“ Manufacturer: Clearspring / Type: Other „
I was given my Clearspring Sushi Kit as a christmas present. I love sushi but it is a real treat due to the expense, even the little supermarket packs are pricey for the amount you get. I figured if I could get the knack of making it myself then I could eat it whenever I like, after all it's good for you. So I put a Sushi kit on my list for Santa.
The items come in a plastic box which inside contains a booklet with instructions for making two types of sushi. Also included in the pack is a 500g box of dried sushi rice, A pack of Nori (seaweed) sheets, a pack of pickled ginger, a sushi rolling mat and a tub of Wasabi powder. I am unsure as to how much the pack cost as it was a present, however after researching the ingredients contained, it's worth around £10-£12.
I didn't expect the pack to contain all the sushi fillings - ie the fish and vegetables, however I would have thought for the recipes listed in the booklet, I would have everything else I needed. Unfortunately this was not the case. The recipes stated that in addition, I needed Japanese Brown Rice Vinegar and Rice Mikawa as seasoning for the rice and Umeboshi Puree to add to the fillings. (Please note that DooYoo's picture contains the Umeboshi Puree but this is not included in the kit. I think this is just a general picture of the Clearspring range.) Luckily, my local Waitrose stocked these items.. but at a price. The vinegar set me back £1.99 and the Mikawa £3.99. The Umeboshi puree, which I discovered is a pickled plum paste was nearly £5 a jar- I thought I'd omit that ingredient for the time being and see how my first batch turn out. After all, my money saving sushi was turning out to be anything but!
So, once I had all the ingredients, I found everything was fairly easy to use and and the instructions were clear to follow. I won't give you a step by step guide, but a brief resume. The most time consuming and crucial part of the whole thing is the cooking of the sushi rice. I was impressed with the amount provided in the box. I only needed a quarter of the pack to make 12 sushi rolls. The rice cooking is not like cooking normal long grain, you need to soak it first then cook it with very little water so it's sticky. I guess the process would become quicker and easier the more often you did it, but for me it all seemed a bit of faff. Once the rice is done though, it's all fun! I chose red pepper, cucumber and salmon as my fillings. To make the sushi rolls, you use the rolling mat provided to make a tight roll with the fillings incased with the rice, with the Nori (seaweed) sheets around the edge. Then you chop your rolls up to make perfect little sushi.
The pickled ginger was delicious to have with the sushi rolls. however, in this kit it is provided in a bag which once the seal is broken, needs to be eaten within four weeks. So, although all the other ingredients have a long shelf life and will make a good amount of sushi, the ginger will probably be out of date by the time you use it up.
The Wasabi, a hot Japenese Horseradish paste was very easy to make. It's in powder form and you simply add water. A little goes a long way as it's very hot. This little pot would last me forever!
Overall, I'd say the kit is a good buy for beginners as the instructions are easy to follow. However, I'm a bit annoyed that as a 'starter' pack it doesn't provide you with all the things you need and the additional things you need to buy are the most expensive ingredients. Having said that, all the Clearspring products I used were excellent quality, had a good shelf life and go a long way. So, in the long run the money is worth it. My sushi turned out pretty well, even if I do say so myself! I need to work on getting the rolls tighter however, as at the moment they are rather messy things to eat! The taste is there though and I think I'll invest in the Umeboshi Puree to make them even tastier next time!