February 11, 2007

Pressed Sushi

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We once had a Japanese couple for lunch many years ago. The wife brought homemade oshi-zushi or pressed sushi. It was in an ordinary glass container but I can still remember how the sushi looked so perfect and beautiful, with the prawn halves all straight and not curled like mine, I wonder how she did that. Her pressed sushi was so yummy, I try to make it at home as often as possible. I love it with lots of wasabi, soy sauce and preserved ginger slices.

Pressed Sushi
3 cups Japanese rice
3½ cups water
1 5-inch kelp (kombu seaweed), optional
1/3 cup vinegar
1½ teaspoons sea salt
2 tablespoons sugar
  • Wash rice thoroughly, let drain for 1 hour in a sieve before cooking. Put the rice, water, and kelp in a non-stick pan or rice cooker. Remove the kelp once it starts boiling, simmer until rice is cooked, about 15 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes. Mix vinegar, salt and sugar and sprinkle evenly on the rice, fanning the rice to cool quickly (this gives the rice a glossy sheen).
  • To prepare: You can use any topping for the pressed sushi like smoked salmon or ham. I always top mine with omelet, steamed asparagus and prawns. Press half of the rice on a 13 x 9 x 2 inch dish, spread wasabi, then top with toasted nori, press the rest of the rice on top of nori. Arrange the topping, cut into 2 inch pieces. Serve with wasabi and soy sauce.

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