1. To make the rice, place the rice in a sieve and rinse under cold running water for 2-3 minutes
or until the water runs clear. This removes the excess starch that makes the cooked rice too gluggy. Set aside in the sieve for 1 hour
to drain. Place the rice in a large 23cm (base measurement) saucepan or frying pan with a lid. The large pan size ensures the water is
absorbed evenly by the rice. Add the water to the rice. Place over high heat and bring to a vigorous boil. Transfer to the smallest
hotplate, cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes without lifting the lid. Turn off the heat, remove the lid and cover the pan with
a clean, folded tea towel. Place the lid on top and set aside for 10 minutes to finish steaming. The tea towel will absorb excess
moisture. When cooked, the rice grains should be slightly sticky but not gluggy.
2. Transfer the
rice to a large, shallow, flat-based 20 x 34cm (base measurement) non-aluminium dish. Drizzle the rice with the sushi vinegar. Use a
thin, flat spatula to gently fold the vinegar through the rice. To avoid damaging the rice grains, lift and turn the rice (don't stir),
and gently break up any clumps of rice to separate the grains. Use a hand-held or electric fan to fan the rice intermittently during
this process. Once it is free of lumps, continue fanning for about 10 minutes or until at room temperature. Fanning helps cool the rice
quickly and, together with the vinegar, gives it a glossy appearance. The rice cannot be put in the fridge or it will dry out and
harden. Hence the rice must be cooked on the day the sushi is to be made. Wet a 40 x 60cm piece of muslin and wring out any excess
water. Cover the rice with the muslin to keep it moist. The rice can be made up to 4 hours ahead but must be kept covered with the damp
muslin. If keeping the rice for more than 30 minutes, cover the muslin with plastic wrap.
the tuna into long, 1cm-thick strips. Transfer to a plate, cover and place in the fridge. Cut the daikon radish lengthways into
quarters. Wrap 3 of the pieces in plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge for another use. Peel the remaining quarter. Cut in 1/2
crossways and then cut 1 piece lengthways into 5mm thick strips. Place on a large tray or board. Cut the remaining piece of daikon into
5cm long, 3mm thick strips. Place in a small bowl of cold water, cover and keep in the fridge to chill and crisp. Halve the cucumber
lengthways and use a teaspoon to scoop out the seeds. Cut lengthways into three 5mm thick strips and add to the tray or board with the
capsicum. Reserve remaining cucumber for another use. Place the wasabi in a small bowl and keep it in the fridge. Fill a medium
non-aluminium bowl with water and add the sushi vinegar. The rice will stick to anything dry, so dip utensils and your hands in the
vinegared water before handling it. Remove 1 sheet of Nori and wrap the packet in plastic wrap, expelling as much air as possible.
(Keep the moisture-absorbing sachet inside the packet with the nori.) Place the bamboo mat on a work surface with the slats running
horizontally. Place the sheet of nori, shiny-side down, on the mat about 2cm from the closest edge. The faint lines on the nori should
also run horizontally. Dip your hands and a 1 cup measure in the vinegared water and shake off any excess. Measure 1 cup of rice.
Repeat with a 1/2 cup measure. Pile the rice onto the centre of the sheet of nori. Dip both hands in the vinegared water, shake off any
excess and use your fingers to spread the rice evenly over the nori, leaving a 3cm-wide horizontal strip free of rice at the opposite
end. Use a finger or small spatula dipped in the vinegared water to smear some wasabi in a horizontal line across the centre of the
rice. Place 1/3 of the tuna over the line of wasabi so it stretches across the rice and overhangs the edges slightly. Trim any untidy
ends. Top with 1 cucumber strip and 1/3 of the daikon and capsicum strips, overlapping the ends of each to extend across the rice. Use
the line of wasabi as a guide to help you keep the fillings close together.
4. Use your thumbs
and forefingers to pick up the end of the bamboo mat closest to you. Use your other fingers to hold the fillings in place while lifting
the mat over to enclose the fillings in the rice.
5. Gently pull the mat to create a firm roll,
then make a final turn, rolling onto the uncovered strip of nori. Again, use the mat to gently pull and tighten the roll. Avoid pulling
too tightly as this will compress the rice too much. At this stage, you can retain the round shape of the roll or gently press down on
the top of the mat with 2 fingers to create a square shape. Unroll the bamboo mat. Dip both hands in the vinegared water, shake off any
excess and use your fingers to tuck any stray rice into the sides of the roll. Wrap in plastic wrap while preparing the remaining 2
rolls. The rolled sushi is best cut and served immediately, while the ingredients are at their freshest and the nori is still crisp.
However, they can be kept, wrapped in plastic wrap, in a cool place for up to 1 hour. Do not place them in the fridge, otherwise the
rice will dry out.
6. To serve, wet a dishwashing cloth and wring out the excess water. Unwrap 1
sushi roll. Dip a sharp knife in the bowl of vinegared water and cut the roll in half. Wipe the knife clean with the damp cloth. Cut
each half in half again, and so on, until you have 8 slices - wipe and wet the knife after every cut to ensure a clean cut. Arrange on
a serving platter or individual plates and repeat with the remaining rolls. Drain the chilled daikon radish and pile on the platter or
plates to garnish. Serve with the soy sauce, pickled ginger and extra wasabi, if desired.
1. Bring the prepared sushi rice to room temperature.
2. (If using canned aburage, skip this next step) Pour boiling water over the deep-fried tofu cakes to remove oil. Cool, then slice
each tofu cake in half lengthwise to make eight tofu pouches.
3. In a small saucepan, combine the mirin, sugar, soy sauce and dashi together. Simmer over low heat until hot. Drain gourd strips,
then add the gourd strips and tofu pouches into the stock. Heat to boil. Cover, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool. Squeeze the tofu pouches and gourd strips dry. Set aside.
4. Mix the shredded carrot with the sushi rice.
5. Moisten hands, then pick up enough rice to make a small, oval-shaped ball. Open a tofu pouch; gently slide the rice ball into the
pouch. Fold the sides in and top flap over the rice to close pouch. Repeat with remaining rice and tofu pouches.