She has supplied sushi to the royals at Buckingham Palace, run the sashimi counter at Selfridges and taught thousands of novices how to make delicious, healthy sushi at home.
And now Makiko Sano, an expert on Japanese food and cooking – and on how to stay slim – shares her how-to guides of preparing sushi with HELLO! Online.
Have fun making authentic Japanese delights at the same time as following the traditional diet, which includes staples that Makiko calls ‘diamond ingredients’ – rice, miso, wasabi, fish, seaweed and tea – and which, Makiko says, all contribute to weight loss and younger looking skin.
1. Place the seaweed near the bottom of a sushi rolling mat, rough side up and shiny side down. Place the sushi rice in the middle of the seaweed.
2. Spread the rice out gently with your fingers to form an even covering all over the seaweed. Press on the sesame seeds, or other coverings, so they stick.
3. Carefully turn over the whole piece, rice and seaweed, so the seaweed is on top. Add the salmon and avocado slices, or other fillings, across the middle
4. Gently slide both thumbs under the mat and rest your middle fingers on the filling. Lift the edge of mat and seaweed nearest to you over the filling.
5. Lift up the leading edge of the mat with your right hand. Roll, with your left hand supporting the roll. Pull gently on the mat with your right hand.
6. Gently squeeze the mat to form a tight roll. Remove the mat. With a very sharp knife, cut the roll in half. Put the halves together and cut into 6 pieces in total, wiping the blade between each cut.
Make your own California rolls with Makiko’s delicious recipe
1. Rub the grapeseed oil or mayonnaise into your palms and fingers. Take the rice in your right hand, if you are right-handed. (Or simply reverse all the instructions.) Hold the prawn (or other topping) in your left hand, across the base of your fingers.
2. Place your rice on top of the fish. Put your right index finger on top of the rice. Wrap your left hand around your right index finger, squeezing gently to make a nice shape. Turn your nigiri so the fish is on top, still placed over the base of the fingers.
3. Repeat the wrapping and squeezing steps to form a neat, compact piece of nigiri. Do not squash the rice together too hard; all your movements should be gentle.
4. Now smooth the edges of the prawn or other topping into an organic, graceful curve, with no corners: the topping should drape elegantly over the rice.