Sushi, when it’s done well, looks like art on a plate. The secret to great sushi is making perfect rice. Chef Kaze Chan, the world-class master sushi chef from Chicago’s Sushi-San, gave us his secrets and we are sharing them with you. His Bluefin Tuna + Avocado Maki roll is the perfect summer food – it’s light and refreshing. Sushi-San uses the best ingredients it can get its hands on and keeps the techniques simple. Make sure that you splurge a little on the ingredients for this dish. When you learn how to make sushi, you will have a new appreciation for it!
Courtesy of Sushi-San, Chicago
1 litre (about 4 cups) short-grain sushi rice (preferably Koshi rice)
1.25 liters (about 5 cups) cold water, plus more for rinsing
136 grams (about 1/2 cup) grain vinegar
64 grams (about 5 Tbsp.) granulated sugar
32 grams (about 2 Tbsp.) fine sea salt
1. In a large bowl, gently rinse the rice with cold water and drain. Repeat 2 more times.
2 a. Add the rice to a rice cooker along with the measured water. Cook the rice for 45 minutes. OR
2 b. If using a pot and stove, increase water to 6 cups. Bring to boil on high, cover and reduce heat to low, cook on low for 45 minutes, let rest for 10 minutes. Leave top on while rice rests as well. Then begin next steps.
3. While the rice is cooking, make the Sushi-Su by combining the vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl until the sugar and salt have dissolved.
4. Once rice is finished cooking, spoon it into a hangiri or wide shallow bowl and drizzle with the Sushi-Su.
5. Gently fold the mixture together while simultaneously fanning the rice to cool it down to 36–37ºC (98–100ºF), being careful not to over-mix (and stop if rice begins to stick).
6. Cover the seasoned sushi rice to maintain its temperature until ready to use.
Chef’s tip: Proper seasoning, temperature, and knowing when to stop stirring is the foundation of any good sushi rice. If you miss any of those steps it is detrimental to the quality of the end product.
1 sheet toasted nori
125 grams (about 1/2 cup) seasoned sushi rice
6 slices sushi-grade tuna loin
6 slices avocado
6 slices seedless cucumber, cut into batons
Toasted sesame seeds
Coarse sea salt (Sushi-San uses Upethi salt from Bali)
Finely chopped otoro, optional
1. On a makisu (bamboo sushi mat), place the nori sheet rough side up. Spread the sushi rice evenly on the nori, leaving a .6-cm (1/4-inch) border at the top. Smear the border lightly with rice to create a sealing edge.
2. Line the tuna, avocado, cucumber and chopped otoro (if using) one at a time along the center of the rice, from left to right. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and coarse salt to taste.
3. Starting from the bottom of the makisu sushi mat, roll the sushi upwards to the top of the mat, continuously pressing firmly on all sides to form a seal.
4. Using a very sharp knife, cut the maki roll into 6–8 equal pieces and serve immediately.