I learned to make makis at the “salon de l’alimentation” in Brussels, in 2014. Me and my boyfriend were in there, hoping for free food but such a thing was unfindable. We came across the maki stand where one could pay 5€ to learn the making of makis and then get to eat its creation. I was seduced. And so I learned.
You will need.
To make makis, you need a rolling mat, round or sushi rice, rice vinegar, nori sheets and things to put inside. Where to find the first four in Brussels? At the Asian supermarket in the city. It’s located Rue de la Vierge Noire 2, 1000 Ville de Bruxelles.
You must start by cooking the rice. Instructions are on the package but if you buy this one (which is pretty good quality and price), you’ll need to add a glass and a half of salted water to every glass of rice you use. 500g are pretty much good for 10 sheets of nori, aka 80 makis. Make it all boil and when it does, stop the fire, cover up and let in rest until all the water is absorbed. This lasts approximately 15 minutes. When it’s done, take the cover away and let it rest 10 minutes. Then, proceed to add rice vinegar and salt. Not too much but still enough. Taste it and if it tastes too much vinegar, add a lot of salt and mix.
While the rice is cooking, you need to prepare everything else. I personally like salmon (raw), chicken, omelet, shrimps, avocados, Philadelphia, carrots, cucumber, peppers. You need to cook the omelet and the chicken, and cut everything into slices.
When everything is ready, set yourself. Unroll your rolling mat with the white lines vertical in front of you. Place a sheet of nori on it. The lines you see on your nori sheet should be horizontal. Place a bowl with water in front of you. Wet your fingers so the rice does not stick and take a load of rice with them. Place it on the sheet and blend it over. The sheet should be covered with rice until the fourth line. Pay attention to the sides that needn’t be forgotten.
When this is done, just place the things you want in your maki in the center of the rice rectangle, forming a line across it. If you want, you can first “draw” a line with Philadelphia, aioli or any other sauce you’d like to use. I’ve seen people use a mix of mayonnaise and wasabi. The more ingredients you add, the more difficult it will get to close your maki and make it look graceful.
When you wish to close it, grab the end of your maki and the rolling mat at the same time. Hold the food inside with a finger, especially if you put a lot of it, so that it doesn’t fall off. You will bring this end to the line were your rice ends. Keep it closed with one hand and pull on the end of the rolling mat with your other hand. Do this at different points so that the maki is really tightly closed. Bring back your maki and the beginning of your rolling mat and roll once again. Then pull. Your maki will be tightly closed.
Once this is done, it’s time to cut (unless you like to eat it like a burrito). Take a good knife to do it. You will first cut it in half, in the middle. Then cut each half in halves. And then once again. That way, you make sure the maki pieces are even. You can eat your makis right away or put them in the fridge.
I hope my explanation was clear enough. The pictures are here anyway if you have any trouble with my words. If you love makis, you really should embark into this adventure of making them. The process obviously takes some time but it can be quite fun, just do it in front of a film if you’re afraid you’ll be bored. If you try to make your own makis, tell me how it went!