|Viking sushi - with Orkney crab, beetroot, eggs and salmon|
OK its appalling weather out there, enough to keep even a hard and scary Viking in his hoose. Given the weather, I figured I'd do what the vikings do when hungry and make sushi. They'd do that right? I'm very viking, well I've the red(ish) hair and I live in the land of the vikings. Well the Northern Isles were at one point very Viking - therefore I'm in the right region of the UK. The only draw backs as far as I can see is that I'm not viking sized being only 5ft - but I'm not holding that against my potential viking-ness. And, I do own a viking hat. Why am I gibbering? Its just who I am! Anyway back to the sushi..............and excuse the indulgent pictures, I'm quite proud of my efforts, apart from anything else it tasted wonderful!
|The local shop seems to have a really decent Japanese section.|
Now I know that Vikings probably didn't eat sushi in the olden days during their mad piliging expeditions of old, but I think modern day vikings do enjoy sushi. We've so many great ingredients locally, especially local fish and vegetables. Anyway I managed to find most of the required Japanese ingredients locally (Nori, wasabi, pickled ginger, sushi vinegar and sushi rice) in the wee shop I mentioned before which also had lovely local fresh fish, crab, mackeral and even tinned octopus! And, I used home grown beetroot and eggs for some of the fillings.
|First came the rice, which was quite easy|
I've a Japanese friend who taught the whole family to make sushi when she came to stay with us in Orkney a few years ago (Thank you Yumiko!), and she was so keen to meet a Viking, we decided they'd love her sushi! Its not as complicated as it looks - the rice is cooked following the directions on the packet. Once cooked, you add vingear and mix (1tbsp to 100g of rice) and it makes the rice nice and aromatic and you have to let it cool.
Whilst its cooling you can chop veggies, organise your toppings and sort out the seaweed sheets (Nori). By sort out, I mean take out of the packet. Its that simple! We've a bamboo matt for rolling the sushi, but a normal bamboo mat would do or a table mat.
|14 p a sheet for Nori, not bad at all. Open packet and use, very simple. Keeps for ages.|
|Beetroot Nori, ready for rolling into a nori roll.|
|Nori with salmon, ready for rolling!|
I spread the rice on 2/3 of the Nori sheet and put some filling in the middle, these had beetroot slices in the middle of the rice. The for the rolling bit, slightly scary as you have to be quite firm when you're doing it - but I just pretended I was a Viking and fiereless. The rice is gently rolled up over the beetroot until it somersaults over and meets the Nori on the other side, where it magically seals itself. The beetroot Nori wonderfully bled into the rice, all purply and gorgeous in colour, I quite liked it. Beetroot goes well with horseradish sauce, of which wasabi is a different type, which is where I got the idea for trying it. I'd certainly make beetroot sushi again.
|My beetroot Nori roll, ready to go in the fridge after they were wrapped in cling film to keep them nice and fresh.|
As well as the Nori rolls I made some little parcels of rice (Nigri) with fillings on top. Now these were easier in alot of ways as no rolling, fun, but a bit fiddly. I used a recycled takeaway box filled it with rice to about an inch thick and then used a spoon to press the rice down. I left it for about an hour , turned it out onto the board and used a sharp knife to cut the little rectangular Nigri rice shapes. After they were cut, I managed to have a bit of fun deciding what to put on them. I did some slices of omelette with peppers (a bit like Tamago), a few with prawn, a few with crab and salmon, a few with beetroot, a few with peppers. I made stirps of the Nori and wrapped the filling onto the rice, genius! It keeps it nicely in place and looks very pretty.
|Egg and Pepper Nigri|
|Crab and smoked salmon Nigri|
|Beetroot and Pepper Nigri, with smoked salmon and pepper Nigri|
|The whole little Nigri family!|
I found the whole experience of doing this scary but quite fun. We did alot of tasting while we were making it. And, of course as I'd prepared the Nori rolls to take to a pot luck supper, I didn't cut them up until I got there and forgot to take photos! However, mostly they worked quite well! The Nori was a similar combination of types to the Nigri, so you get the idea. I'll take some proper photos next time! Whilst it was fun, my word did it make a mess of the kitchen. As Viking standards go, I'm a messy cook!
|Now that is a good evening cooking! Looks like we've been raided by sushi loving Vikings.|
I made this for a dinner party - so it was a bit of a treat. It was served up on a big platter with a sheet of Nori for decoration (to cover the pizza plate logo!!) and with soya sauce, pickled ginger and wasabi in little dishes I got from a local charity shop. Everyone seemed to like it and were very kind! I'm glad the extra money I spent on it went to the local business and not the big supermarket. I grew and used the things I could (eggs, beetroot and chilli pepper). Maybe later this year I'll have a bash at growing more ingredients for this. I'll learn more about local seaweeds I can eat (maybe I can find some for sushi?) and well the rice - its certainly wet enough here to have paddie fields at the moment!
You see I'm full of Viking spirit and now sushi too!