Rice cubes

Making sushi is harder than it looks. It might appear to be just a blob of rice with an offcut of raw fish stuck to the top, but whenever I’ve tried to make it, it lacks a certain something. (Skill, probably – I read somewhere that before they’re ever allowed to wield a knife, trainee sushi chefs spend their first few years learning how to make rice.)

However, Kim got me a gadget that promises to take the hard work and talent out of semi-decent sushi. It’s called a Rice Cube, probably because it turns rice into cubes, and as far as I can tell that’s pretty much the basis of sushi. Here’s what I managed to make with it.

Since this is really a gadget review rather than a recipe, I’ll just offer a few tips. I used 250g of sushi rice, and that was enough to construct the eight cubic sushis in the picture above – allowing for a couple of failures (chef’s treat, plus some extra for the cat).
The Rice Cube gizmo could hardly be easier to use, so I won’t bother repeating the instruction leaflet that comes with it. If you want to make cubes with ingredients on the outside (like the salmon-coated one, second left) then line the mold with your ingredient before putting the rice in, or try alternating layers of rice and fish or vegetables. Otherwise, my advice is to mix a large quantity of rice with some finely chopped pieces of salmon, radish, or anything else you fancy, and make them all the same.

Most of the cubes above had an inner ‘surprise’ of cream cheese, which was lovely. To do that, fill the mold two thirds of the way up, jam your thumb in it, put cheese in the hole and cover it with more rice.

Final sushi chef pro tip: use wet hands for touching the rice and dry hands for touching the nori seaweed, otherwise you’ll get in a right old mess. Oh, and the dip on the platter in the picture is a mixture of one part mirin rice wine, two parts ponzu soy sauce and a lot of furikake (sesame seed and seaweed sprinkles) – it’s the essence of Japan.

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