Takeaway to Fakeaway: Make Sushi at Home
I love fakeaways. One of my biggest passions is food and back before our debt pay-off, we spent a lot of money on takeaways and eating out. Since having to reduce our budget, I’ve become really passionate about re-creating my favourite meals at home and ditching takeaways in favour of delicious, home-cooked meals because I’ve learned that this is one of the easiest ways to stick to the budget.
“Switching from a weekly £20 takeaway to monthly could save £720 per year”
From before our debt pay-off to now, we’ve halved our food spends, which is a combination of smarter shopping and getting more creative in the kitchen by making fakeaways and bulk prepping. So I’ve decided to give these ideas some focus on my blog and put together a short series of my best fakeaway meals that will help you to enjoy great food without stretching the budget (or blowing it altogether!). Fakeaways are usually a little bit healthier than takeaways because we can control what goes into them, so not only will you save money, this is a healthier alternative.
Takeaways are really expensive so switching from a weekly £20 takeaway to monthly could save £720 per year. And if you could replace your takeaway with something just as special, then takeaways to fakeaways are just common sense.
As part of this fakeaway series, I’ll include the cost to buy all of the ingredients as a whole, the cost to make the full recipe/cost per head. Mostly because it really bugs me when recipes are labelled ‘feed four for a fiver’ for example, when this is only the cost of the ingredients in the recipe, but you’ve had to spend £40 in groceries to buy all of the ingredients as a whole. I want to include both for clarity, along with the cost of a takeaway, to show the true costs.
So let’s get started!
Kicking off my Takeaway to Fakeaway series, I’m going to show you how to make sushi! Fun fact about me: I was once a sushi chef in the UK’s biggest sushi restaurant chain back in my uni days, so I’ll be able to show you how to recreate restaurant sushi for a fraction of the cost.
People tend to think sushi is really hard to make and therefore they pay a huge premium for it, but it’s actually really simple, and very cheap to put together, especially if you choose the right ingredients. Mackerel, salmon, frozen prawns and lots of lovely vegetarian options can create delicious sushi for next to nothing.
With sushi, there is a little bit of an investment in a few products to get started (still a fraction of the cost of a takeaway), but this will set you up to make sushi several times for a lot less as you’ll only need to buy a few things next time. Most of these products are also not specific to sushi, so you can use them for other meals, too.
In addition to being a great idea for a fakeaway, you could also prep sushi for a healthy work lunch or an easy weeknight dinner, which is always a win.
For this fakeaway, we’ll be making:
Healthy Cucumber Maki (the little vegetable rolls)
Indulgent Honey Soy Salmon, Cucumber and Avocado Futomaki (the larger rolls)
Crispy Tempura Prawn and Avocado Hand Rolls (sushi cones)
- Cost of Takeaway (for four): £47.40 (£11.85 per head)
- Full Shopping Bag of Ingredients: £17.70
- Cost of Ingredients in Recipe: £8.80
- Cost of Fakeaway per head (for four): £2.20
- Takeaway to Fakeaway saving: £38.60 (£9.65 per head)
Ingredients (serves 4):
- One salmon fillet
- 70g of frozen prawns, defrosted
- 400g sushi rice (here is my preferred brand which you can buy in bulk on Amazon however, I would recommend picking it up cheaper at your local Asian supermarket)
- A packet of nori (again, this can be found much cheaper in your local Asian supermarket than anywhere else)
- 2 tbsp. of honey
- Light soy sauce
- 120g plain flour
- 150ml soda water (but tap is fine)
- One egg
- White wine vinegar
- Bamboo mat (you can find one here) and some clingfilm to cover
- Ginger and wasabi to accompany
Add 400g of rice, a pinch of salt and 520mls of water to a pot, place on the lid and boil at a high heat. Once water is bubbling, turn down to the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave to stand for a further 20 minutes. Don’t remove the lid as this will affect the texture of the rice.
While the rice is cooking, prep your fillings:
- Cover the salmon with 2tbsps of soy sauce and all of the honey and bake until cooked. Once cooked, flake the salmon and set aside.
- Make up a tempura batter with the flour, egg and soda water.
- Toss in the prawns until coated and then fry off until crispy and golden. Remove from the heat and shred the tempura prawns into pieces.
- Half the cucumber; cut one half into long batons, and peel the other half into ribbons, removing any pieces that are very watery (usually the middle!).
- Cut the avocado into strips.
Now, back to the rice. By this stage, your rice should be dry and sticky. Fluff the rice with a fork and put into a large bowl. Add some seasoning and a few tablespoons of white wine vinegar, to taste. Let the rice cool slightly so it’s not too hot when you’re working with it.
Take your bamboo mat and cover with clingfilm until you have a full secure layer around it, which will make it much easier to roll your sushi and it keeps your mat nice and clean for multiple use 🙂
With everything prepped, here comes the fun part: rolling everything into sushi!
For best results, I use gloves with a little bit of water or oil on them to ensure the rice doesn’t stick to my hands.
Cut a sheet of nori in half and place on your bamboo mat, shiny side down. Take a small handful of rice and distribute it evenly on the nori, excluding a two centimetre strip along the top (i.e. the part furthest away from you) which will help, when you come to roll, to ensure all of the filling stays inside the roll. The trick to doing this well is to distribute the rice lightly with your fingers and not to press down on it.
Add a baton of cucumber to the middle of the rice and then you are ready to roll.
- Align nori with the edge of your mat
- Wrap both the nori and your mat around the filling, to hold in tightly
- Leaving the nori wrapped around the filling, flick the edge of your mat back to it’s starting position
- Use the mat to roll the nori further round the filling, until all filling is contained within the roll.
- Use the mat to shape your sushi roll into a circle, or a square, depending on preference.
For maki, cut your roll in half, place both halves together (with the cut sides lined up), and cut into three to get six pieces per roll (one roll per portion).
Honey Soy Salmon, Cucumber and Avocado Futomaki
Start with a full sheet of nori, shiny side down. Distribute a large handful of rice to the nori, excluding a two centimentre strip along the top. Add salmon, cucumber ribbons and avocado strips and follow the same method of rolling sushi as above.
For futomaki, cut your roll in half, place both halves together (with the cut sides lined up), and cut into four to get eight pieces per roll (four pieces per portion).
Tempura Prawn and Avocado Hand Rolls
Take half a sheet of nori and a small handful of rice. Shape the rice into a tear shape (with a pointed bottom), and place diagonally on the left hand side of the nori, with the point in the rice touching the bottom middle of the nori. Add pieces of tempura prawn and avocado to the top of the rice. Lift gently and place the topped nori in your left hand, using your left thumb to close over the flap of nori to the left hand side of the rice and filling. Use your right hand to wrap the right hand side of the nori around the filling, to achieve a cone shape.
The Finished Product…
With everything prepared, plate up with lots of pickled ginger, wasabi and light soy sauce for dipping, and enjoy!
So I hope that you swap out your next takeaway for this lovely fakeaway! And if you still fancy a takeaway, remember to avail of Topcashback’s £15 off Just Eat Offer for new customers 🙂
Comment below and tell me your favourite sushi fillings!