Learn how to make Futomaki, a traditional thick sushi roll typically filled with vegetables. You can easily prepare it ahead of time. It makes a great sushi roll to bring to festivals, potlucks or picnic.
Cut tamagoyaki into long strips. Keep them in the fridge until they are ready to use.
To Prepare Unagi (Eel)
Unagi is typically already cooked/broiled when you purchase it. All you need to do is reheat in the oven. Set your oven to broil (high – 550ºF/290ºC) and preheat for 3 minutes. Line the baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray oil on the aluminum foil and place the unagi on top. Put the baking sheet in the middle rack of your oven and broil for 5-7 minutes (no need to flip). Cut into 4 long strips.
To Prepare Mitsuba or Spinach
Tie the stems with cooking twine to keep them from being untied while cooking. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add 1 tsp salt and blanch mitsuba or spinach just enough to tender. Do not overcook.
Soak the blanched mitsuba in iced water and squeeze the water out. Set aside.
To Prepare Cucumber
Cut off the end and cut into quarter length-wise and remove the seeds. Set aside.
To Prepare Sakura Denbu (Seasoned Cod Fish Flakes)
Open the package and put it in a small bowl. Set aside.
To Assemble Futomaki
Gather all the ingredients. Prepare Tezu (finger dipping water) by combining ¼ cup water and 2 tsp rice vinegar.
Place a bamboo sushi mat on the working surface or cutting board. Then place a sheet of nori on the bamboo mat, shiny side down. Divide sushi rice into quarters. Dip your fingers in Tezu, and put ¼ of sushi rice on nori and spread evenly with your fingers. Make sure to wet your fingers with Tezu when you do this. Spread the rice evenly; otherwise, your sushi roll won’t look even when rolled.
Leaving about a ½ inch (1.5 cm) strip along the top of nori farthest away from you. You don’t put the rice till the end because after you roll, the white rice could come out from the seam and it won’t look pretty.
Place the cucumber toward the bottom of nori. Front ingredients will need to go over the other ingredients. Therefore I recommend putting easy-to-hold ingredients toward the front, and put Sakura Denbu and Shiitake toward the top so the pieces won’t fall down when you roll.
From the bottom end (of sushi rice), start rolling nori sheet over the filling tightly and firmly with bamboo mat until the bottom end reaches the end of sushi rice on top. Use your fingers to hold the ingredients when you roll.
Hold the top of the bamboo mat with one hand and hold the rolled bamboo mat with the other hand and pull against each other to tighten the roll. Lift the bamboo mat and continue to roll. Place the bamboo mat over the roll and tightly squeeze. Continue to make the rest of the rolls.
Using a very sharp knife, cut the Futomaki in half first. Every slice or every other slice, wipe the knife with a wet kitchen cloth so that you can cut nicely.
Then cut each half into 3 pieces.
Rice: 1 rice cooker cup is 180 ml, not the same as US 1 cup (240 ml). 1 rice cooker cup will make 2 rice cooker cups of cooked rice, roughly 330 g. 1 US cup of cooked rice weighs 6.3 oz (180 g). Estimate that each sushi roll like California Roll needs ½ cup (90 g) sushi rice. Please use short grain rice for sushi.
Sushi Vinegar: There is a convenient Sushi Seasoning available at a Japanese/Asian grocery store.