This elegant roll was created in 1941 at the Ginza Kyubey restaurant and the term refers to a roll filled from the top. It is beautifully simple, but incredibly flavourful – and although it might seem like hard work to make the Soy Sauce Pearls, the steps are simple and they will turn your Maki into an impressive work of art!
Put your olive oil in the freezer for 20-30 minutes to chill. While it is chilling, make the soy sauce mix by adding 177ml Soy Sauce and 1 sachet (2g) Agar Agar to your food processor and blending. Once mixed, transfer the liquid to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, the heat will activate the Agar Agar and begin the gelling process. Take off the heat and set aside.
Fill a tall skinny beaker with the cooled olive oil and draw some of the warm soy sauce into the pipette. Now drop the soy sauce (one drop at a time) into the cold olive oil. The idea here is for the soy sauce to travel slowly to the bottom of the beaker and by the time the warm soy has reached the bottom of the beaker it will have cooled completely and the Agar Agar will be solidified. The solid soy sauce pearls will collect at the bottom of the beaker so it is very important to use a tall beaker to give the pearls an opportunity to cool thoroughly on the way down.
Pour the olive oil through a fine sieve to collect the pearls. Rinse gently with water and transfer to a small bowl. Set aside.
Mix equal parts Massago and Salmon Roe and fold together gently being very careful not to damage the Roe.
Each sheet of Nori has several indented lines on it giving you the ability to cut it into precise strips (usually 6 or 7 per sheet). Using the guide lines that are already on the Nori sheet, cut one strip off of your Nori. Set aside.
Wet your hands. Take approximately 17g (golf ball sized) of Sushi Rice and make it into a ball. Lay it on your chopping board and wrap your Nori strip around the rice, with the matte side facing inward. Take a few grains of Sushi Rice and use them like glue to join the Nori sheet around the roll.
Using a teaspoon, fill the space on top of the Sushi Rice with your Roe mixture. Be generous, it should be mounded over the top of the Nori.
Take a piece of cucumber and cut it vertically just off-centre so you don’t get any of the seeds in your piece. Now cut the end of this piece at a 45° angle to get nice long slivers of cucumber. Cut 3 very thin slices, keeping them together, and fan them out on the cutting board. Cut the ends off and place into one side of your Maki in a fan shape. Add approximately ¼ – ½ teaspoon of soy pearls onto the top of the Roe.
Repeat as necessary with the remaining ingredients.