a big parcel by sea which took nearly two months. So making Sushi roll was very precious and still is. Also, my mother in law was living with us at the time and she taught me a variety of filling recipes such as the red salmon instead of using shrimp, so I still follow her tradition today. To see people and friends enjoying sushi roll which I often make, is one of my happy moments living far from Japan.

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