20120930

Maki Sushi


About Sushi

“Sushi” is the name of the most popular Japanese dish, and it has over a thousand years of history and tradition. “Sushi” began as a way of preserving fish with rice and salt. In the course of Japanese history, hundreds of different types of “Sushi” were formed.
Many different combination of
“Sushi” were invented and also the ways of serving them. Today, a definition of “Sushi” is the marriage of vinegared rice to other ingredients.
Two most popular type of
“Sushi” are “Nigiri” and “Maki”.
“Nigiri Sushi” is made with vinegared rice that is shaped into a bite-size ball 

and topped with a slice of raw fish or other ingredient.

The word “maki” means “roll,” thus “Maki Sushi” is rolled Sushi. It is rolled with a sheet of seaweed, vinegared rice with various fillings. There are many kinds of maki, depending on the filling used. “Hosomaki” (Thin roll) is generally contains only one filling; “Kappamaki” (cucumber roll), “Tekkamaki” (a raw tuna fish roll), and Oshinkomaki (a pickled radish roll) are some examples. “Californiamaki” is a western invention of maki sushi with avocado, cucumber and crabmeat. “Futomaki” (Thick roll) is a fancy roll with 5-6 different ingredients. "Maki Sushi” is simple to make and is frequently prepared at home.
 
Ingredients for making Maki Sushi

• Sushi rice: 2 cups
  for seasoning the rice
• Rice vinegar: 1/3 cups
• Sugar: 2 tablespoons
• Salt: 1 teaspoon

• Nori (dried sea weeds): 6-8 sheets
• Bamboo sheet (rolling mat)

serve sushi with
• Soy sauce
• Sushi ginger
• Wasabi (green radish)

Suggested fillings for Maki Sushi:
• Cucumber
• Avocado
• Eggs (thin omelette)
• Dried Mushrooms (marinate in soy sauce, sugar, and little bit of water)
• Takuwan (Japanese yellow pickled radish)
• Sesame seeds
• Fish eggs (Salmon roe)
• Crabmeat (Surimi)
• Raw Tuna, Raw or Smoked Salmon, Cooked Shrimps
• etc.
Making Sushi Rice

First rinse 2 cups of rice with running water three times,
then add 2 cups of water
and let it soak in the water for 20 minutes before cooking.


Cover the cooking pot. Cook the rice with medium heat, then bring to boil.
When water boils, turn it to low heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
Then stop the heat and let it stand and steam for 10 minutes.

Make vinegar sauce:
Mix 1/3 cup rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt

Put cooked rice in a bowl and pour the vinegar sauce over,
gently mix them together and cover the rice and let it stand for 20 minutes.
That’s Sushi Rice!  


Preparation

 
While the rice is cooking, prepare the filling. One sheet of Nori is 7 1/2“ x 8“,
you want to cut ALL fillings small or into long thin strips. 
 
Make a rolled omelet, and cut it into long thin strips.
Cut cucumber into long thin strips.
 Cut Raw Fish, Crabmeat, Cooked Shrimps, etc.
 Cut avocado in slices
Making tasty marinated mushroom:
soak some dried mushrooms in little bit of soy sauce, water and sugar
then cut them into small pieces.




 Fish eggs, and sesami seeds are nice Ingredients to add to sushi.


Rolling Maki Sushi
 Place one sheet of nori (shiny side down) on a bamboo rolling mat.
(for hosomaki (thin maki), cut a sheet of nori in half.)
Place a thin layer of rice over nori.
Use hands to spead the rice gently and evenly,
leaving 1 inch space at the top.
Place long, thin strips of fillings of your choice in the center of the rice.


 Keep a small bowl of water next to you and keep wetting your hands as you do this.
The rice is sticky, but rice will not stick to wet hands.
 Lift the front of the bamboo mat closer to you.
 Slowly fold the mat over tucking in the end of the nori and start to roll.
Keep rolling at the same time lifting up the mat.

Continue to roll until Sushi is rolled completely.
Keep pressure on the roll, make it tight.

To finish the roll, keep the bamboo mat wrapped around the roll and
squeeze it gently to even it out and forms a nice firm cylinder roll.

Push back any rice or fillings that comes out at the end of the roll with your fingers. 



Unfold the bamboo mat,
and place the rolled sushi with the edge down this will keep Nori stick together.


Use sharp knife to cut Maki Sushi.
Keep the knife very moist to prevent sticking, remoistening before each cut.


Normally you cut Maki Sushi into 8 pieces.
I prefer cutting into 10 pieces,
smaller pieces are easier to eat.

You can eat Maki Sushi by dipping in soy sauce with
 wasabi (green horse radish) and with sushi ginger !

20120925

Carrot cake

I love carrot cake, but carrot cake is not so common in France.
Several years ago I had strong craving for making and eating carrot cake.
So time to time I make carrot cake and share it with my French friends.

I find a vagan carrot cake recipe interesting, not using a dairy product or an egg. 
However I am not a vegan, and I like the regular carrot cake recipe with some eggs in it. 
I recently combined a number of carrot cake recipes and made a delicious carrot cake.
Instead of using 3 - 4 eggs, I used only 2! 
First thing I do is to group dry ingredients and wet ingredients.



Dry Ingredients



Wet Ingredients



It is easy to grate carrots using an electric food chopper.


Mix 2 cups of grated carrots with wet ingredients
(1 cup milk, ½ cup melted butter, ½ cup sunflower oil,
1/8 squeezed lemon, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon Molasses
and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract), and ½ cup dried raisons
and ½ cup chopped walnuts. Let them soak.



Mix dry ingredients 
(2 ½ cups flour, ½ cup brown sugar, ½ cup white sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 
1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, 
½ teaspoon ground giniger, ½ teaspoon allspices and 2 teaspoons poppy seeds).

Preheat an oven at 180°C (356°F).


Separate egg white and egg yolk.
Mix egg yolk with wet ingredients.


Whisk the egg white until they form firm peaks.



Mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients. 


Then gently mix the egg white. 

Grease the baking pan with oil or butter, 
then sprinkle some poppy seeds. 



Pour the cake mix in to the baking pan.


Bake 90 minutes in the oven (180°C (356°F))
for the baking pan of 11 cm x 23 cm x 7 cm. 

Baking time depends on the thickness of baking pan.
Check if the cake is baked by inserting a wooden stick or a toothpick
in the center and if it comes out clean, it is baked. 
If the stick is wet the cake is not yet baked. 



Icing or frosting is optional when the carrot cake is tasty and moist.

If you like some icing on it, here are some suggestions.
Small amount of whipcream.
Sweetened creamcheese with a little lemon flavor.
Or sweetened mascarpone cheese.

        




20120916

Tiramisu



Tiramisu is one of the most popular Italian desserts
since its appearance in 1980s.
Tiramisu is said to have been invented in Treviso at Le Beccheri restaurant by the god-daughter and apprentice of confectioner Roberto Linguanotto. Roberto named the dessert after his god-daughter’s maiden name
(Tiramisu) in honour of her culinary skill. (Wikipedia)
Today, Tiramisu is served in many restaurants.
It is a layered cake with coffee flavored ladyfinger biscuits and a custard cream.




Ingredients for Coffee Tiramisu





First, separate egg white and egg yolk.








Mix egg yolk, sugar and amaretto until it becomes light yellow
then mix mascarpone cream.
(French people are not afraid of getting salmonella,
but we can do this step using a “bain-marie” (a water bath) as well.)
 




Whisk the egg whites until they form firm peaks.
(Whisk always in one direction.)  







Mix gently egg white with egg yolk/mascarpone cream.



 

Dip lady fingers in the cooled coffee for a couple of seconds   
Do not over-soak the lady fingers, that will make a soggy cake body.




One at a time place lady fingers side by side on bottom of a pan.






Cover the lady fingers with layer of mascarpone cream
repeat the step with a second layer.




Sprinkle with the cocoa powder on the top of mascarpone cream and 
refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.





 Tiramisu Raspberry  (Variation)
 




 Instead of coffee, make Tiramisu with raspberry jam! 





 Ingredients for Raspberry Tiramisu 





 So, first you make raspberry jam in 5 minutes!



Mix raspberries and sugar into a pan and 
cook on high heat for 5 minutes then let it cool.
(It is optional to add a pinch of salt, lemon juice, a vanilla stick in the jam.)
(keep some whole raspberries for decoration.) 
     



When the jam is cooled, the rest of the step is exactly the same as coffee Tiramisu:
make Mascapone cream, dip the lady fingers in the jam and layer it with the cream, repeat it, and on the top of the cream place some whole raspberries for decoration.
Refrigerate it for at least 4 hours before serving.