I don't do Sushi. Local shops have fresh fast-food Sushi, for premium, Ginza is top of the world. But for Girl's Day Mar 3 (3/3) or Boy's Day May 5 (5/5), I make sushi for family events. This uses my husband's Grandmother's recipe for Tuna Teriyaki Topping. It is surprisingly sweet, so with the saltier Clam Topping, they balance well (no raw fish). This isn't quite Oshisushi (Pressed Sushi) but it uses a form to make the traditional diamond. There are many ways to decorate the sushi but here are two of my favorites. —BoulderGalinTokyo
Cook rice and barley together in water for regular hardness. If using white rice, cook using a little less water than usual.
Mix rice vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce in small bowl. Set aside.
Prepare a hand fan, or cardboard-box-side 12 inch-by-12 inch, or a magazine for fanning.
While the rice cooks, prepare the Toppings and the Diamond Mold.
Shiitake and Clam Topping:
Cut a design in the top of shiitake mushrooms, if desired. Mince stems of shiitakes.
Empty canned clams and juice into a small sauce pan. Add soy sauce and mirin, and mushroom tops and stems.
On medium-low heat, stir every 3 or 4 minutes (turn mushrooms upside down). Cook for 10 minutes. Remove shiitake tops.
Continue cooking clams until the water is gone (about 10 more minutes).
Sprinkle with salt. Roll on cutting board (about 30 sec.) Rinse.
Slice very thin. Sprinkle with salt and massage. Let rest about 5 min. Mix cucumbers around and massage again. Rest 5 minutes. Rinse in water. Squeeze cucumber slices until no more juice runs out. Set aside.
Make a diamond-shape mold out of a milk carton, stapled at both ends. It doesn't need a bottom. See photo.
When rice is cooked:
Immediately remove to a large flat bowl or platter with sides. Pour Sushi Flavoring (above) all over and mix with a rice scoop or spatula. At the same time, fan (the rice, not yourself) with fan. Fluff up rice, don't press or matt down. When rice is completely mixed, and cooled down to warm, you may fan yourself.
Divide rice into 4 piles (or 6 if making smaller diamonds.)
Put half of rice from first rice pile into diamond-mold bottom, and press down and into sides evenly. Press strong enough for rice to stick together.
Put 1/4 of Tuna Teriyaki Topping into mold to make next layer. Press in.
Add second half from first rice pile to the make third layer. Press evenly, press again.
Add Clam Topping, Cucumbers, and Eggs in desired design.
Sprinkle with chopped pickled ginger, if desired.
From next rice pile, put half into mixing bowl. Add 1/4 (1/6) of cucumbers to rice and mix. Press firmly into mold. Add the other half of rice, press firmly.
Diamond top: Make a diamond outline in center with asparagus. On the forward front of outside diamond put Tuna Teriyaki Topping (close-up picture on that recipe page). On backside of diamond put Clam Topping.
Fill center with eggs.
Place a shiitake next to the diamond when serving.
Sliced pickled ginger is nice, or dice pink Shinshoga (Young Ginger pickles) and sprinkle on top.
Cherry tomatoes and snow peas add color.