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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sushi Making using 3-Steps Sushi Roller

Always wanted to make sushi but never succeed because I always fail to roll the sushi the way they are supposed to. Another reason that fails me all these while is the thought of using cheap materials. So, the conclusion is: 

To make good sushi with good look + taste, you need to have: 
  • Proper tools 
  • Japanese rice 
  • Rice vinegar 
  • Patience 
Making sushi is not my first attempt because I have tried it several times. I gave up, disappointingly each time when the sushi doesn't turn out to look and taste the way I wanted it to be. Hence, here's a piece of advice to you guys who plan to make sushi on your own. 

  1. Do not attempt to use ordinary rice instead of the Japanese rice just because you want to save cost. Trust me, the result of using Japanese rice is very much different compared to ordinary rice. You just won't make it, using ordinary rice. 
  2. Do not ever forget about the rice vinegar, which is one of the main things for the seasoned rice. You will end up getting plain and tasteless rice if you were to ignore the importance of rice vinegar. I have tried several ways to get rid of the rice vinegar - substitution with ordinary vinegar (proven, failed). 
  3. Try to get a tool which you are comfortable with. For me, the bamboo mat is seriously a waste of money because I seriously fail at rolling. I find it so difficult and troublesome - to wrap the bamboo mat with plastic before putting the nori sheet and roll the sushi. It's too hassle to do this every time when I wanna make sushi. I don't have that much plastic anyway. I would prefer to have a tool, which is more user friendly. Thus, I bought this: 3-Steps Sushi Roller. It really makes everything easy for me.

Product's Name: 3-Steps Sushi Roller 
It's also known as: Leifheit Perfect Roll (Not sure if the one I purchased is the same brand but it definitely works as well as this) 
Bought At: My
Price: RM 29.00
Complementary Items: 3 Months Warranty + 1 English version recipe tips 
Overall Rating: 9.5/10

Video taken from Youtube for demonstration on how to use the Leifheit Perfect Roll 

    Below is a process that I'd like to share of me using the 3-Steps Sushi Roller that I bought from Mydeal. Making sushi requires the following essential items: 

    Sushi Making 

    Japanese rice 
    Rice vinegar / Grain vinegar (I bought grain vinegar) 
    [Can be anything: As-your-wish]
    I picked: 
    Crab sticks 
    Hot dogs 
    Japanese cucumber 
    Ebiko (bought it at supermarket for RM 13 per packet) 
    Nori sheets (seaweed) 

    Sharp knife
    Any Sushi Maker tool (I am using 3-Steps Sushi Roller) or the traditional way: bamboo mat 
    A long glass filled with water to moisture your knife
    A clean table cloth to wipe away the rice residue after you cut the sushi 

    1) Wash and rinse the Japanese rice and cook the rice with sufficient water with your rice cooker. Just like how you cook ordinary rice. 
    2) Once the rice is cooked, get a spatula to scrape the rice. If you cook 1 rice of Japanese rice, I suggest you put at least 3 tablespoons of rice vinegar. That is the ratio which I find it most accurate so far. 1:3 
    3) Mix the rice and rice vinegar well using the spatula. Put on the rice cooker lid after that, to avoid the rice from becoming too dry. 

    1) Cut the materials in stripes form so that it's easy to be inserted in the sushi later. 

    1) Cut the Nori sheet based on the Sushi Roller's white sheet. Basically, you can get 3 stripes from 1 piece of Nori sheet. 
    2) Place one of the already cut Nori sheets on the Sushi Roller. 
    3) Spread some rice using the spatula/spoon. 1 tablespoon of rice is more than enough. Do not be greedy.
    4) Put the filing materials on top of the rice. 
    5) Then, put on another tablespoon of rice on top of the filings. Do not have to worry whether the rice covers the filing ingredients properly or not because that will not affect how your sushi looks like after that. That is one of the most magnificent benefits of this Sushi Roller. 
    6) Roll. See images/video for better understanding. Difficult to explain using words. 
    7) Ta-dah. Cut and serve. 

    *NOTE: The pictures were taken during my first attempt of using this device. Practice makes perfect. My sushi turns out to have better appearance after my 3rd attempts (see the sushi picture above) 

    Trace and cut the Nori sheet according to the width of the white sheet from the Sushi Roller. 
    Spread Nori sheet on the white sheet Sushi Roller. 

    Spread 1 tablespoon of rice on the Nori sheet. 
    Put your filing ingredients on top of the rice.

    Spread another 1 tablespoon of rice on top of the ingredients.
    Pull the left hand side holder to the center, like what is shown in the picture above. 
    There's a hole at the middle where it allows the end of the holder to clip onto it to stay stationery.

    Pull over the right hand side holder to be on top of the left hand side holder.
    Then, used the left hand side stationery clipper to fix the position of the two holders.
    I hope that the picture is able to explain better.
    Basically, you will know how it works if you try to experiment with it for 5 minutes before starting the work.
    It's really easy to use and I believe anybody will understand how to use it, even without manuals.

    Basically, this is how it will look like after the stationery clipper is used to hold the two holding clippers.

    And then, notice I am putting one of the holders (initially the right hand side holder).

    I need to snap the photo, thus, I'm using one hand. 
    Supposedly, you should use two hands when you do this.
    One hand is supposed to hold the stationery clipper whereas another hand should hold the right holder-
    and pull. 

    As you can see, one hand is pulling whereas another hand is used to stationary all the clippers/holders.
    Notice the shape of the sushi through the transparent plastic. 

    Usually, on the first attempt, you don't have to pull really very hard. 
    The first pull is usually to give the sushi roughly a rod shape. 
    It doesn't need to be definite yet because we still need to adjust its shape to look perfect.

    Pull it until you think you are satisfied with the rod shape. 

    After the first pulling attempt, your sushi will look like this when you release the stationary holder. 
    As you can see, part of the end of the sushi is still not rolled up. 
    This is one of the complains that I see everybody is posting about this device. 
    However, I don't think it is a problem at all because it can be solved by simply adjusting the sushi roll that you have made.. 
    All you need to do now is just to open up the holders-- 

    And try to adjust the shape of the sushi roll.

    As you can see, I am trying to roll the sushi manually, IN THE sushi roller itself.
    Why am I doing it inside instead of outside?
    Because the sushi roller has a definite width shape and it will prevent the filings from dropping out. 
    All I need to do is just slowly adjust and roll the sushi manually. 

    This is how it will look like after a quick manual roll up. 
    It does not need to be tight looking because I used the manual way to roll it in the Sushi Roller. 
    It will look loosen up-- 

    And then, repeat the steps that we have made earlier. 
    Put the left hand side holder to the center.

    Then, the right hand side holder, followed up by the stationary clipper.

    Give your sushi 1 last roll-up.
    Now, you can try to pull it several times to ensure that your sushi looks really tight and in a rod-shape.

    Basically this is how it will look like - the end result.
    Practice makes perfect.
    What you see above is my first attempt on making sushi using this Sushi Maker.
    It doesn't look that perfect of course. 
    However, you can improve its appearance when you are used to making sushi using the device.
    There will be some rice getting out from the side because when you pull, you are applying pressure to the sushi - to make it into rod shape.
    Thus, excessive pressure will cause the rice to blurt out from the sides. 
    All you need to do is just get a knife and push the rice slightly inside, so that it doesn't fall off.

    Then, wet your knife and cut it. 
    Remember to use sharp knife.
    Sharpen it if your knife is old and blunt. 
    You will have a hard time cutting the sushi if your knife is too old to function. 

    Once you are done, service with Japanese soy sauce or just eat it without the sauce. 
    It taste awesome, if you use the right materials and tools. =)

    Second attempt. 
    Used Japanese sushi rice. 
    It looks better compared to the first attempt of using ordinary rice.

    Third attempt.
    Gets better each time. 

    Practice makes perfect. 

    If you use Japanese rice, it'll make the rolling process much easier because the rice will be soft and sticky, unlike ordinary rice, course, dry and hard.

    If you use blunt knife to cut, your sushi will not have good shapes. You will face difficulty in cutting the Nori. 

    Benefits of 3-Steps Sushi Roller: 
    You don't have to worry whether the last step of spreading the rice covers the ingredients well or not because eventually when it is rolled up, everything will look perfect. See pictures. You won't know that actually when I made them, the rice doesn't spread well on the ingredients. 

    It's really very easy to use and I don't think anybody will have a problem using it. I find it pretty fast to make it too, compared to the traditional rolling mat because I really do not know how to use it.

    The price is affordable and I think it's really a fun to use tool which everybody would be happy to experiment with.

    It's really perfect for those amateur sushi makers like me. I fail at manual rolling but using this device, I can roll sushi like a professional. lol.

    Disadvantages of 3-Steps Sushi Roller: 
    The sushi made each time is half of the size of the usual sushi we make using bamboo mat. You need to do 2 times to get 1 piece of Nori sheet length of sushi. Each time, you will get 4 sushi instead of 8 sushi.

    The 3-Steps Sushi Roller is made of plastic. Honestly, I am not too convinced how long it can withstand the pressure of keep pulling to tighten the sushi.

    However, I am quite happy with this purchase because I think it is very useful. It allows me to make sushi the way I wanted it to look like. =) So, it's a great purchase for me. I'd definitely recommend people to buy this little tool if they plan to do sushi at home, but afraid that their sushi will turn out to have irregular shapes look. This little device will not disappoint you. =) And seriously, what people said that it is a waste of Nori sheet to use this-- well, I just find these people not using their brain to be innovative. When the Nori sheet length exceeds the white transparent sheet of the 3-Steps Sushi Roller, all you need to do is just do some simple adjustments.. Like what I have shown in the procedures above (photos). Then, you don't have to waste any nori because you can still roll them up and eat them all. So, I don't see why people find it a problem - Nori wastage. To me, they are just not using their brain to solve simple problems. = / 


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