Japanese cuisine – an art in itself!

posted in: Food | 0

Cooking is usually associated with banging of pots, cutting, spilling; most of the time accompanied by the loud noise of the exhaust. However, not when you are cooking Japanese.

Japanese cuisine is an art in itself – with attention to details, symmetry and uniformity. Last week we had a Sushi night for the Delft Mama cooking club, hosted by Saki Osada. Saki really managed to get everyone involved from the beginning and keep that high level of excitement until it was time to say goodbye.
Below, we will take you on a photographic journey through the menu and recipes of that evening – text and recipes is provided by Saki, while the photos are taken by me.
Sushi 寿司(すし)

Sushi is one of the most traditional Japanese foods and has a long history. Sushi was originally a preserved food. Before we had cold storage, people made “nare-sushi” allowing freshwater fish to ferment in cooked rice with salt. In the Edo period, people started using fresh fish instead of pickled fish.

They put raw fish slices or shellfish on top of small vinegared rice balls which were rolled by hand. This is called “Nigiri-zushi”. Now there are many kinds of Sushi in Japan; Nigiri-sushi(握り寿司), Chirashi-zushi(ちらし寿司), Maki-zushi(巻き寿司),Oshi-zushi(押し寿司), Inari-zushi(いなり寿司),and so on. We use not only fish but also vegetables, meat, eggs, and so on.

Tonight, I want to introduce how to cook “Maki-zushi(巻き寿司): Sushi roll”.

We will start by cooking rice, then “rolled egg” and finally how to roll sushi.


Photos of the set-up…

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List of ingredients for tonight

  • Rice : 3 cups
  • water : same amount as the rice after soaking
  • Vinegar : 1/2 cups
  • Sugar : 3 tablespoons
  • Salt : 2 teaspoons

※you can also get “sushi-zu(すし酢)”in the supermarket. This is already mixed vinegar, sugar and salt (Rice Seasoning).

  • nori(のり/seaweed)
  • Eggs : 3~4
  • Smoked salmon/ crab fish cake
  • Avocado
  • Cucumber (Cut them into long and slender shape)

※you can choose whatever fillings you like and you think will go well together.


  1. Cooking rice for the Sushi
  • Rice needs washing before cooking. The number of times depends on the kind of rice.

I usually wash three or four times.

  • Soak the rice. it takes about 30 minutes in the summer and one hour in the winter. You will know that the rice is soaked enough when it turns cloudy white.

(If you don’t have any time, I think you needn’t soak the rice. You can make it well without this step.)

  • Put the soaked rice in a pot and pour the water. Bring the rice to boil over high heat. Keep the high heat for two more minutes until the water bubbles and starts to overflow from the pot.
  • Turn down the heat to medium low for 3 minutes and then turn down to low heat for 5 more minutes until almost all the liquid is absorbed. After a total time of 10 minutes, open the lid and check whether any water remains. If there is still some water, let the rice cook a while longer over low heat.
  • Slip a kitchen cloth between the pot and the lid and wait for 10 minutes to steam. Steaming is important to make the rice fluffy.
  • Prepare the seasoning in advance and mix it with the cooked rice quickly. Be careful not to press the rice when you mix it.



2. How to cook Tamago-yaki(rolled egg)

  • Beat the eggs. Add sugar and salt as needed.
  • Grease and heat the pan enough.
  • Pour thin layer of the egg mixture into the pan. When the bottom of the egg is set but the top is still soft, start rolling it into a long shape.
  • Pour in more egg mixture. Make sure to lift the previously rolled omelet to spread the egg mixture underneath it and roll again. Repeat this a few times.
  • After it cools down, cut into long and slender shape.


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3. How to roll sushi

  • Place a sheet of nori on the bamboo mat(makisu/巻きす),shiny side down.
  • Put some rice on it and spread. When you spread rice, you should get your fingertips wet, so rice doesn’t stick to your fingers.
  • Put the fillings on the center of rice.
  • To roll, fold the bamboo mat so the fillings enclose in the center on the nori. Press the mat around the roll.
  • Slice the sushi to the size as you like.
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