Saturday, May 19, 2012

temaki sushi (hand-wrapped sushi)

Yesterday was my brother's birthday. We wanted to eat out, but then it was on Friday night, the restaurant was not too children-friendly, we might have to wait long, etc. Anyway, we decided that we'll have more enjoyable time if we stay at home and eat. Since my brother wanted Japanese, we prepared temaki sushi, which is very simple to prepare (just quite a bit of cutting and mixing). You can prepare everything in advance, so this recipe is perfect for parties (plus people like making their own sushi!). Each family has different recipe for this, but this recipe will get you started.


Nori (roasted seaweed) - 10 sheets (will make 20 temaki sushis)

Rice (short grain, sushi rice) - 3 cups
Sushi-ko (Sushi rice mix powder) - whole packet for 3 cups of rice (see TIPS)


Cucumbers (Japanese, English or Persian will work) - 2 (cut in strips)
Kaiware sprouts - 1 pkg
Eggs - 4
Spam - 1/2 can (or more if you love Spam and who doesn't? haha)
Unagi - 1 (store-bought, frozen)
Shrimp - 1/2 lb

Spicy Tuna (see recipe below)
Crab mix (see recipe below)

[Spicy Tuna]

Chopped Tuna sashimi - 4 oz
Green onion - 1 stalk (chopped)
Mayonnaise - 2 TBS
Garlic (minced) - 1 tsp
Sambal (Indonesian chili paste) or any chili paste/sauce will do - 1/2 tsp (or more if you want it spicier)
Sesame oil - 1 tsp
Masago (optional) - 2 tsp

[Crab mix]

Crab meat (in Jar or can will be easier to work with) - 1 cup
Mayonnaise - 3 TBS
Masago (optional) - 2 tsp


Soy sauce
Unagi sauce
Mayonnaise (Japanese)
Picked ginger (pink in color)


  1. Cook rice. 
  2. Cut cucumbers in 4 inch length strips. Cut Kaiware sprouts just above the root. Wash and set them aside.
  3. Beat eggs in a bowl, combine salt & pepper to taste (1 tsp of each should do). 
  4. Cut Spam in strips (4 inch long, 1/4 inch wide). 
  5. Shell the shrimp and take out the veins from the back and front of the shrimp. Cut the shrimp in half from the bottom part, but don't cut it completely, just enough to flatten the shrimp. 
  6. Cut Tuna into 1/4 inch cubes. Mix all ingredients in the bowl and set keep them in an airtight container and in the fridge. 
  7. Drain all liquids from crab meat. Add in mayo and masago. Mix and keep in an airtight container and in the fridge until ready to use. 
  8. Cut the seaweed in half (if the seaweed is one big square) 


  1. Eggs, use rectangular shaped frying pan (you can buy this in Japanese supermarket). If you don't have it, you can use regular frying pan. Oil the pan evenly, pour enough egg to make a thin layer. With chopsticks, push the egg to one end of the pan. Pour in more egg mixture (thin layer, just enough to coat the pan). Let it cook for 10-15 seconds, then with your chopsticks, flip the egg from one end to another. Repeat the process until you don't have any more egg mixture. (You can flit up and down, or if you prefer going one direction, you can just push the egg to the end you prefer and repeat the same gesture. (Sorry, it's a bit complicated, I will take pictures next time)
  2. In the same pan, fry Spam until little bit crunchy on the outside. 
  3. In a small saucepan, boil water. Add in 1 tsp of salt to the water and with your chopstick, cook each shrimp. While you are cooking, make sure you press down with your chopsticks so that the shrimps won't curl up. 
  4. Unagi - follow the instructions on the packet. Use microwave to save time. :) 
  5. Rice - transfer cooked rice to a big container/bowl, add in sushiko (try half packet first, then slowly add and taste as you go). Let the rice cool a bit - you can fan the rice as you mix so that it will cool down. 
All the fillings on the table with Miso soup and salad on the side


  1. Place all the fillings and sauces on the table (yes, the table will be very full).
  2. Take on piece of rectangular nori. Add about 3 TBS of rice in the middle. 
  3. Add in the fillings and sauce (you can put in the sushi or dip it) you want. 
  4. To roll, start from bottom right corner, bring it to the top left part of the rice, then roll it to make a cylindrical shape. But hey, it's your sushi, so it doesn't matter how it looks like as long as you enjoy it, that's perfect! 
  5. Dip it with sauce or eat it straight. 
  6. Goes well with simple salad and miso soup. 
one of my husband's creations


  • If you can't find sushi-ko, just use Rice vinegar (1 cup of rice vinegar to 2 TBS of sugar). It might get soggy, so put it slowly. 
  • You can add other fillings, too. I've seen people put steak, natto (fermented beans), sashimi (like salmon, tuna, taco, etc), cooked chicken, katsu, and on and on. So experiment and tell me what your favorite is! 

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