There is no better way to show people that you don't need to be a ninja or the master of any dark arts to make your own sushi at home than Temari Sushi. (Temari-zushi if you want to be a stickler for correct pronunciation.) Temari, translated into English, simply means "hand moulded." Traditionally, (although temari-sushi are quite a recent innovation) the sushi balls were made by rolling and moulding the rice into a ball in the hand. But nowadays, most people use a quick and easy hack - AKA clingfilm. I'm no expert on clingfilm but one thing I have noticed is that Japanese clingfilm is a little thicker and therefore more robust than the clingfilm I buy in the UK. So when I use clingfilm to make my Temari, I cut out a sheet from the roll and then fold it over to double the thickness in order to give it a bit more strength. Anyway, back to the Temari Sushi - all you need is 1 cup of Japanese rice, which when cooked will be about 450g / 15oz - enough to make 18 - 20 Temari Sushi balls. As well as your rice, you'll need a pack of smoked salmon fillets, your clingfilm and some catering gloves - the latter are optional but as you are handling people's nosh, I think it is good food hygiene practice.
First, don your latex gloves and wet them with a little water to stop the rice sticking to them. To make your Temari Sushi, take a dessertspoon of rice and place it one hand. Pre-form the rice into a rough ball. Once that's done, take the clingfilm and lay it in your hand. Then, lay a square of smoked salmon onto the clingfilm and lay your rough draft rice ball on the salmon. Then, close the clingfilm and twist so that it tightens and forms the salmon and rice into a nice spherical shape and voila! You have made your first Temari Sushi ball! It shouldn't take you more than 10 minutes to prepare 18 - 20 balls. Once they are all done, you can either present them "as is" or garnish them - in this recipe I use two garnishes - some tiny lemon wedges for half of the balls and some toasted black sesame seeds for the other half - but I leave that to you.
If you think you would like to try your hand at creating your own Temari Sushi, you can find the Youtube tutorial here or by scrolling to the bottom of the page. (I would advise you to take a look at the video - I think it is much easier to make Temari Sushi once you have seen it done for yourself, so as to speak.) You'll find the written recipe just below.
Happy moulding! Kurumi XXXX.
(makes 18 - 20 Temari Sushi balls)
1 cup Japanese rice (1 cup = 160ml / 5 fl oz )
1.5 tbsp sushi vinegar
(if you can’t find sushi vinegar, use the following ingredients to make your own.)
1 tbsp sugar
1.5 tbsp Japanese rice vinegar
a pinch of salt
120g-140g / 4- 5 oz of smoked salmon slices
1 sheet of kitchen paper
a 60cm /20 inch square of cling film, folded in half
1 lemon (optional)
1 tsp toasted black sesame (optional)
a little water
*to make your own sushi vinegar:
combine the rice vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt in a bowl and mix well, then set aside
cook the cup of Japanese rice using a rice cooker or a saucepan
place the cooked rice in a large bowl and add the sushi vinegar. mix gently with a slicing motion, taking care not to squash or mash the rice. place a kitchen paper over the bowl, so the rice will not dry out, then set aside
cut a 60 cm length of cling film and fold in half
cut 2 thin slices of lemon, then cut each slice into small segments. you will need 9-10 segments, so choose the best shaped ones when you've finished cutting
cut the smoked salmon into 3-4 cm (approx.) pieces. you will need 18-20 pieces of smoked salmon
wet a dessertspoon in water, so that the rice doesn’t stick to it then, take a dessertspoon of the sushi rice. gently form it into a small rough ball in your hand (I use caterering gloves for this stage)
once your first sushi ball isroughly formed, pick up the cling film. place 1 piece of smoked salmon in the middle of the cling film. put the rice on top of the salmon then, wrap the cling film around the salmon and rice. shape the rice ball by twisting the cling film quite tightly around it and forming with your hand until you get the desired shape. unwrap the clingfilm and set your first terai sushi ball aside
repeat the process until you used all the sushi rice. this should be enough to make 18 - 20 temari sushi
last, arrange your temari sushi on a serving platter, garnish alternately with the black sesame seeds and lemon segments