maki sushi (巻き寿司) with salted edamame and sashimi

sideplate

It’s been a beautiful, sun-drenched Monday here in Perth, 35 degrees C (95 degrees f) with clear skies and a light breeze. As I sit in the living room, dappled light filters gently through the window. It’s making rhythmic patterns on the floor as my fingers click incessantly against black plastic keys. Completely beautiful, in a domestic kind of way.

sashimibowl2kewpie2

As sweet air drifts through the open door, I find my thoughts drifting also; mainly towards nourished roots, freshly turned soil and home-grown carrots. I blame Pam, the beautifully creative woman who blogs over at Brooklyn Farm Girl (if you’re yet to become acquainted, click here). Ever since she shared a post about her massive, rooftop-grown soy bean (edamame) harvest, I’ve been dreaming about urban gardens, high-rise planting and lush crops of dark-veined greens. But beneath the idealism, well… I’ve mostly been dreaming about fresh edamame.

pods2 edpiles

It may be difficult to believe, but I’m yet to sample a fresh edamame bean. One month of searching hasn’t helped; the bright green, furry pods remain an illusive figment of my culinary dreams. Last Friday, I caved and purchased a bag of frozen edamame that had traveled to Perth from Japan. That’s a lot of air miles.

edamame2

But yet, when I popped the first bright green, edamame jewels from their ice-frosted pod, my heart danced a merry beat. Despite being in complete violation of my fresh-picked locavore policy, I loved every bite.

eating2

Aaron and I ate homemade maki sushi (rolled sushi in nori) and sashimi with our precious salted edamame. It’s hardly worth providing a recipe as the edamame were eaten straight from their pods with thinly sliced salmon and red snapper tail, sesame chicken sushi, salmon sushi, pickled cucumbers, enoki mushrooms and ginger, soy and wasabe.

However, in the event that you’d like to replicate our (admittedly, slightly Westernised) meal, I’ve included a few ingredients and token instructions below (alongside some links that explain the process much better than I ever could).

rice sashimibetter

P.S If you live in Perth and know a market that stocks fresh edamame beans, let me know (or even better, if you grow them, please be my private supplier. I’ll pay you in marmalade).

setting2

Maki Sushi (巻き寿司)

Maki sushi or Nori maki is any variety of sushi rolled as a cylindrical piece with the help of a bamboo mat, or makisu. It’s generally sold wrapped in nori (seaweed) and cut into rounds of six or eight.

This recipe makes three rolls of eight slices, or 24 pieces.

  • 1 1/4 cup of short-grain sushi rice (I used Nishiki)
  • 2 tbsp Japanese rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp fine-grain salt
  • 3 sheets of nori (dried seaweed)

Place rice into a medium saucepan, then add 1 1/2 cups (375ml) water. Mix well, then bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the water is fully absorbed (your rice should be fluffy and expanded).

In a small bowl, mix the rice vinegar, sugar and salt together. Blend the mixture into the rice with a flat spoon. Keep warm, covered with a clean damp tea towel, until ready to use.

fish

For salmon rolls:

Cut your ingredients whilst the rice is cooking for quick assembly.

  • 150-200g fresh sashimi-quality salmon, cut into long, thin strips
  • 1/2 fresh avocado, cut into similarly long, thin strips
  • cucumber batons (I cut them into 0.5 x 0.5cm strips)
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • Kewpie Japanese mayonnaise

Place one nori sheet into the centre of a bamboo sushi mat, shiny side down. With a damp spoon, spread a thin (about 1cm thick when pressed together) layer of rice over 2/3 of the nori sheet, leaving a 0.5cm border. Spread with a thin layer of Kewpie mayonnaise and toasted sesame seeds.

Arrange 1/3 of the cucumber, avocado and salmon into a horizontal line in the centre of the rice. Lift the end of the mat carefully, then roll forwards, pressing the filling towards you with your fingers. Seal with a little bit of water if the end of the nori doesn’t stick.

Refrigerate your roll for 30 (or preferably 60) minutes so that it will firm up before slicing. Cut rounds from the centre of the roll to the edge with a sharp, wet knife. Serve immediately, with bowls of soy sauce, pickled ginger, wasabe and/or other accompaniments as desired.

seeds

For sesame chicken rolls:

Start this recipe 1 hour before making your sushi rice.

  • 150g fresh chicken thigh meat, sliced into strips
  • 1-inch knob of peeled, finely grated ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp sake (Japanese rice wine)
  • 1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • Japanese sesame salad dressing (bought or see recipe here)
  • 1/2 fresh avocado, cut into long, thin strips
  • small handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • peanut oil, for frying

Place the sliced chicken into a bowl with a good drizzle of sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, sake, dried chilli, garlic and ginger. Grind over some sea salt and pepper, then mix well. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for 1 hour (or preferably, overnight).

sauce

Heat 2 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil in a medium wok or heavy-based frying pan over high heat. When smoking, drain your chicken from the marinade and toss it into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown and cooked through. Drain on paper towels, sprinkling with toasted sesame seeds.

After cooking your sushi rice: place one nori sheet into the centre of a bamboo sushi mat, shiny side down. With a damp spoon, spread a thin (about 1cm thick when pressed together) layer of rice over 2/3 of the nori sheet, leaving a 0.5cm border. Spread with a thin layer of Japanese sesame dressing.

Arrange 1/3 of the coriander, avocado and chicken into a horizontal line in the centre of the rice. Lift the end of the mat carefully, then roll forwards, pressing the filling towards you with your fingers. Seal with a little bit of water if the end of the nori doesn’t stick.

Refrigerate your roll for 30 (or preferably 60) minutes so that it will firm up before slicing. Cut rounds from the centre of the roll to the edge with a sharp, wet knife. Serve immediately, with bowls of soy sauce, pickled ginger, wasabe and/or other accompaniments as desired.

Rolling guide:

rollingsushistart makingsushi rolling1 rolling2

Links:

sashimi2 shells

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68 responses

    • Agreed Matt. Perfect weather today… I’ve just spent most of the afternoon in the pool, drinking beer in the sunshine! I love sushi. So simple but so delicious (plus, I try and tell myself it’s healthy so I can eat more, haha).

  1. Your maki look so good, Laura. You really know your way around a sushi mat. I have no such skill set and, though I may start out making maki, I’ve a feeling that night’s dinner would be mangled sashimi. Still, if ever I get the courage to make my own, I’ll come back here to learn how. I’m pinning it just in case. Thanks.

    • Aw John, I am pretty sure you underestimate your ability! Making pasta is far more complicated and you’re perfect at it. I do love sushi though. It’s become a favourite in our house for warmer nights…. sashimi grade salmon is truly one of the most delicious things in the world! Thanks for the kind words. I always appreciate you stopping here John!

  2. Very nicely done! We love maki here in our house….seriously! Eating sushi is a once a week ritual, sometimes we make it ourselves, most times we head out to our favorite sushi restaurant. Looks like you have mastered it. Glad you tried, and enjoyed the edamame! All the way from Japan! :)

    • Oh, thanks so much for the kind words Seana. It’s fun to make, isn’t it? I’ve made inside out maki rolls on occasion too and they’ve worked well, but I couldn’t get any nice fish roe in time for the post. I’m still learning, definitely not a master. Thanks so much again xx

  3. I could feel the warm Perth air as I read your post! isn’t it funny how some travel memories can just come back like that? Beautiful, luscious photos. You are making me want to have your camera, even though I know it’s mostly the photographer not the camera. :-D

    • You’re entirely right. Sometimes I forget a memory altogether but it appears, stronger than ever, if the right trigger occurs. Thanks so much for the kind words re the photographs. It’s definitely a fantastic camera so if you’re thinking of investing, I’d recommend it: Canon EOS 70D DSLR. Hugs xx

    • Hello lovely! Yep, the rooftop garden is the stuff of my dreams. Unfortunately we don’t have a common rooftop area in my apartment complex so I’m just growing pot plants at the moment. They’re struggling but I’m persisting! Thanks for the lovely words xx

    • Hi Sofia! Thanks for the lovely words. I’m loving sushi at the moment. So good as the weather has started warming up. Give sushi making a go if you have time, it’s definitely not difficult once you’ve learned the process :) xx

  4. I think you should change the name of your blog from Laura’s Mess to Laura’s Beautiful Blog! I just thought I should gives you the heads up, lots of high res photos make the wordpress IPad app crash. It’s not just yours!! I’ve complained to the app developers and have met with a blank stare! Your posts look beautiful on the PC though.

    • Haha, thanks so much lovely. Oh, I had no idea that a WP iPad app existed… sorry that the photos caused problems. I’ll have to look into it myself…. frustrating that the developers weren’t more forthcoming! Hugs x

    • Sorry to hear that Mary. It’s a common mistake, I did the same thing when I first attempted sushi some years ago (the nori sheet actually split and rice started falling out). Give it another go though, when you get the hang of the construction process it actually becomes really easy. Delicious warm weather food! x

    • Thanks so much lovely! Yep, edamame are glorious aren’t they? Sorry to hear that you’re encountering the same issue as me in regards to fresh beans. I reckon that we must’ve have the climate for them over here. Doesn’t deter me from attempting a planter box full though! xx

    • Hello lovely!!! So nice to hear from your beautiful self. Sushi is actually really easy when you get the hang of it. I’ve you’ve made them before I am that you’ll be able to pick up the process again soon. The photos were a lot of fun to take :) x

    • Yum, salmon and avocado is such a winning combination isn’t it! I do love the maki rolls with the edamame. Makes me feel like I’ve got a side vegetable, haha….. the vibrant green is so lovely too. Hugs xx

  5. Great photos – one can tell you definitely love food. Super recipe too. Just an all around nice post – thanks so much.

  6. Ah, you’re speaking my language Laura. This is one of our favourite meals, especially now Spring has well and truly sprung. Nothing better than an edamame-popping session! Like you I’ve never found fresh edamame in Melbourne. I’ve had years of fruitless hunting. I wonder whether it’d be hard to grow in a backyard garden? GORGEOUS photos as usual!

    • We mustn’t have the right climate for fresh edamame over here. Such a shame. One of my friends has agreed to give the growing process a shot for me (yay, she has an actual backyard so it’s guaranteed more success than on my balcony) so I’ll let you know if it works! xx

    • Ooh, lettuces! I’ve got some kale growing in a planter box on my balcony but it’s swiftly drying up as the weather changes. So sad. I wish I had green fingers. Good luck in getting a beautiful lettuce crop this year! xx

    • Hello Kim! Thanks so much for the lovely message. It was heaps of fun to write the post, and photos are my thing so it’s fun paying attention to the little details as I cook. Just checked out your blog, its lovely x

  7. I love you and if you were closer I would throw us a edamame party that would involve us picking beans and then throwing them into the air to catch into our mouths. it would be a beautiful afternoon!

    Now everything about this post I just sighed about. Absolutely perfection. I want to live in your post. Forever.

  8. You make this look so easy!! I need to try my hand at sushi at some point, but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. This is so fun and your photos are just stunning my dear.

    • It’s really easy to do once you’ve got the technique down! I know you’d make amazing sushi (cos you’re so talented at everything Mackenzie dear!). It was fun taking the photos, though I had to hand the camera over to Aaron during the rolling process as I was getting sticky rice all over the tripod. Haha. Thanks for the sweet comment lovely! xx

  9. Gorgeous photos! Whenever I make sushi at home, I never use sashimi or any type of fish because I’m a scaredy cat, but this looks so delicious I might have to try it next time!

    • Aw, I can understand the apprehension Erika. I’m lucky as I have a reliable fishmonger that I trust, but raw fish can be seriously dodgy if you go to the wrong place. It’s so yummy though. Healthy and delicious – my favourite kind of summer food! xx

  10. Your maki looks awesome! I’m not that far from you, and I can pretty much get anything from my state’s major market, but I still can’t find fresh edamame. I will join you in this neverending search…

    • It’s frustrating isn’t it? I don’t know why its so difficult to find in this country. Strange. Let me know if your search becomes productive (and vice versa). Maybe we can buy up all the stocks in the country! x

  11. These are so beautiful, Laura! The colors are amazing and the light so warm. I haven’t mad maki I years, and I think it is about time to get my rolling mat out and have some fun!

    • David! Definitely do it, it’s heaps of fun to play around with. Aaron and I eat heaps of diferent combinations at home, authentic and non-authentic. So much room for variation (and so delicious!)

    • Hey there Ellinor, I usually get mine from an Asian grocer in Victoria Park (the Centro complex, it’s next to Redfin seafood). I do think that most Yeos stores would stock them too? Good luck!

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