If you are anything like me, salmon roses are at the zenith of the sushi sphere.
My impression of a sushi restaurant or take out is heavily dependent on these dexterously rolled rosettes and they are always left on my plate until last, to be savored and to hopefully multiply!
I have come to realise, that as much as I yearn for salmon roses to undergo a miraculous mitosis on my plate and proliferate, this is wishful thinking. In order for my appetite to be sated without emptying my pockets I decided to attempt some sushi DIY alongside my boyfriend who is equally besotted with them.
The Rice (Shari)
Shari is the foundation of all good sushi, and it is quite fitting that it serves as the heart of the salmon rose.Polished short-grained sushi/japanese rice should be used and can be found in most local grocery stores.We found the rice to be the most challenging component of our sushi making attempts. Here is the method that finally worked for us. A word of advice, try not to get it on the floor as it is extremely sticky!
- 3 Cups Short grain rice
- 3 1/4 Cups Water
- 1/2 Cup Rice Wine Vinegar
- 1 Teaspoon Sugar
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- Put rice in a large bowl
- Fill it with water
- Stir the rice with your hand for 15-30 seconds
- Drain with a Collander
- Repeat 3 -4 times until the water runs clear (This helps remove the excess starch that would make your rice clumpy, not sticky)
- Combine rice with water in a medium pan and bring to the boil
- Reduce the heat to low and cover and cook for 20 minutes (Rice should be tender and water should be absorbed)
- Leave rice to cool
- In a small pan, combine rice wine vinegar, sugar and salt
- Cook over medium heat until sugar has dissolved and put aside to cool
- Stir the rice into the cooled vinegar mixture carefully, making sure you don’t mash the rice.
The Salmon Rose
For the salmon roses you will need…
Prepared sushi rice
Salmon Roe/ Seaweed Caviar
Make sure your salmon is as fresh as possible, look for bright flesh that is not dull, darkened or dry looking. Try to purchase a relatively thick fillet, approximately 3cm in breadth and 8cm + in width. This makes slicing the correct size ribbons for your salmon roses a lot easier. It is recommended to slice against the grain of the fish and to use as sharp a knife as possible. Do not saw at the fish, but rather attempt to slice through it in one smooth movement.
Set up your workstation. Have your bowl of warm water, as well as all your ingredients, nearby. Set out a chopping board and make sure your knife is both sharp and clean. Make sure to rinse knife in warm water after preparing each ingredient.
Slice the avocado in half and using one half, cut into as thin strips as possible. The avocado slices are going to go between the salmon and rice, and need to be as flat as possible. Take the thin slices and cut into pieces of about 2cm x 1cm. Put aside to use later.
Slice the salmon fillet against the grain. Try aim for as thin ribbons as you can. As mentioned, each salmon ribbon should be approximately 3 cm wide and 8cm long. Put aside for later.
Rinse hands in warm water, this helps to prevent the rice from sticking to your hands. Repeat throughout process. Take a small amount of rice and roll into a ball. Place on cutting board and gently push it down using the flattened palm of your hand. You are aiming to create a sturdy base for your salmon rose and a relatively smooth top on which to place mayonnaise and caviar. The ball of rice should now have a diameter of about 2.5 to 3cm. Remember, too much rice will detract from the salmon’s flavour.
Step 5 – The finishing touches!
Put a small drop of wasabi on your finger tip and lightly spread along the side of the rice ball from the top to the base. Take your avocado slice and place against wasabi, think of it as an adhesive. The 1cm section should be at the base of the rice ball.
Carefully roll your salmon ribbon around the circumference of the rice circle, it should stay in place.
Sushi mayonnaise comes in a squeeze bottle and can be easily applied on top of the salmon rose, but use a teaspoon if necessary. I generally use half a teaspoon of mayonnaise per salmon rose. Gently drop a little caviar on top of the mayonnaise.
Serve accompanied by soy sauce, pickled ginger and wasabi. Don’t forget the chopsticks and savour!