If you love sushi making or Japanese cooking in general, you might want to think about investing in a small rice cooker. They cook the rice to perfection and, when making sushi, that’s half the battle. If the rice is undercooked or overdone it takes down the final result. It’s always wise to get a Japanese or Korean make as they are the smallest, least expensive and best quality. Rocket might sound like an inauthentic ingredient for sushi but its deep green colour and spicy bite sets off the creamy avocado and tuna.
To make the sushi rice, put the rice in a bowl and cover it with cold water, then pour into a sieve and rinse. Repeat this process until the water runs clear. It is important to keep rinsing the rice to remove as much starch as possible. Drain well, then put the rice in a saucepan or rice cooker with 660 ml (22¾ fl oz) cold water. For the saucepan method, bring to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 12 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and stand, without removing the lid, for 10 minutes. If using a rice cooker, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Spread the warm rice over two trays.
Combine the rice wine vinegar, sugar and a large pinch of salt in a small bowl and stir until dissolved. Drizzle the mixture over the rice and gently work into the rice using two rubber spatulas until cool. Keep covered with tea towels (dish towels).
Sprinkle the tuna with the shichimi togarashi, if using. Using scissors, trim 5 cm (
Lay a sushi mat on a work surface with one long side facing you, then lay a sheet of nori, shiny-side down, on the mat. Dip your hands in the vinegar water. Pick up a large handful of rice and spread it over three-quarters of the nori, leaving a 4 cm (
Make a shallow lengthways dent along the middle of the rice and place in it strips of tuna (end to end, trimming to fit), a couple of strips of avocado and a small handful of rocket.
Bring the edge of the nori and rolling mat over the filling. Use your fingers to tuck it all in and then bring the front edge over to make a roll. Pull the mat back towards you so that it tightens everything. Moisten the edge of the wrapper with a little water and finish rolling it up. Place the roll, seam-side down, on a tray, cover loosely with plastic wrap and repeat with the remaining nori, rice and filling.
To make the ponzu dipping sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Just before serving, using a large sharp knife cut each roll into 3 cm (
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