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  • Wedding central this weekend! Two weddings- First one today! Groomsman with this lot! :)
  • Beautiful evening out there! Great sunny evening walk! :) #howth #ireland
  • Throwback Thursday! It's 2006 and a young Donal has just joined "up and coming" boyband Streetwize with "z" coz that's how we rolled! Here we are thinkin' we were the shiz in London Town! #tbt #scarlehforyerma
  • New blog post up today! A visit to McGeoughs Artisan Butchers and a recipe for lamb sausages, lentils, creme fraiche and caramelised onions! Delish! :)
  • Beautiful morning out there! Forest walk with Max first thing this morning! #howth #ireland #maxthedog
  • Irish Cheese soufflés with a pear and walnut salad up on the blog! :)
  • Getting a great reaction to my latest youtube video recipe for Chocolate Cake- check it out: http://youtube.com/donalskehan
  • Wild garlic roast lamb with braised lettuce, spring onions and peas! What are cooking up this Easter Sunday? Have a great day! :)
  • Blue cheese and caramelised onion sliders coming up on tomorrow's #mittkök at 8.30am on TV4 in Sweden! Recipe on the blog... :)
  • Best day of the year so far! Stunning in Howth! Just finished the cliff walk! Have a great weekend guys! :) #howth #ireland
  • Gur Cake for Sean O'Rourke on Radio One! Will be on to chat about Theodora Fitzgibbon's The Pleasures of the table- out now...
  • The perfect Easter Sunday chocolate cake coming up in my youtube channel today! Subscribe over here: http://www.youtube.com/donalskehan
  • Making Gur Cake this evening from Theodora Fitzgibbon for interview with Sean O'Rourke tomorrow morning on RTE Radio One...
  • Throwback Thursday! At the Meteor Music Awards 2009 with Industry! @michelemcgrath @morgandeane #tbt
  • Best part of today was trying to teach Max how to ride a scooter!!! He was loving it! :) #scootscoot
  • Got to see what the ladies have to go through to look extra pretty at the hands of my buddy the amazingly talented make up artist @makeupfairypro today! :)
  • Had a #nobakebaking filled day today filming a video for the launch of Sharon Hearne Smith's new cookbook out in June! Check out this crepe cake! :)
  • The new issue of my Irish food magazine @feastjournal is now out. Download our free app on iTunes or print copies available in Easons.
  • Our apple tree blossoms about to burst! :)
  • Playing ball with Max this evening! #maxthedog
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ISO California roll

The inside-out roll looks a lot more complicated than it actually is. If you can master the maki roll, then this is your next step. It’s probably one of the more beautiful types of sushi and you can get really creative with the fillings.  This recipe is for the common California roll, which is a combination of avocado, cucumber and crabsticks, which are orange/pink mini batons and can be picked up at most Asian markets. If you can’t find them, try using cooked crab meat.

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Sweet Chilli Chicken Maki

Maki is one  of the most common types of sushi, and it’s known by its outer layer of  dried green nori seaweed. This is the best starting point for first-time  sushi rollers.  For the less adventurous sushi samplers among your  guests, this sweet chilli chicken maki is a little less daunting.  You can poach the chicken breast in water until cooked through and then it will be quite easy to shred; otherwise, simply use leftover cooked chicken.

Ingredients
1 cooked chicken breast, shredded
2 tbsps sweet chilli sauce
1-2 sheets nori
Cooked sushi rice
50g rocket

In a bowl, mix the chicken with the sweet chilli sauce.

Take a sheet of nori and place it shiny-side down on a rolling mat with the longest end facing towards you. Using wet hands — this will prevent you having a fist coated in sushi rice — spread one-sixth of a portion of the rice in an even layer on the nori, leaving 2cm of nori visible at the end farthest away from you. Don’t squash the rice or make the layer too thick — you should be able to see the nori through the rice.

Spoon the chicken mix in a line across the nori, about half way through the middle of the rice. Top with a few leaves of rocket.

To roll the sushi, fold the mat over, starting at the end where the ingredients are and tucking in the end of the nori to start the roll. Keep rolling, lifting up the mat as you go and keeping the pressure even but gentle, until you have finished the roll. Moisten the top edge of the nori with water to seal the sushi roll closed. Don’t worry if anything falls out the sides, just push it back in. The edges may look ragged, but it doesn’t matter.

Remove the roll from the mat and cut it into four even-sized pieces with a very sharp, wet knife. If you do not use a sharp knife the roll will squash as you cut it. Arrange the rolls on a plate. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Serve with pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce.

Variation:

Spicy tuna maki
1 fresh sushi-grade tuna steak, chopped roughly
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 tsp schimi powder
1 tsp soy sauce

In a bowl, mix the chopped tuna with the spring onions, schimi powder and soy sauce. Then follow the same instructions for making up the sweet chilli chicken maki.

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Sushi Rice and Seasoning

The basic ingredient for any good sushi starts and ends with the rice.  Sushi rice can be bought  in most supermarkets and is a short-grain  Japanese rice, which must be cooled before use as it will turn sticky  and be difficult to work with. It is really important to make sure you  wash the rice under cold water until the water is clear; this ensures  the perfect sushi rice. This recipe makes enough for 24 pieces.  Sushi seasoning can be made at home quite easily, but bottles of  pre-mixed   sushi seasoning can also be purchased in good supermarkets  and Asian shops.

Makes 24 pieces
250g sushi rice
325ml water
2 tbsps sushi rice seasoning

For the sushi rice seasoning
500ml rice vinegar
300g sugar
150g salt

Wash the rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Put the rice in a pot with the water, cover with a lid and bring to the boil as quickly as you can.

Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid still on.

Turn off the heat and let the rice sit for 10 minutes. Make sure to keep the lid on the pot throughout the cooking.

Remove the lid and put the hot rice in a shallow dish, as this will help it cool, and pour sushi seasoning over the surface of the rice.

Now mix the seasoning into the rice with quick cutting strokes, using a spatula. Try not to over-mix the rice as you don’t want to break down the grains.

The rice should look shiny and be at room temperature when you are ready to use it.

For the Sushi Rice Seasoning:

Whisk all the ingredients in a bowl until the sugar has dissolved, then transfer the mix to a sealed container and store in the fridge. The sushi seasoning should last up to six months.

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Simple Sushi Dinner Party!

I was scrolling through my photos the other day and realised that I had never posted this piece about sushi I wrote the Irish Independent last year.  There are some really nice little sushi recipes, which even if you’ve never tried making it yourself, make it seem all a little more manageable…

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