Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Tuna, Salmon and Mackerel Temaki Sushi (Hand Rolls)

I don't buy sushi-grade fish. I have eaten regular raw fish from supermarkets for years and never had a health problem. I do have common sense rules that I live by though: 1) When shopping for raw fish, I only use supermarkets with the best reputation for quality and freshness; 2) I ask the supermarket for the date their next fish consignment comes into the store - and then buy it that morning; 3) I check that the fish is firm, close-textured and smells fresh (not 'fishy').

I have scoured the web for advice on whether I can safely eat raw supermarket fish (I don't have a deathwish, thank you very much - or a particularly tough stomach lining, come to that), and the answer is 50% for and 50% against. Good enough for me.

(The way I look at it, most supermarkets recommend eating their non sushi-grade tuna only lightly seared - which is still raw in the middle. Plus, they also sell oysters, which aren't meant to be cooked at all.)

Or, buy sushi-grade fish for yourself - please don't feel compelled to take my advice. If you do take my advice, it is at your own risk, but then this dish comes in under-budget, at £3 per serving of 3-4 huge tamaki. If you do decide to buy sushi-grade instead, then this recipe would not be on this website, since the cost of the fish would put the recipe insanely over budget - but feel free to make it anyway.

Arrange the ingredients on a huge serving platter and encourage your friends to make their own temaki. It's dead easy and a whole lot of fun.

Serves 4


250g sushi or risotto rice
50ml rice vinegar
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 tablespoon salt
200g fresh salmon fillet, skinned and pin-boned or fresh tuna loin
4 mackerel fillets, pin-boned, but with the skin left on
12-16 sheets of nori (roasted seaweed)
1 tube of wasabi paste
4 avocados, peeled and de-stoned, and/or yellow and red sweet peppers
8 spring (salad) onions or chives
1 cucumber
25g sesame seeds
25g poppy seeds
Pickled ginger, to serve

To make the sushi rice: Add the rice to a pan with twice the volume of water. Cook the rice on a moderate heat until the water has fully absorbed (15 minutes approx). While the rice is still warm, add the vinegar, salt and sugar and fold in gently to ensure you don't break up the rice grains. Set aside until needed.

Slice all fish fillets across the grain, until you have long, narrow strips of 2cm thickness. Slice the avocados and/or peppers into similar size strips. Slice the cucumber into similar size strips. Chop the spring onions finely.

In separate ramekins, place the wasabi, sesame seeds, poppy seeds and spring onions or chives (I sometimes sprinkle the sesame seeds on the salmon and the poppy seeds on the mackerel instead, as I have done in the picture). On a large serving platter, arrange the fish, cucumber, avocado and/or peppers and pickled ginger in a colourful attractive pattern. Place the nori sheets on a separate plate, to ensure they stay dry. Serve the rice in a large separate bowl. Place a blob of wasabi and some soy sauce in a ramekin.

To make the sushi: Take a sheet of nori. Place a handful of rice on the sheet and press it into an even layer with your fingers. Lay any combination of fish and vegetables onto the rice. Dress with wasabi, soy sauce and the seeds. Roll the nori into a cone-shaped temaki. Eat before the nori becomes soggy (ie immediately!)

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