Pressed Sushi (Oshi- Zushi).

Prepare a batch of sushi rice, based on three cups of rice. This will be enough to fill a cake tin with a removeable side, an excellent substitute for the wooden box, or oshi waku. We will also need three dried mushrooms soaked in warm water until soft, half a small cucumber, a small carrot, 3 slices of roast ham, and 6 prawns and omelet. After soaking, slice the mushrooms into narrow lengths, cut the carrot into matchlike sticks 1-1/2 inches long, and cut the cucumber first into diagonal slices, then cut the slices into narrow strips. In a saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of the water used to soak the mushrooms, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sugar, 2 tablespoons wine, and a pinch of MSG. Add the mushroom and carrot and simmer for 5 minutes until well-flavored. Drain and cool.

Prepare the omelet.

Cook, clean, devein and cool the prawns. Cut lengthwise into halves.

Oil the cake tin and pack with sushi rice about half way. Squeeze any excess moisture from the mushrooms if needed. Top with a layer of mushrooms, carrots, and cucumbers. Put the remaining rice on top of the vegetables and press down evenly. Spread some wasabi over the rice. Arrange the prawns, ham and omelet on top, remembering that it will be cut into squares. Cover with plastic wrap and weigh it down with another pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and cut into pieces.

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