Monday, March 26, 2012

Pressed Dungeness Crab Sushi

Lots of foreign people believe incorrectly that all Japanese housewives are expert in making Sushi and serve home-made Sushi to their families and guests regularly.

In fact, making Sushi is very difficult for Japanese housewives too!

Nigirizushi are almost impossible for us to make at home.  They require special skills, such as how to slice fish, the amount of Sushi rice to use and the right pressure to form oblong mounds.  They are only really tasty when made by well trained Sushi chefs.

Makizushi (rolled Sushi) are more popular at home but, even so, lots of Japanese housewives are struggling to wrap the Sushi rice and filling neatly with seaweed (Nori).  I often prepare them for my family but have never felt 100% satisfaction at my rolling skills. :-(

Here, I am introducing another style of Sushi - pressed Sushi (called Oshizushi in Japanese).  This method is far easier than Nigirizushi and Makizushi, and almost anyone can make tasty and gorgeous looking Sushi without fail!

Ingredients for 2 pressed sushi 
(Sushi rice)
1 cup Sushi rice
1 cup water
1 teaspoon Sake

(Sweet Vinegar)
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon Mirin

7oz Dungeness crab meat
1/3 cucumber very thinly sliced (using a mandolin is easiest)
2 tablespoons pickled ginger finely chopped

(Sushi Dressing)
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt

Salmon roe to garnish

Wash and rinse the rice 8-10 times, then drain completely.  Place the rice in a rice cooker with the water and Sake and cook following the manufacturer's instructions.  Alternatively, place the rice, water and Sake in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer while covered until cooked. Take off the heat and leave covered (this helps ensure all the water is incorporated into the rice)

In a small mixing bowl, mix the ingredients for the sweet vinegar and stir well until the sugar has dissolved.  Add the Dungeness crab and marinate for half an hour or so.

Soak the cucumber in salted water for 15 minutes and then squeeze quite firmly to drain.

To make the Sushi dressing, add all ingredients in a cup and stir well until the sugar and salt have dissolved.

Transfer the cooked rice (which should still be fairly hot) to a large mixing bowl.  Add the Sushi dressing and mix the rice with a thin spoon or spatula using a slicing action to distribute the dressing thoroughly. If you mix too much the gluten in the rice makes it too sticky.

Add the cucumber and pickled ginger into the Sushi rice and mix well, once again using a slicing action to distribute evenly.

Line a wooden Sushi presser or about 3 x 7 inch small loaf tin with cling film, leaving it hanging over the sides of the presser or tin.  Layer evenly half of lightly squeezed Dungeness crab over the bottom of the presser or tin.  Now spread evenly the half of Sushi rice over the crab.

Fold the cling film over the top of the rice to enclose the Sushi.  Press down the Sushi with the presser's lid or something flat such as the bottom of a glass.

Turn the mold on to a chopping board.  Repeat for the rest of the rice mixture.  Leave the Sushi for 10 - 15 minutes at room temperature to set.

Cut the Sushi through the cling film into 6 - 8 equal peaces, pull the cling film gently off and transfer to a serving plate.  Garnish each peace with some of the salmon roe.

If you would like to read this recipe in Japanese, please click HERE.

Bon appetit!