The ‘Maki Sushi Ki’

Maki Sushi Ki 1

I can’t remember exactly where I purchased this little gadget. It was quite a long time ago and the thing ended up languishing in one of my kitchen drawer for ages waiting for me to get around to trying it. I seem to recall that I found the product in the ‘bargain bin’ of a food shop down south somewhere and it came with neither an identifying label (other than the logo on the device itself), nor any instructions. This last omission was rather significant as I first misunderstood the basic function of the ‘mold’ and I used it in a way that is not specifically intended… 

Maki Sushi Ki 2

Here you can see that the implement comes in two parts… a wooden mold, plus a fitted piece that slots neatly inside and has a ‘handle’ of sorts on one side. When I first saw this device, I thought it was simply a variety of Oshizushihako for making a block type of sushi and that is how I used it the first time. After that first try, however, I came upon a website for the product and it seems that the function is to produce the very popular Norimaki, or nori-wrapped sushi, albeit in a rectangular, rather than a round roll. The aforementioned website has photographs and a video showing how this is done.

By the way… the item you see pictured above is the large version and a smaller one (used in the demonstration video) is available as well.

Using it the ‘right’ way…

Maki Sushi Ki 3

You first need to soak the wooden pieces for a few minutes before use in order to prevent the sushi rice from sticking to the mold. Alternatively, you can just wipe the parts that will contact rice with a damp cloth.

Next, you lay the mold piece on a sheet of nori and partially fill the mold with pre-cooked sushi rice (1/3 full for the large version, ½ for the smaller). Once this is done, you use the second piece of the mold to form a trench in the rice by pressing the ‘handle’ part into it.

Maki Sushi Ki 4

Now, you fill the trench with your desired filling. On this occasion, I used slices of smoked salmon and some cooked cocktail shrimp.

Maki Sushi Ki 5

Next, you add more rice to cover the filling and then invert the second piece of the device to act as a ‘press’. Once this is done, you can hold the sushi block in place while you slide the mold part up and remove it.

Maki Sushi Ki 6

The final step is to simply wrap the nori up around the rice and then slice however you like for service (the instructions suggest eight pieces from each block).

Doing it the ‘wrong’ way …

Maki Sushi Ki 7

First, I didn’t soak or otherwise wet the wooden pieces before use, chiefly because I didn’t know amount that step. As it was, however, I anticipated the problem that step seeks to prevent and I lined the mold portion with plastic wrap.

Next, I filled the mold with rice and covered it with thin slices of smoked salmon (you can see the process just partly completed above). The end result was sushi pieces with too much rice and not enough topping but this is an easy enough problem to remedy next time…

Maki Sushi Ki 8

After adding the ingredients, I folded the plastic wrap over the contents used the second wooden piece to press down on the sushi to form very firm blocks. I even used a weight and let it sit for a while.

Maki Sushi Ki 9

Finally, I unwrapped the block and cut it into sections. As you can see, there is too much rice but, other than that, the result was pretty decent…

The Verdict

For novices, this little gadget will produce some nice maki sushi for you quite simply. However, if you have made nori rolls yourself more than a few times, I can’t say that using this will make your job significantly easier.

As for the ‘wrong’ way of using this device, it actually suited a need for me. I was actually planning to make an Oshizushihako style sushi mold myself but this product fills the bill very nicely. The attempt above was not quite what I intended (about half the rice I used would be sufficient), but I can see that, with a bit of tweaking, I can get lots of use out of this very moderate purchase…

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