Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Fiona Uyema 2013 Review

I decided to make a short video to celebrate all the wonderful things that happened in 2013. It certainly was an eventful year and I want to say a big THANK YOU to all my followers for your support. I love getting your emails, messages, comments and especially photos of my recipes that you tried at home.  Fiona's Japanese Cooking blog is about bringing Japanese food into your kitchens and creating easy to follow recipes that you will try at home. I'd love to see more and more people trying Japanese cooking at home in 2014.

Here's are some of the biggest highlights of 2013:
- Winning the Easy Food Home-Cook Hero Awards 2013 (cáca milis category) with my pandan roulade recipe. When I spoke to Catherine Fulvio she said that I brought a new Asian ingredient to the competition and that’s what made me stand out. The Awards were aired on TV3 in November 2013 and my recipe was published in the Jan/Feb 2014 Easy Food Magazine

- My recipe will be featured in Powercourt 5 star hotel in Co Wicklow in early 2014.  

- Opening the main stage of one of Ireland’s leading food festivals, Savour Kilkenny with a Japanese cooking demonstration. It felt amazing to see how intrigued the audience of 200 people were to learn about Japanese cooking. It was an honour to be included in the same line-up as Edward Hayden and Kevin Dundon. 

- Moving my Japanese cooking classes from my home in Kildare to Miele Gallery in Citywest, Dublin. Thanks to all my food blogging friends for attending my cooking classes at my house in 2013.

- Meeting John and Sally McKenna and being interviewed with them on the Sue Nunn show on KCLR 96FM.

- Being interviewed by Fiona Dillon on Kilkenny radio and bringing my story and Japanese food into households around Kilkenny.

- Giving demonstrations at different festivals and events including Food & Wine Christmas Show in the RDS in November 2013. 

- Spending time in the Wagamama kitchen with head chef Juan Manteca and in the kitchen of Raw Sushi in the Sky (Radisson hotel in Galway) with head chef Hisashi Kumagai. 

 - Fiona's Japanese Cooking blog being shortlisted for the Irish Blog Awards 2013 in the food category (www.fionasjapanesecooking.blogspot.ie). 

- My audience/ followers growing from my circle of family and friends to people around the world.

Happy New Year and wishing you health and happiness in 2014. Fiona Uyema x  

Monday, 16 December 2013

Meeting sushi master Hisashi Kumagai

Last month I went to Galway to spend time with Hisashi Kumagai (Kuma) who is the head chef of sushi restaurant "Raw Sushi in the Sky". It's located on the 4th floor of the Radisson Hotel in Galway city with amazing views of Galway Bay.

Kuma kindly let me spend the day with him in his kitchen to learn about the art of sushi making from a professional chef's perspective. Kuma has worked in restaurants all over the world in countries including Japan, Austria, Canada, America and Ireland for over 35 years. 
Although I only spent one day with him I learned so much in that short space of time. While we were prepping the food for that night's bookings we chatted about Japanese food and culture and how one can't be separated from the other. We talked about sourcing ingredients in Ireland for Japanese dishes. I had lots of questions for him throughout the day and he was very patient answering them all.

At the end of the day, my family and I sat down to enjoy Kuma's sushi with miso soup and a really cold Japanese beer! If you're looking for a place to eat sushi in the Galway area I would highly recommend it. You'll see Kuma at the sushi counter freshly rolling your sushi as you order it.  

People often ask me about raw fish on my blog and at my cooking classes. So I had to include this as a point to talk about with Kuma. I've listed some important points below to remember when buying, preparing and eating raw fish. Kuma serves salmon, tuna, seabass, seabream, swordfish and halibut as sashimi in the restaurant.

Buying fish suitable to eat raw as sashimi:
- Try to buy from a reputable fish monger and call them in advance so they can pre-order fish that can be eaten raw or tell you in advance if they have any in store
- Be aware that staff in some shops may not be trained to advise what fish can be eaten raw and therefore in some cases can tell you it's ok when they don't really know!
- Find out as much as you can about the fish you're going to eat raw i.e. where the fish came from, when it was caught and how old is it now
- If in doubt, use a few simple checks to make sure the fish is really fresh i.e. the fish should smell pleasant and not foul, the fish skin should be shiny and the fish eyes bright 

Preparing raw fish:
-  If you are concerned about eating fish raw then you should freeze it as this will get rid of any harmful bacteria etc
- Kuma told me that all restaurants are required to freeze fish for at least 24 hours and then defrost before serving to customers to eat raw in order to meet EU regulations
- Use a very sharp knife to cut the fish

Eating raw fish
- Serve with soy sauce and wasabi
- A Japanese vegetable called daikon goes really well with sashimi as it helps to cleanse your palate

Raw Sushi in the Sky also provide a local sushi take-away service.

Raw Sushi in the Sky contact details

Notes: I was not asked by the Radisson Hotel or Raw Sushi in the Sky to write this post. I wrote it because I wanted to share my experience with you.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Ballymaloe Cranberry Sauce & Soy Glazed Cocktail Sausages

I got inspiration for this recipe from Nigella Lawson's Christmas book called "Nigella Christmas". However, I'm just using three ingredients for the glaze. Try to source good quality sausages if possible with a high meat content (usually over 80%).

This is a great recipe for entertaining at home.

25 cocktail sausages
50ml soy sauce
2 heaped tablespoons Ballymaloe Cranberry Sauce
1 tsp brown sugar

1. Preheat a fan oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

2. Line a baking tin with tin foil.

3. Mix the cranberry sauce, soy sauce and brown sugar in a large bowl.

4. Toss in the cocktail sausages and make sure to completely cover all the sausages in the sauce.

5. Place in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes tossing occasionally.

Make sure to line your baking tin with tin foil as the sauce will really stick to the baking tin and it's a nightmare to clean!

Monday, 2 December 2013

Sushi - the ultimate Christmas canapé

Every year I love spending time in the kitchen creating Christmas themed recipes. This year I was delighted to be able to demonstrate some of these recipes at the Food & Wine Christmas Show in the RDS.

At my Masterclass, I demonstrated a few different types of sushi rolls and added a Christmas twist by filling the sushi rolls with ingredients that are typically eaten during Christmas time and also using colours associated with Christmas such as red and green.

I made a very simple temaki roll filled with fresh green lettuce, wasabi mayo prawn cocktail topped with Goatsbridge Trout Caviar.

Everyone at the class got to taste my hosomaki roll made with cucumber and red pepper.

Finally, I made an uramaki roll with roasted red peppers, asparagus and wasabi mayo trout (poached in sake and water) garnished with Goatsbridge Trout Caviar. I also sprinkled chopped chives on the rice.

Sushi is the ideal Christmas canapé however if you're entertaining at home and serving sushi to guests make sure that you've practised a couple of times before you serve you own little masterpieces!

I hope this post gives you a little inspiration to start making sushi and other Christmas themed recipes at home!

Thanks to Food & Wine and photographer Paul Sheerwood for giving me the photos for this post.


Saturday, 30 November 2013

Christmas Themed Bento Box Lunch Ideas

My little boy's reaction to this bento was just priceless. These animated bentos work really well for  special occasions or birthdays! This looks like a lot of effort but trust me it's not. The only thing that you need for this is Japanese rice which can be found in most large supermarkets (sometimes it's called sushi rice). Japanese rice is a short grain sticky rice so other types of rice won't work as well as the rice needs to stick together to create the rice balls. After following the instructions below and making the snowman you can use whatever ingredients you have at home for the rest of the lunch box fillings. Try to make the lunch box as colourful as possible and include ingredients from all the food groups to make a balanced meal if possible.

You'll need

Any type of kid's lunch box
Japanese rice boiled 
Bowl of water
For the lunch box fillings:
2 cooked cocktail sausages or slice of ham
2 strawberries
2 cherry tomotoes & cucumber pieces
Few pieces of steamed brocolli & carrots
Few peas/ and or sweetcorn
2 thin strips of green pepper

Nori (seaweed) sheet or sesame seeds

How to create your bento:

1. Click here to see how to prepare and make Japanese rice.

2. Dip your hands in the bowl of water. Then take a small handful of the cooked rice and form the shape of a ball using both hands. This rice ball can be used for the body of the snowman. Repeat again to make a rice ball for the snowman's head, this time take a little more rice.

3. Place both rice balls in the in the middle of the lunch box, the bigger rice ball sitting on the smaller rice ball to make the shape of a snowman.

4. To create the snowman, place 2 boiled peas on the lower rice ball as the buttons. Place the sweetcorn on the upper rice ball as the nose. Cut  two small pieces of nori in the shape of a smiling eye and place on the upper rice ball. Cut a long thin strip of nori and place on the upper rice ball as the mouth. Place the two thin strips of green pepper on either side of the lower rice ball as the arms.

8. Now you can start to filling the lunch box with other fruit, veg and meat to make a complete balanced meal. For this bento I've included cocktail sausages, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, boiled carrot pieces.

I used nori for the eyes and mouth but there are lots of other fruit and vegetables that you could use instead if you don't have nori at home e.g. raisins, outer skin of a cucumber etc. 

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Winner of the Easy Food Home-Cook Hero Awards 2013

I wrote a post earlier in the year talking about all the wonderful things that had happened since I started this blog. Now, a few months on I'm so happy to be able to tell you that I've more to share. My pandan roulade recipe reached the final of the Easy Food Home-Cook Awards 2013 in the Cáca Milis category. On Saturday morning I headed to Cooks Academy cookery school in Dublin city centre to take part in a cook-off with the other finalists. 

The judging panel included celebrity chefs Catherine Fulvio and Kevin Dundon along with Easy Food Magazine Publisher Gina Miltiadou. I was thrilled to reach the final and get the opportunity to make my recipe in front of the judges and tell them the story behind it. The judges were really intrigued by the Asian twist in my recipe - pandan! Easy Food quoted Catherine Fulvio as saying “It is so interesting to see how the standard in this competition is improving year on year.  The use of international ingredients in classic dishes is also very impressive. Overall, a fantastic standard”.

After presenting my recipe to the judges I headed home to get ready for the black-tie gala Awards in The Shelbourne Hotel where the winner of each category was announced. The Awards Ceremony was hosted by TV3's Martin King who I got to chat with during the day and at the Awards. He is great at what he does and helped calm our nerves throughout the day and on stage. The judges were so friendly and down to earth spending time talking to each finalist and listening to their individual food stories.  

My category was sponsored by Powerscourt Hotel in Co. Wicklow. After being announced as the winner of this category I listened in disbelief as I was told my pandan roulade recipe will be put on the menu of Powerscourt restaurant. Wow!!

So I was a little nervous going on stage to receive the award but afterwards I had such an adrenaline rush that I didn't go to bed until the early hours of Sunday morning!

If you'd like to see the cook-off and the awards ceremony it will be aired on TV3 at 1:25pm on Saturday November 16th 2013. 

I'd like to thank the Easy Food team and all the staff at Cooks Academy for organising such an amazing event. Also thanks to Easy Food Magazine, photographer Robbie Reynolds, Nessa Robins and my husband Gilmar for capturing all these special moments on camera throughout the day and night so I can share them here with you. 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Goatsbridge Caviar Gunkan Sushi Rolls

Last month I visited Goatsbridge Trout Farm in Thomastown, Kilkenny as they hosted the "Focus on Fish" event as part of Savour Kilkenny Food Festival 2013. Goatsbridge Trout Farm was founded by Ger Kirwan's parents and is now run by Ger and his wife Mag. This couple's passion for what they do is like a tonic giving me a renewed sense of energy and passion for food (especially trout and caviar!) and local producers on my way back to Kildare. They have expanded the business with other products including smoked trout and are Ireland's first makers of caviar. They also provide farm tours and workshops where you'll get the opportunity to learn how to smoke your own trout http://goatsbridgetrout.ie/.

During this event Sally McKenna gave a very educational demo on seaweed talking about some of the recipes in her new book "Extreme Greens - Understanding Seaweed". Then, I gave a sushi demo showing the audience how to make a simple temaki (sushi hand roll) and uramaki (inside out roll) topped with Goatsbridge Trout Caviar which looked and tasted amazing. 

Goatsbridge trout caviar works really well for this type of sushi roll and it's surprisingly easy to make as the Kirwan's have done all the hard work making the caviar! Gunkan maki translates as war-ship sushi roll because it looks like a war-ship. It's very easy to roll only taking a few minutes or less once everything is prepared. It also looks very impressive when you serve it on a plate or platter especially if you use the caviar as a filling.

Sushi rice (rice & sushi vinegar)
Nori sheets (roasted seaweed), cut into strips 1.5 inches
Goatsbridge trout caviar
Dill (to garnish)
Small bowl of clean water (use to wet hands)
Damp clean cloth (use to wipe hands)

On the side:
Soy sauce
Pickled ginger


1. Click here to see how to prepare sushi rice.

2. Get your nori strips ready in advance and store in an airtight container so they don't lose their crispy texture.

3. Dip your hands into the bowl of clean water and dry off excess water using the damp cloth.

3. Place a thumb-size piece of sushi rice in your hand and shape into an oval shaped ball using your hand.

4. Place the rice ball on a chopping board and then wrap the nori strip around the rice (face the rough side of the nori on the inside). The rice should be only half the height of the seaweed to allow for fillings.

5. Use a cooked grain of rice to seal the seaweed end when wrapping it around the rice.

6. Now place the caviar on top of the rice so that it's sitting above the level of the seaweed.

7. Serve on a plate or platter along with soy sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger.

- Don't get too stressed over the size of the rice ball and the strips of nori. This type of sushi can come in all sizes. The most important thing is to try and enjoy the sushi making experience and with practice your sushi will start to look better and reach perfection! 
- The fillings for the gunkan maki are limitless.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Goatsbridge Trout with Teriyaki Sauce Recipe

Here's a recipe from my demo at Savour Kilkenny

Goatsbridge Trout Fillet
Vegetable oil (for frying)
Few handfuls of pak choi/ spinach leaves (blanched)

For the teriyaki sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sake
1 tbsp mirin
Half tsp honey (I used Fiona Dillon's honey from Hunters Lodge)

1. Heat the oil on a frying pan.
2. Place the trout fillet skin side down and fry on medium heat for a few minutes depending on size.
3. Whisk all the ingredients for the teriyaki sauce in a small bowl.
4. Turn the trout fillet and continue to fry to a minute or so.
5. Pour the teriyaki sauce over the fish. Try to spoon the sauce over the fillet to help the fish absorb the flavour.
6. The teriyaki sauce is ready once it starts to form small bubbles and thickens like syrup.
7. Take off the heat and serve on a bed of blanched pak choi or spinach.

-       - Try not to overcook the teriyaki sauce as black bits will start to form. 

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Savour Kilkenny Food Festival 2013

My husband, Gilmar and I arrived in Kilkenny on Friday morning with a platter of sushi that I made earlier that morning for all the crew at KCLR96FM.

I had the pleasure of meeting both Sally and John McKenna just before we went on the Sue Nunn Show to talk about some of the great events taking place at Savour Kilkenny including the Focus on Fish Day organised by Mag and Ger Kirwan at Goatsbridge Trout Farm (http://goatsbridgetrout.ie). We also had a great discussion with Sue about my time in Japan, Japanese food and sushi. Sally who has just published a book on seaweed called "Extreme Greens" talked about Ireland and how seaweed was used years ago. I'm looking forward to reading her book and sharing it with you in the coming weeks.

We went straight to Goatsbridge Trout Farm after the radio interview to meet Mag and Ger Kirwan and all the guests that arrived to take part in a day of debate, discussions and demonstrations on fish. I'll write more about this in a separate post.

On Saturday morning I gave a talk at Food Camp on Japanese food and my experience living in Japan for 3 years. Then, I was honoured to open the Chef's Table - Main Demo with a sushi and Japanese cooking demonstration. It was so exciting to stand in front of such a large crowd and share my passion for Japanese food. Japanese food and sushi were certainly popular at Savour leaving no leftovers after my demo!

To bring a wonderful weekend to a close we attended the book launch of Fiona Dillon's "Food From An Irish Garden" at the Pembroke Hotel. It was a great opportunity to catch up with friends in the food community and talk about the highlights of Savour! We're already looking forward to Savour 2014.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Japanese cooking and sushi making classes in Miele Gallery

Over the last month I was delighted to receive lots of email queries in relation to my cooking classes. I'm writing this post to keep you all up-to-date. 

I moved my cooking classes from my home in Kildare to Miele Gallery in Citywest, Dublin. This is a great development as it allows me to provide classes to larger groups with better facilities and the location is more accessible for people as Miele Gallery is just off the N7. Please see www.mielegallery.ie for more details. 

If you're interested in attending one of my classes please send an email to fionasjapanesecooking@gmail.com. 

I'm currently taking bookings for my next two scheduled classes in Miele:
- Wednesday November 20th 2013 (6:30 - 8:30 pm)
- Wednesday December 11th 2013 (6:30 - 8:30 pm)

If these dates don't suit you please contact me as depending on demand I may be able to accommodate additional bookings. I also provide customised classes for corporate or personal groups and team building events.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Japanese chicken stock recipe

I find this basic Japanese chicken stock recipe great for a variety of Japanese dishes including ramen, soups and one pot dishes. Although it takes more time to prepare your own stock the depth of flavour that it adds to dishes definitely makes it worthwhile.

4 chicken leg and thighs (preferably free range or organic), remove skin
2 carrots (peeled and roughly chopped)
1 large leek (roughly chopped)
Thumb size piece of ginger (thinly sliced)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp instant dashi powder (optional)

1. Heat the vegetable oil and sesame oil in a very large saucepan.
2. Place the chicken pieces in the saucepan sealing both sides by frying for a few minutes on each side.
3. Toss in the carrots, leek and ginger and quickly stir.
4. Pour 2 litres of cold water into the saucepan and bring to the boil. Then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for up to 2 hours. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface while it's simmering.
5. If you want to add the instant dashi powder please add about 15 minutes before taking the stock off the heat.
6. Remove from the heat and strain.
7. Once cool place in the fridge.
8. Remove the fat from the surface of the chicken stock before using or freezing.
9. This stock will last in the fridge for a few days and in the freezer for a few months.

- I got these free range chicken legs and thighs in my local farmer's market for €1 each.
- I usually make chicken stock in the evening and place in the fridge overnight so I can remove the fat from the surface the next day before using or freezing.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Fiona Uyema's new logo

I've been working in the background with a wonderful graphic designer called Peter Dawson. He created this logo for me using my Japanese surname "Uyema" written in one of the Japanese alphabets called kanji (like Chinese characters). I believe he's captured the essence of my Japanese cooking in this logo by mixing my Japanese surname with a contemporary design and colour. I'd love to hear your comments. What do you think of it? 

Friday, 27 September 2013

Oyster Tempura Recipe

The 59th Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival will take place this weekend. It's the most internationally recognised festival in Ireland after St Patrick's Day attracting visitors from all over the world. Here's an oyster recipe with a Japanese twist to celebrate this wonderful festival.

10 shucked and cleaned fresh oysters
150ml ice cold water
1 egg yolk

100g flour (sieved)
Half tsp corn flour (sieved)
Handful of ice-cubes
Seaweed (to garnish) 
Lemon wedges and sea salt (serve on the side)
Vegetable oil (for frying)

1. Gently wash the oysters and pat dry with kitchen towel. 
2. Place enough vegetable oil in a heavy base saucepan to be able to deep fry the oysters. 
3. Line a plate with kitchen towel as this will be used to absorb the excess oil from the tempura. 
4. Place the egg in a medium size bowl and beat using chopsticks or whisk. Pour the ice cold water into the bowl and mix with the egg.  
5. Add the sieved flour and corn flour to the water and egg. Mix lightly leaving small lumps in the mixture (at this stage you could sit the medium sized bowl filled with the batter into a larger bowl filled with ice and water to keep the batter cold). 
6. To check the oil is hot enough, drop a small bit of batter into the oil and if it sizzles up quickly to the top then the oil temperature is ok.
7. Gently dip the oysters (one at a time) into the batter, shake off the excess batter and place in the oil.
8. Only fry a few pieces in the oil at the time to ensure that the oil temperature remains hot. The pieces should be turned only a few times until they have a nice light golden colour. This usually takes a few minutes. 
9. Place the oyster tempura on your prepared plate lined with kitchen towel to absorb the excess oil.
10. Serve in the oyster shell topped with seaweed. Season with freshly ground sea salt and lemon wedges. 
- To get a light and crispy tempura batter the oil temperature should be hot and the batter very cold.
- Do not over mix the batter, lumps are ok in the batter
- Before preparing the batter make sure everything else is ready so you can use it immediately.  
To get some useful tips on buying, preparing and cooking oysters at home go to Clogadh McKenna's Guide To Oyster's

Friday, 20 September 2013

Yakisoba with Mixed Vegetables Recipe

I lived in a small village along the western coast of Japan called Nishiyama.  During the summer months the locals always invited me to their hiking tours which were followed by a barbecue on the beach.  This was the first time I ate yakisoba at a Japanese barbecue and it was amazing.  Yakisoba is also a  popular street food at Japanese summer festivals.  Outside of Japan, yakisoba is one of the most popular dishes on menus in Japanese restaurants.  It's easy to make at home so please give it a try.  This is one of my 2 year old's favourite dishes. 

This is a vegetarian dish but if you want to follow the traditional recipe include pork shoulder or pork belly (chicken and prawn go really well too). 

2 garlic cloves (peeled and finely diced ) 
1 onion (peeled and finely diced)
1 carrrot (peeled and cut julienne style)
1 handful of beansprouts 
1 handful of savoy cabbage (finely chopped)
1 pack of egg noodles or ramen noodles

Homemade yakisoba sauce:
4 tbsp tomato ketchup
4 tbsp water
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp sake or red wine
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tsp sugar
Freshly ground black pepper (to season)

Vegetable oil (for frying)

To garnish (optional)
Nori (finely grated)
Beni shogu (red pickled ginger)

Serves 2 


  1. To make the homemade yakisoba sauce put all the ingredients for sauce in a saucepan and simmer for about 10 minutes until the sauce thickens to the same consistency as tomato ketchup and then set aside.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan/ wok and fry the onion until soft. Then add the garlic.
  3. Toss in the carrots and fry for a minute or so before adding the cabbage and beansprouts.
  4.  Place the noodles in a bowl of boiling water and untangle with chopsticks or a fork without breaking. Drain and add to the stir fry. 
  5. Pour the sauce over the stir fry and mix well.
  6. Serve on a plate and top with nori and red pickled ginger.
- Stir fry the vegetables to your liking but try not to overcrowd the pan.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The story so far....

I started this blog in 2012 after adding it to my New Year's Resolution List. It wasn't long before I was completely hooked always thinking about my next post. Month by month my followers grew from my circle of family and friends to people in Ireland and all over the world. People started to contact me directly asking me about my recipes and for advice on different aspects of Japanese cooking at home.

This year, Fiona's Japanese Cooking has opened so many doors and allowed me to meet a fantastic group of friends in the Irish Food Blogging Community that I wouldn't have met otherwise. I've learned so much from them and enjoy talking about food non-stop to people who share my passion.

Earlier this year, I was invited to a Ramen Experience in Wagamama's kitchen and got a unique opportunity to make ramen with Wagamama's head chef and trainer Juan Manteca. 

I started to run Japanese cooking classes from my home which will move to the Miele Gallery in Citywest from October to accommodate bigger groups and also make it more accessible for people. 

I did my first radio interview and I'm doing a sushi demo at one of Ireland's leading food festivals "Savour Kilkenny".  

Last weekend I was so excited to see Fiona's Japanese Cooking blog short listed for the Irish Blog Awards for the best food & drink category, fingers crossed!  

There are more exciting opportunities in the pipeline for later this year and early next year which I'm looking forward to sharing with you. If next year is as eventful and exciting as this year I'll be a very happy lady. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for your support, likes, follows, and pins! A special thanks to my husband - for the photos accompanied by his patience! And my son - for eating some of my creations!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

The English Market in Cork - a foodie's paradise

When I was planning my family trip to Cork I had to include a visit to the English Market as I'd never been there and heard so many good things about it. 

We had no trouble finding it as it's located right in the centre of Cork city and its roofed style market makes it suitable for all weather conditions.

This market is definitely a foodie's paradise with a wide selection of food from fish caught earlier that morning to cerified organic fruit and vegetables. It's clear from walking around the market that the shop owners and staff are passionate about what they do and take great pride in providing good quality produce.

I was really impressed with the freshness of the fish and the knowledge of the staff. If you live locally and are looking for fish for sushi or sashimi then this is the place to go. Make sure to mention that the fish will be eaten raw and they'll recommend the best fish for this purpose. I was told that the best days for getting fish for sushi or sashimi is Thursday to Saturday.

Towards the end of the market we came across a store that stocks a wonderful selection of good quality Japanese ingredients.

When you've finished wandering around the market at your lesiure there's a lovely cafe on the first floor.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Uramaki - inside out sushi roll recipe

At my Japanese cooking classes there's always particular interest in a type of sushi roll called uramaki. It's popular outside of Japan as the taste of the nori is not as strong since the rice is on the outside of the roll. It can be nicely decorated with sesame seeds, fish eggs or even finely chopped dill.
This recipe is a great finger food for entertaining at home for special occasions. I've added extra photos for this post to make you're sushi rolling challenge a little easier. If you'd like to attend one of my cooking classes you can email me at fionasjapanesecooking@gmail.com

320g Japanese rice, uncooked 
4 x nori sheets (halved)

Sushi rice seasoning 
Japanese rice vinegar 100ml
Sugar 2 tbsp
Salt half tsp

Sushi Filling
140g crab meat 
Half tbsp crème fraîche
Pea size dollop of wasabi paste
2 ripe mangoes (cut into long strips)
2 green apples (cut into long strips)
Few lemon wedges

You'll need
Cling film
2 sushi mats
Small water bowl
Clean damp cloth

1. Getting ready
Wrap the two sushi mats completely in cling film to avoid the rice sticking to them. Place a small bowl of water and a clean damp cloth on the table beside the sushi mats as you'll need these while you're sushi rolling.  

2. Click here to see how to prepare sushi rice

3. Putting the sushi rice on the nori 

- Place half a sheet of nori shiny side down and the lines in the nori running vertical on a sushi mat. 
- Put about 3 heaped tablespoons of sushi rice on the seaweed.
- Quickly dip your hands in the bowl of water and use the damp cloth to absorb excess water (this should avoid the rice sticking to your fingers).
- Gently spread the rice all over the nori sheet using your fingertips. 
- Sprinkle sesame seeds over the rice. 
Place the other sushi mat over the rice and using both your hands press firmly but gently on the mat to secure the rice onto the nori sheet. 
- Flip the sushi mats around so the mat facing up is now facing down. 
- Remove the top sushi mat and you should see the rice facing down and the nori facing up.

4. Put the fillings on the rice as shown in the pictures below.

- Drizzle some lemon on the apple pieces to avoid them browning. In a small bowl mixthe crabmeat, crème fraîche and wasabi together. Place the ingredients in a straight line on the nori sheet as shown in the picture.
- Hold the nearest end of the mat with your index fingers and thumbs. Use the rest of your fingers to hold the ingredients in place. 
- Start to roll the mat forward and bring the nori and rice over the fillings. Press down firmly but gently to create a roll shape. To form the complete roll pull the end of the mat with one hand and continue to push the roll forward with the other hand (if some ingredients fall out the sides just push them back in and don't worry if the edges of the roll look untidy as this is ok). 
- Wrap the mat around the sushi roll to form a secure roll shape. 

5. Cut the roll
Wrap the roll in cling film (this will make it easier to cut). Place the roll on a chopping board and using a sharp knife cut in half (try to only cut in one direction). Then, using a damp clean cloth wipe the knife clean and continue to cut the two halves into four pieces and then cut the four pieces in half leaving you with eight pieces altogether. Make sure to remove all the cling film at this stage. 

6. Serve
Place on a plate and serve with pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce.
Helpful Sushi Tips:
  • Don't expect to make the perfect sushi roll the first time, it'll take a little practice but it's worth it in the end and looks very impressive!
  • Do not use other types of rice such as long grain rice. Only use short grain rice which is also called sushi rice.
  • You can buy ready-made sushi vinegar if you'd prefer not to make sushi vinegar from scratch.
  • Place a damp cloth over the sushi rice if you are not using it immediately to avoid it becoming hard and dry.
  • Try not to put the rice in the fridge, sushi rice can be stored in a cool place for up to 12 hours.
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