Donal Skehan
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  • Huge congrats to the winner of #JuniorMasterChef 2014- the brilliant Phoebe! Myself and @johntorodecooks are super proud! Really brilliant series this year- so inspiring to see such enthusiastic young cooks- hope the show inspires lots more young cooks to get cooking! :)
  • Joe Caulfield my next door neighbour is on #DonalsIrishFEAST tonight! He catches some of the best lobster in #Howth! :)
  • It's all about Dublin tonight on #DonalsIrishFEAST! Peter & Vlad from one of Dublin's best little sour dough bakeries, @arunbakery will be on RTÉ One at 7pm! 🍞
  • 'Twas the panto before Christmas 2009! I was Peter Pan, @bprdowling was a very fabulous Captain Hook and @mastylee was Tinker Bell! #tbt
  • Very foggy but sun came out! Really beautiful day! :)
  • Despite the cold Max went for a swim!
  • Beautiful cliff walk in #Howth this morning before heading to Limerick today! #ireland
  • French onion soup kind of day? MAIS OUI! Try the recipe this evening- C'est délicieux! Find it on DonalSkehan.com... #Recipeoftheday
  • A little bit of Max action from earlier today! Hello Max! :)
  • Mini sticky toffee baked Alaska on my youtube channel tonight! Little sneak peek recipe from my brand new series #donalsirishfeast starting this Thursday on Irish screens! :)
  • Junior MasterChef is back today! Hitting CBBC at 4.30pm with myself, @johntorode1 and 4 budding young brilliant cooks! Make sure to tune in and set to record! :) #JuniorMasterChef
  • Potato, cheese and thyme tart in my Irish independent column today- will stick the recipe up on the blog soon! :)
  • Happy Swedish Kladkakka Day! This my triple layer version with a cream cheese frosting- recipe on my blog! :) #kladdkakansdag
  • Having such a brilliant time on the #KitchenHeroLive Tour around Ireland! Cooking up delicious dishes in theatre venues! In Castlebar tonight with a great crowd- yeehaw! :)
  • Just spent the evening with these crazy Swedish mofo's in the #mittkök studio! Filming new recipes for Sweden! :)
  • Pear frangipane tarts in my Irish Independent Weekend Magazine column today- will stick the recipe on my blog next week! :)
  • Happy Halloween!!! What are cooking today? Lots of Halloween recipes up on my blog including these creepy chocolate eyeballs! 🎃👻
  • Myself and @JohnTorode1 are back with a brand new series of #JuniorMasterChef kicking off on the 10th of November on CBBC! Lots of a brilliant young cooks showcasing their cooking skills! :)
  • Sweet and savoury sticky rice dumplings: sweet green bean paste coated in sesame seeds and aromatic pork mince- deep fried until crisp and bloomin delish! #donalvietnam
  • Last lunch in Vietnam- delicious Bun Cha- a feast of chargrilled pork, rice vermicelli noodles, lots off fresh herbs with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce! Will so miss the street food here! #donalvietnam
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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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