Since we received the shipment of tuna and uni from Catalina, we are “pushing” these items on our menu–lunch and dinner. We gave some serious thought to breakfast but decided to draw the line somewhere. I made this as lunch over the weekend.
First, I make sushi rice. Since my wife (and myself) like a good vinegar flavor, I add as much sushi vinegar (from the bottle, but one which contains real rice vinegar such as Mizkan ミツカン brand ) as the rice can absorb.
I put enough uni on the gunkan-maki base to cover the rice (generously).
To make the tuna tekka maki, I cut a long rectangle of akami of tuna for tekka maki. I put a small amount of real wasabi on a small plate.
I cut a full sheet of nori 海苔 in half and place in on the bamboo sushi mat or makisu 巻き簾 (lower left) and spread the sushi rice in a thin layer and smear wasabi along the mid-line. I make sure to leave a 1/2 inch of nori at the far end uncovered, otherwise, the roll will not close or stay closed. To prevent the rice from sticking to my hands, I use cold water with a dash of vinegar in it to moisten my hand. I shake off or wipe off excess moisture from my hands using a tea towel just before touching the rice every time. This keeps my hands cold and prevents the rice from sticking.
Anyway here is the end result. The rice should not come out at the bottom seam and the nori should wrap all around. After making two rolls I used a thin bladed sharp knife, put the rolls next to each other and cut both rolls simultaneously. (I do not have a Japanese yanagi-ba 柳刃 so I use a long “Swedish” fillet knife from Global – for slicing smoke salmon, I suppose – but works very well). I dip the blade into the water vinegar mixture and shake off the excess water before slicing the rolls (all this is to prevent the rice from sticking to the blade of the knife). Imitating a sushi chef, I cut the rolls in half first and then cut the each half into thirds.
This was lunch but we had a one small glass of cold sake. (The taste of vinegared rice demands the accompanying taste of sake). It may not look as pretty as the ones prepared by a pro but this tasted very good. Certainly 100% better than any box of sushi bought at the grocer store.