Sushi, Musubi

Mix up a batch of gluten free sushi rice, and you are ready to make a Hawai’ian specialty called “musubi.” In Hawai’i Musubi is often topped with Spam, but no matter, it is a great method of making a sandwich-like concoction that is perfectly sized for lunch. This recipe is presented here by Gf-Zing!, celebrating flavor and excitement in the gluten free world.

You will need a plastic musubi mold or a Spam can to make this recipe. You are going to make a sort of brick of seasoned rice wrapped in seaweed, with fillings in the middle. Spam musubi would have the Spam on the top, rather than in the middle, but that is no matter.

You can cook sushi rice on top of the stove or in your rice cooker. Use about 2 to 1 ratio of water to dry, medium grain Japanese or sushi rice (Kokuho Rose or Nishiki are two common brands.)

Rinse 2 units of rice well. Cook it in 4 units of water, or use the sushi rice line on your rice cooker insert to measure the water. Turn on the cooker and wait until it is done.

When it is just finished cooking, place the rice in a large bowl. Have ready some gluten free seasoned rice vinegar, a rice paddle, and a piece of paper or a small hand-held fan.

While fanning the rice with one hand, stir the rice (using the rice paddle) with the other hand. Sprinkle a bit of seasoned rice vinegar on the rice and continue stirring and fanning. Continue to do this, adding more seasoned rice vinegar, until the rice has a pleasant sweet-sour-salty taste and has gotten cool. The rice is ready. For two cups of dry rice (5-6 cups cooked), you would use about 7 tablespoons or so of the vinegar.

Cut a piece of sushi nori (that is a dark sheet of edible seaweed that looks like shiny green-black paper) to fit the bottom and up the sides of the musubi mold. It should extend out the top of the mold on both long edges by an inch and a half. Typically, this requires half a sheet of sushi nori. Keeping the edges of sushi nori going up the sides of the mold, put some of the prepared rice in the bottom, on top of the nori. On top of this, you can add small amounts of any of the following fillings, as you like:

Cooked fish or shellfish
avocado slices coated in lemon juice (so they don’t get brown)
slivered cooked carrots
gluten free smoked fish
cucumber slivers
Japanese seasoning peppers (gluten free)
gluten free ham, sliced very thin

Fill the rest of the mold up to the top with seasoned rice. Press down on the rice with your rice paddle firmly. Fold the ends of the nori down over the top, then use the presser that comes with the mold to tightly compress the entire thing by pressing down on the top of the folded nori. You will have a dense brick of rice and pretty colored foods all contained in a portable form. Wrap this brick in tin foil (aluminum foil) and you have a nice complete lunch. Depending on the ingredients you used for filling, you may not need to refrigerate this musubi, making it very convenient for camping or work places without refrigeration.

Important Notes: Unfortunately, currently the gluten free community must avoid wasabi paste, which often contains wheat. Soy sauce also often contains wheat, so read labels before trying to dip your musubi in soy sauce. Be careful also to make sure that the seasoned rice vinegar is gluten free. Some are not. Also, imitation seafood products are often made with wheat and should be avoided.

A picture of spam musubi (with the spam on top) is available at the following page:
Wikipedia article

Always use gluten free ingredients.

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