Ingredients (makes 1 roll):
Stewed shiitake mushroom:
- 1/2 cup fresh shiitake caps, sliced
- 1 Tbsp. water
- 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1/2 Tbsp. sake (Japanese rice wine)
- 1/2 Tbsp. mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
Sakura denbu (sweetfish flake):
- 3 oz. cod fillet
- 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 drop red food color liquid
- 3 large shrimps, shell-on
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp. salt
- 10 leaves of spinach with stems
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp. salt
- 8 oz. soft tofu
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. soy sauce
- 2 tsp. vegetable oil
- 1 full sheet nori (seaweed)
- 1-1/4 cup cooked sushi rice (see here)
- 1 cucumber stick, 3/8” W x 8” L size
Water for hands:
- 1 cup water
- 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
You will need an 11-12 inch nonstick frying pan, a bamboo mat (makisu), three bamboo skewers and two elastic bands.
Stew shiitake mushrooms. In a small pan, place all ingredients for “Stewed shiitake mushrooms” and cook over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally and cook until liquid is reduced, about 4 minutes. Turn heat off and set aside.
Make sakura denbu. Bring water to a boil and cook the cod filet for 3 minutes. Turn heat off, drain and dry with a paper towel. Using your fingers, break the fillet into small pieces, and remove pin bone and dark part if any. Place cod flake back in the pan and add sugar, salt, and food coloring. Mix over low heat until the flakes are pink and fluffy. Set aside.
Boil shrimp and spinach. In two separate saucepans, boil 2 cups of water with salt for each. Place a bamboo skewer through the ventral side of each shrimp to keep it straight. In one saucepan, boil shrimp for 3 minutes, and drain. Allow to cool completely, peel shells, remove from the skewer, and set aside.
In the other saucepan, boil spinach for 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl of ice water, drain and squeeze excess moisture. Set aside.
Make the datemaki. In a bowl, crush tofu with whisk, then wrap with paper towel, place in a strainer and squeeze out as much water as you can. Place tofu back in the bowl, add sugar and mix well with the whisk. Add eggs one by one while mixing, then add salt and soy sauce.
Using a paper towel, spread vegetable oil on a nonstick frying pan and preheat the pan. Add the egg mixture, cover with lid and cook over low heat for 25-30 minutes or until the surface is dry to touch and the edge is light brown. Transfer to a cutting board and trim about 1 inch from the edge to make a square. Use trimmed pieces for filling. Cover with aluminum foil.
Prepare the bamboo mat. Wrap the bamboo mat completely on both sides with plastic wrap. In a small bowl, mix water and rice vinegar for wetting hands.
Prepare the nori and rice. Place the nori sheet horizontally on a cutting board with the shiny side facing down. Wet hands with vinegar water from step 6. Spread the sushi rice evenly on the nori sheet. Make sure to cover the entire sheet.
Flip over the nori with sushi rice side down, and place it on the bamboo mat positioning it towards the bottom edge of the mat. At the center, place trimmed datemaki pieces from step 5, cucumber stick, the stewed shiitake from step 1, sakura denbu from step 2, shrimps and spinach from step 3, lengthwise. Roll up tightly then remove from bamboo mat. Set aside.
Roll up the bamboo mat, pressing forward to shape sushi into a cylinder. Press down once at the halfway mark to make sure all ingredients are positioned in place, and roll forward.
Remove plastic wrap from the bamboo sheet, place the square datemaki from step 5 on it brown side down, place the rolled sushi from step 8 on top. Roll up and tie the two ends over the bamboo mat with elastic bands and set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
After it sets, remove the bamboo mat and cut it into 8-10 pieces. Serve datemaki sushi with gari. Enjoy!