Recreate a chef-made sushi meal at home in seconds. 

When it comes to picking up a quick meal on the way home after work, our Japanese-language reporter Meg never passes up the chance to try some sushi. So when she heard about a new hack that turns supermarket sushi into a restaurant-quality meal, she was keen to try it out immediately, stopping by a store to grab a variety pack that would let her test it out on a range of different flavours.

While some hacks require a bit of skill, the beauty of this sushi hack is its pure simplicity. All you have to do is whack the sushi pack into the microwave and, for a two-person serving like the one Meg bought, blast it on 500 watts for 30 seconds.

According to what she’d heard, half a minute in the microwave transforms the sushi, making it taste as if it was put together by a sushi craftsman. When she took the sushi out of the microwave, she was pleasantly surprised, as the tiny morsels looked even better than they did before. The neta on top of each piece was glisteningly moist, which is just how they would look if they had been freshly moulded by a sushi chef.

Heating up fresh sushi goes against all the usual rules of enjoying the traditional raw delicacy, so Meg had her doubts as to whether the heating process would make the sushi vinegar in the rice mix taste bitter or overpowering. Starting off with a tuna piece, she popped it into her mouth, and as she tasted the blend of flavours, a huge grin spread across her face. It was absolutely delicious, and totally different to the cold supermarket sushi she was used to eating.

As she tried all the different varieties, the thing that really stood out for her was the mouth-feel of the rice. The heating process warmed the rice to just the right temperature so that it tasted like it was just made by a sushi chef, as the rice would naturally be slightly warmed with the heat from the chef’s hands during the moulding process. Sushi that’s refrigerated for a long time at the supermarket loses some of the flavour in the rice, as the vinegar cools and the grains separate slightly, but by heating it in the microwave, the vitality of the rice was brought back to life, resulting in a fluffy, just-cooked texture.

All the neta toppings were twice as delicious, regaining their freshness and becoming juicy and soft. They might not have transcended to quite the same level as a handmade morsel from a high-end restaurant like Sukiyabashi Jiro, but the flavours were well and truly out of the supermarket and competing with the likes of good quality servings you’d find at any Japanese sushi train restaurant.

One of the most surprising transformations was the squid sushi, which went from bland and hard to sweet and soft, just by using the heat from the microwave. After trying out this technique, Meg says she won’t be able to go back to eating cold squid sushi from the supermarket again!

Meg was surprised that nobody had ever told her about the hack before, given the extreme difference it made to the taste of her humdrum supermarket sushi meal. Heating the sushi slightly made her 842-yen (US$7.41) meal taste as if it were worth at least twice that amount, making it a great way to enjoy a high-quality meal at half the cost. Meg definitely recommends trying it out and is eager to know what others think about the sushi transformation, so if you do give it a go on your store-bought sushi, let her know your results in the comments section below!

Photos © SoraNews24
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