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Miss SA Top 10 finalist shares her love of sushi and her recipe

Gauteng beauty Anarzade Omar is taught herself the Japanese style of cuisine

13 July 2022 - 13:00
Anarzade Omar enjoys her favourite dish, sushi.
Anarzade Omar enjoys her favourite dish, sushi.
Image: Supplied

When not making sushi, Anarzade Omar, who lives in Crown Gardens in Gauteng, works as a social media manager at a digital marketing agency, making use of her BA in strategic communication and marketing from the University of Johannesburg. At the start of 2020 when the pandemic hit and the country went into lockdown, many people alleviated their boredom by baking banana bread or brewing pineapple beer.

But for the 23-year-old Miss SA Top 10 contender Omar, it was an opportunity to teach herself how to make her favourite meal — sushi.

“I am a self-taught sushi chef who graduated from Google and YouTube,” laughs Omar. “At first I made it only for my family and me, but through the power of social media, I got a lot of interest, so I started to take online orders and it never stopped.”

What is your earliest food memory?

My mom always baked our birthday cakes, and my earliest and fondest memories are of me staying up late the night before my birthday watching and supervising as she made my cake.

What would be your last meal?

Definitely sushi.

What do you not eat?

I’m not a fan of eggs.

Sweet or savoury?

I love to combine sweet and savoury. For example, cheese on pancakes or fried chicken on waffles.

Favourite flavour ice cream?

Cookies and cream.

Sweets are a favourite pick me up.  

I just love sour gums and always have a stash on hand.

Miss SA top 10 contender Anarzade Omar with her favourite dish, sushi.
Miss SA top 10 contender Anarzade Omar with her favourite dish, sushi.
Image: Supplied

ANARZADE’S SUBLIME SUSHI

Ingredients:

Bamboo rolling mat

Plastic wrap

Sharp knife

Method:

  1. Place the bamboo rolling mat on a cutting board so the strips are running horizontally. Spread a strip of plastic wrap over the mat. Then place a sheet (or a half sheet) of nori on the plastic wrap.
  2.  Spread a thin layer of sushi rice over the nori. Don't use too much rice. With a little practice, you'll get a feel for how much to use. Leave a small space at the top edge of the nori so you can seal up the roll. Tip: Wet your fingers as you spread the sticky sushi rice over the nori.
  3. Add your ingredients towards the centre of the rice-covered nori. Don't overpack it. If you're making a roll with the rice on the outside, simply turn the nori over, placing it rice-side down on the rolling mat. Then add your ingredients to the top of the nori.
  4. Gently lift the bottom of the mat up and over the sushi. Press and shape the ingredients into a tube. Roll with pressure so you get a firm roll.
  5. Roll until just an inch of nori shows at the top. Seal the edge of the nori with a little cold water. Firm it up by squeezing the mat around the roll until it feels uniformly snug.
  6. Slice the sushi roll in half with a sharp knife on a cutting board, then cut each half into thirds so you have six pieces of sushi. To get a clean cut, wet the knife with water each time you slice.
  7. Line up the slices of sushi on platters and enjoy with soy sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger.

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