Monday, May 13

Sushi: Student Style!

I'm not going to lie, this month is not much fun.
My life consists of 9am starts at the library and falling asleep on top of books about the Industrial Revolution and Sudanese Child Soldiers.
Oh how I cannot wait until that final exam is done and dusted!

My little stash of essentials!

However, I am not alone in suffering from revision woes.
My friends are also being locked, chained, and bolted into the library; a pick me up was needed!

My solution?
An epic sushi night!
Healthy, one of my favourite foods, and something a little bit different to the standard university halls cuisine!

I had never made sushi before, even though I absolutely adore it! I decided to do a bit of research on the internet first- bad move, it scared the hell out of me!

"Sushi chefs are not allowed to serve sushi for 10 years, only then are they qualified. They spend 3 years at least studying the art of sushi rice making...The rice can go wrong in a matter of seconds"

Well that was comforting!
So, I ignored this highly complex art and decided to brave it all on 'instinct'.

(I used my packaging which described this process:) 

I washed about 300g of sushi rice in a sieve until the water ran clean and was no longer cloudy.

This was then drained and allowed to soak in a bowl of tepid water for 30 minutes. (For every cup of rice add around one and a half of water.)
This was then drained and put into a large saucepan with fresh water (of the same ratio) to boil gently for 20 minutes.
The rice was deemed ready once the water was mostly absorbed.

Finally, add a good splash of rice vinegar and give it a good stir.
Leave to stand for 10 minutes, and ladies and gentlemen... That is the difficult bit done!
From here onwards, it is plain sailing!

Now I know that sushi is raw fish, but I was not going to be responsible for giving my friends and I food poisoning so close to exams. I would not be very popular at all!
While I was waiting for my rice, I prepared my fillings.
The first was a scrummy tuna mayo with fresh grated carrot. I decided to give this a go after viewing Paprika's blog, seen here.

The next was salmon and avocado rolls, my favourite!
I cooked my salmon fillets in some baking parchment parcels to avoid using raw fish.
(Cooking the salmon like this is also brilliant if you are watching the pounds as it holds the flavour without the need to add extra oil).

I chopped my cucumber into lengths which were the same size as the nori seaweed sheets and chopped my avocado into chunks. 

I roughly broke up the fish with a fork for easy sushi spreading and when the rice had settled for ten minutes, I rolled this into balls. (This makes it easier to apply to the nori sheets).
Sushi rice is very, very sticky. I kept on finding pieces on my clothes and hair!
The best way to solve this is to roll the balls with wet hands.

The epic seaweed/nori sheets!
Unlike the rice, do not touch these with wet hands, try to keep these as dry as possible to avoid a sticky situation.

Let the epic sushi making begin!

Apply a thin 1cm layer of rice, leaving an edge free for easy rolling, and spoon on your chosen flavours in a line.
Now to get rolling!

By this point, my guests arrived.
I got a little bit excited with the Japanese theme... And well, my friends just got excited!

Tuna and carrot done... Now for my personal favourite, salmon and avocado!

Thankfully, the others brought some crisps and biscuits to keep themselves and their stomachs entertained for a while.

"What the duck!?"

Finally, the simple cucumber classic!

At this point, I needed to serve up the sushi soon, the dancing was getting even more animated by the minute!

Time to dig in. BLISS!

I think this is by far my favourite form of revision procrastination! 
I've done procrasti-baking up until now, but procrasti-rolling is winning by a mile!

We laughed for a few hours, drenched the home made sushi in ginger, wasabi and soy sauce and ended up doing some more crazy dancing.
The perfect exam forgetting solution!

Incredibly scrummy, light, and healthy. I was terrified to try what is known to be such a tricky art but actually it is possible to make sushi simply and easily. It might not be worthy of ten years in sushi school, but for a food fix in a student kitchen, we thought it tasted pretty scrumptious!
Do not be scared my friends, get rolling and get munching, it is not as hard as the internet might make it seem!

In fact, trying to find the best photography angle was a lot harder than cooking the 'dreaded' sushi rice!



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. AWESOME post!!!!!
    I take my hat off to you for making all that sushi :)
    It looks so pretty and I bet your friends were mega grateful for it all :) Loving their crazy dancing, true talent.
    x x x

    1. Thanks Ibbs! Love you recent post too of the archives.
      I think my friends are grateful for the food, maybe not the expanding jeans though!
      Better to be crazy and fun than reserved and boring xx

  3. Emily those looks AMAZING! I've been dying to do a sushi post but I actually have not had a free minute since I'm one week from my final hand in.. ever!

    I used to do it with raw salmon when I was younger but cooking it sounds like a great idea to be on the safe side =)

    Lovely post! and omg your hair - I can't say it enough!

    Teffy || Teffys Perks Blog


    1. Thanks Teffy!! That's what happened to me, it isn't a fast process and with exams I just couldn't spare that long.. So I forced myself to buckle down! Yeah poisoning my friends would not be wise! XX

  4. So impressed that you tried this, fiddly cooking has never been my thing but this looks so good that I just might try it! - where did you buy your ingredients? Normal supermarket? Tuna and carrot looks gorgeous - I would have expected them to look more 'homemade' but they really look professional, well done! (ps I wish you'd been my flatmate at uni, yummm)!


    1. I'm no coordinated at all and I found it manageable, so definitely give it a go! (The smugness is worth it when it all comes together!)
      I would go to your biggest local supermarket, they will usually do at least the sushi rice/nori sheets if it is a big branch, (rice vinegar if you are lucky). I got mine from Sainsbury's, but I have seen them in Waitrose alot. Then the fillings are all just your normal supermarket stock! Hope that helps :) XX

  5. Mum does this! She doesn't o such exciting combos though, we thought we'd make some for appetisers for my 18th next week, which ones worked best? My fave Wasabi(which I'm jealous is opening near you) ones are actually just plain avocado... Soooo tasty, you've actually made me hungry, I hope you had some ginger too! Also how long did it take you? From what I remember it took a little while!! Xxx

    1. Ohhh happy birthday for next week!! Big 18th!
      The group favourite was salmon and avocado, you could give this a go with smoked salmon if that is easier than poaching fillets/raw fish. Could do a few cucumber/just avocado ones for the non fish lovers?
      Oh yeah... I snuck out some wasabi, ginger, and chop sticks from my last visit at Yo Sushi!
      And yeah... Took me about 2 hours in total! XXX

    2. Thanks Emily!! Good plan, thanks for being so helpful!! The plain ones probably are my favourites! That's such a good idea, I love the pickled ginger so much, I'd eat it on it's own! Ahh, I might have to make them the night before! Thanks so much Emily xxx

    3. Welcome hun :) Let me know how your 18th goes! Hit the champagne hard and enjoy the night xx

  6. It looks delicious, well done!

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  8. Right that's it you're looked so good, I'm making sushi!

    I've been putting it off because I've heard you need a rice maker and since I'm a fresh graduate I don't have that kind of money. Or if I do find it mum will not abide me taking up anymore counter space.

    I'm going to make veggie and vegan sushi. Any suggestions?


    1. Give it a go Steph! Let me know how it goes :)
      I just used the basics and found it really scrummy with the classic soy sauce!
      Hmm... I think avocado, cucumber, maybe grilled pepper and aubergine could be a nice twist? A good drizzle of sweet chilli might give a nice tang too!
      Hope that helps :) xxx

  9. Sushi looks great. FP for the effort, and your hair looks cracking.

    I'm not sure whether it's because I'm colour blind, but I find the red text on the strawberries in the banner really hard to make out.


  10. This looks so good, they turned out perfectly! Thank you for the mention!xx

    1. Welcome :) I owe you for the inspiration otherwise I doubt I would have given it a go! xx


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