To be more accurate, I made maki on the weekend. I love maki! I prefer the cooked stuff and tend to go for the vegetarian options as well. I decided to make vegetarian maki, just to make things easier.
I bought the nori at Tutti Fruitti in Kensington market. I chose the Yamamotoyama brand because I liked the packaging and the price was right.
On Saturday after work, I made the homemade pickled ginger recipe I found on Allrecipes.com. First I peeled the ginger using a vegetable peeler. Then I salted it and let it stand for 30 minutes as the recipe stated.
Super thin ginger slices using a vegetable peeler
Then in a pot I mixed the rice vinegar and sugar until it dissolved.
Rice vinegar and sugar mixture. Steam is fogging up the camera.
Once it came to a boil, I took it off the burner and poured it into the jar with the ginger slices. Once it cooled, I put the cap on and put it into the fridge. Easy peasy lemon squeezy! The recipe makes a lot of pickled ginger.
On Sunday, it was time to get down to it. My brother had been trying to source out wasabi for most of the week. I told him to buy powdered wasabi because I had read it was cheaper than the paste. However, he managed to find a very affordable paste at T&T Supermarket. He picked it because it actually had wasabi in the ingredients. The downside was that it had sorbital and other preservatives.
I bought Lundberg brown rice from Essence of Life in Kensington Market and followed the instructions on the package for boiling the rice. The package said it could be used when a sticky consistency was desired and I’d read that short or medium grain rice was ideal for sticky rice. I used the recipe at essortment for making the sticky rice seasoning.
I decided to attempt a California-style roll with the rice on the outside. I don’t own a sushi mat so I researched what I could use if I didn’t have one. I came across a Youtube video that used a kitchen towel, which sounded interesting. In the end I decided to go with plastic wrap, which had come up a lot in my research, because it was handy and I could just toss it.
Fresh veggies for filling
I placed a piece of parchment paper on top of a cutting board (to keep it from getting dirty) and got to work. After putting rice on my nori, I realized that I had put the plastic wrap underneath the nori with the rice on top. Instead of just rolling it with the rice inside, I clumsily reversed everything so the rice was on the bottom of the nori and on top of the plastic.
Ready to roll – California style (the rice is on the bottom)!
The first roll didn’t turn out too well as I didn’t wrap it tightly enough…
Attempt no. 1 – fail!
but man, it tasted great! My sister, who swears she hates maki (she doesn’t like the taste of nori), loved it. The wasabi was brutally hot (and therefore really good) and the pickled ginger was pretty good as well (maybe a bit too salty). Neither condiment, nor soy sauce, were necessary as sticky rice seasoning gave everything more than enough flavour. Yum!
We rolled a few more California-style rolls and rolls with the nori on the outside. My brother wet the edges of the nori so it would hold together better. I skipped this step on my first attempt so that could have been the cause of my rolls falling apart.
My brother shows me how it’s done
We ended up using the parchment paper to roll our maki in later attempts because it held its shape better than the plastic wrap.
Nice, tight roll
My technique improved on subsequent attempts. I found that the trick to keeping it together is to roll it tightly (I used a roll-squeeze-roll-squeeze technique) and to use a serrated knife to cut the rolls.
Looking forward to making them again!