I put together seven kinds of fillings as symbols of the Seven Deities of Good Luck. You don't really need to cook most of the fillings except the dashi-maki omelette, so it's easy. The key of this tasty sushi is to add cream cheese and dried bonito flakes mixed with soy sauce!
Ingredients: 2 rolls (using 1.5 rice cooker cups, or about 270 ml)
Wash the rice at least 30 minutes before cooking and drain in a sieve. Add a little less water than usual to the rice cooker and add the konbu seaweed. Press start to cook the rice. Remove the konbu after the rice is cooked and leave to stand for 15 minutes.
Put together the sushi vinegar ingredients in a heat proof dish and microwave for 20 seconds at 500 W to warm up. Stir the mixture with a spoon to dissolve the sugar and leave to cool.
Transfer the cooked rice to a large bowl or wooden sushi tub. Pour in the sushi vinegar, incorporate with the rice and sprinkle on black sesame seeds. Stir the rice quickly in a cutting motion and cool down by using a fan at the same time.
Prepare the fillings!
While draining the rice in a sieve and cooking the rice you will need to prep the fillings.
[Dashi-maki omelette] Combine the ingredients well and heat vegetable oil in a tamagoyaki pan. Divide the egg mixture into several portions and pour portion by portion into the frying pan to make an omelet. After frying, leave to cool. Slice into long strips about 1 cm wide.
[Dried bonito flakes with soy sauce] Combine the ingredients.
Slice the cucumber into thick strips and sprinkle with salt (not listed) to remove water. Squeeze out excess water. Cut the cream cheese into 8 mm wide sticks. Take out the crab sticks from packaging. Wash the lettuce and drain well. Tear into bite sizes.
Let's roll the sushi! If using a bamboo sushi mat, place it in front of you with the outer side (green and flat) up. You don't want on the opposite side. Place the nori sheet with the shiny side down lengthwise onto the sushi mat.
Spread half of the sushi rice from Step 3 (about 250 g) on the centre of the nori sheet. Leave a 2-3 cm border as a joint at the edge of the nori sheet away from you and about 1 cm border at the edge in front of you. Moisten your hands with the blend of vinegar and water (refer to the notes) and spread out the rice to an even thickness.
Place the lettuce slightly below the centre of the rice and lay the cucumber, cream cheese, dried bonito flakes with soy sauce, omelet and crab sticks on top.
Press the filling gently and lift up the edge of the mat in front of you and roll up at once to stick both sides of the rice together. Adjust the shape of the sushi roll by pressing gently and evenly over the mat.
Pull the edge of the mat away from you and roll the sushi so both ends of the nori overlap together. Push back in any fillings that fall out of either end.
Every time you slice a sushi roll, moisten the blade of your knife with tea towel moistened with some vinegar-water or regular water.
Story Behind this Recipe
Ehou-maki is usually quite pricey. My husband doesn't like usual fillings such as kanpyo or denbu. I like thin sushi rolls with just cream cheese and bonito flakes served with soy sauce but for making a proper ehou-maki I put together other ingredients. I don't like the crispy texture of cucumber so much so I always cut into small pieces first. If you like, just cut into 1/4 lengthwise.
"Temizu" (for Steps 9 & 13) is the mixture of equal portions of water and vinegar. The 7 fillings here are eggs, bonito flakes with soy sauce, cucumber, cream cheese, crab sticks, lettuce and black sesame seeds. Cover the rest of sushi rice with a moistened tea towel while making a sushi roll. The key to rolling a sushi roll is to do it quickly. When you place the fillings put the messy ones in first. It's easier that way.