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Sushi Rolling Mastery: Special Techniques

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Sushi is traditionally made by spreading a sheet of Nori (sushi’s seaweed wrapper) above a Makisu (bamboo mat), which aids the chef in rolling, compressing, and forming the piling of rice, veggies, and fish stacked atop it into a characteristic cylindrical shape. But, truly, who has that kind of time? These five equipment will allow you to roll sushi without a mat.

Sushi rolling is more of an art than a science. And for many beginner sushi cooks, learning, let alone mastering, the art may be exasperating. You’ll be rolling like Jiro-sama in no time with these helpful sushi-assembling aides.

Roll Sushi Without a Mat: Use a Towel

Don’t worry if you can’t find a bamboo sushi mat or don’t want to spend on more culinary accoutrements when you’re just getting started with sushi-making. A folded-over tea towel can achieve the same effect.

Fold a tea towel in half lengthwise and place flat on a counter (hand towels can suffice in a pinch). Wrap it in plastic wrap, stack your ingredients on top, then roll them up using the towel as a guide. Just be careful not to press too hard, otherwise the nori wrapper will tear.

Roll Sushi Without a Mat: Roll It Like a Doobie

The Leifheit Perfect Sushi Roll ($7.78) is essentially a huge joint-roller with raw fish and cooked rice. Simply place a sheet of nori in the machine, add your toppings, close the lid, and tug on the slide to roll everything into a 9-inch tube. There’s very nothing that can go wrong, and it’s easy to use even if you’ve never made sushi before. It also works for other types of rolled food, according to the marketing—miniature chocolate logs for everyone!

Roll Sushi Without a Mat: Extrude It Out of a Tube

Try the Sushezi if you need to feed a crowd quickly. This tubular contraption compresses your rice and toppings into a robust cylindrical shape, then extrudes the nearly finished rice log into a nori sheet for final wrapping. There’s a lot of clipping, twisting, capping, and squeezing going on here, but it appears to be quite fool-proof.

Roll Sushi Without a Mat: Rack It Up

Knowing how much rice to use is the largest roadblock between you and a perfect sushi roll. If you stuff the roll too much, it will crack like a burrito, and if you stuff it too little, it will be limp. The amount is $35. Sushiquik’s revolutionary training frame ensures that even inexperienced sushi chefs use the correct amount of rice, and the attached “roll cutter” attachment ensures that everyone gets a properly sized slice.

Roll Sushi Without a Mat: Become a Sushi Magician

Take a look at the Sushi Magic if you want to someday get good enough to start rolling with traditional bamboo mats. It makes use of a silicon layer that shapes and compresses the roll equally when you twist the device’s outer handles. There’s very little guesswork involved, and the sushi tubes look to be very constant. Furthermore, because the sheet is nonstick, you won’t have to spend as much time picking grains of rice off of it during cleanup.

Making sushi at home is more enjoyable, delicious, and simple than you may expect. To make flawless rolls, you don’t need any additional equipment like sushi mats. A kitchen towel, plastic wrap, and your sushi ingredients are all you’ll need.

Take a clean kitchen towel and place it on a flat surface that is as wide as your sheets of seaweed once you have all of your components ready to assemble. You’ll need a surface that’s not too high (like some counters) so you can apply the right amount of pressure to the roll. Cover the towel with six to eight inches of plastic wrap. The rice and other components will not stick to the cloth as a result of this.


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