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Kelly Loves sushi making kits: Review

Feb 24, 2023 #Japanese #Kelly Loves #Korean #sushi
Kelly Loves - Sushi 3
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Please note: I received free products from Kelly Loves to review, but this in no way impacted on my opinion. The fresh ingredients were purchased with my own money. I was not obliged to write a positive review, and the company did not see this review before it was put up on the site. 


I’m no stranger to making sushi. It has, however, been YEARS since I last made it – mainly because the level of effort it takes hasn’t been compatible with a small child who can’t seem to cope with me being in the kitchen without him for more than five minutes.

When the Kelly Loves team recently reached out, I was intrigued. Founded by Kelly Choi (who’s also one of the pair behind Sushi Daily and various other Asian food brands), the brand’s mission is to “bring the best of Asian food to the world”. Their online shop features a wide variety of Asian snacks, drinks, meals and sushi ingredients – including their kits that contain all you need to make sushi at home.

There’s a range of sushi making kits available, from a £9.99 kit just containing nori (seaweed sheets), sushi rice, rice vinegar and spicy mayo – perfect if you’ve already got other sushi ingredients at home – to the Ultimate Sushi Kit (£29.99 at the time of writing) which is far more comprehensive.

As well as the nori, sushi rice, spicy mayo and rice vinegar, it also includes a rolling mat, wasabi, sushi ginger, crispy fried onions and an attractive bento box for storing or serving your creations. All you need to add is the fillings or toppings for the sushi that you make.


Kelly Loves - Ultimate Sushi Kit


In addition, Kelly Loves sent me a sachet of their kimchi (£1.79), a bottle of soy sauce (£3.95) and a bottle of ramune (from £2.55) – a traditional Japanese lemonade.


Kelly Loves - Ramune, Soy Sauce, Kimchi


I started off by cooking the entire pack of sushi rice as per the instructions on the back of the box: instructions which gave the perfect consistency, but I did end up with some of the rice stuck to the bottom of the pan. I discarded this, of course, before transferring the cooked rice to a plastic bowl, ready for seasoning.

When seasoning sushi rice in the past, I’ve used a combination of sushi vinegar, sugar and salt. I’m glad I had a good look at the Kelly Loves Sushi Vinegar bottle before using it – partly because it gave great instructions for how much to use depending on the amount of rice you’re seasoning, and partly because I had assumed it was just pure vinegar. I was wrong: it also includes the sugar and salt, so there’s no need to add extra – the name is a little misleading. It has a beautiful flavour and, when combined in the stated quantities with the still-warm rice, I was more than happy with the results.


Kelly Loves - Sushi Vinegar


I didn’t have time to get to a fishmonger to buy sushi-grade raw fish, so went with cooked/smoked fillings and veg: smoked salmon, soy and ginger chicken pieces, crabsticks, cucumber and avocado. After the rice had fully cooled, it was time to get rolling…

The Kelly Loves bamboo rolling mat was lovely and sturdy, a world away from the flimsy ones I’ve had in the past, giving me a decent grip on my sushi as I rolled it. I love the fact that the nori packaging has comprehensive rolling instructions on the back, too – as well as a QR code to scan for more advice and ideas.

I made a combination of maki (thin rolls with just one filling) and bigger sushi rolls – some with the nori on the outside, some with rice on the outside. My son loved getting involved as well!


Kelly Loves - Sushi Fillings

Kelly Loves - Sushi Rolling

Kelly Loves - Sushi Rolling 2


As you’ll see from the photo below, one packet of sushi rice made a generous amount of sushi – and with nori sheets leftover, too. It was also a good opportunity to break out my beautiful Japanese dishes, which I don’t use often enough!


Kelly Loves - Sushi 4

Kelly Loves - Sushi 3


I used the spicy mayo and fried onions to decorate the inside-out rolls I’d made. I can see myself using the mayo for all sorts of things down the line: it’s got a real premium mayonnaise flavour, and just enough cayenne for a little kick without destroying the rest of the sushi flavours. The fried onions are incredible too, with a decent amount of crunch, not too much salt, and a QR code on the back of the tub which directs you to a Kelly Loves recipe for crunch sushi rolls, where the entirety of the outside is coated in crispy onion pieces.

I also served up the wasabi, sushi ginger and soy sauce alongside this sushi feast. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the wasabi as it has a thinner consistency than many I’ve tried (and doesn’t have the lurid green colour of some!) but oh my goodness it was FIERY! The initial sweetness of the ginger gives way to a powerful heat that’s the perfect palate cleanser…while the soy sauce is deliciously rich and packed with an incredible umami flavour.


Kelly Loves - Sushi 1

Kelly Loves - Sushi 2


I decided to try the kimchi and ramune alongside the sushi. The Kelly Loves kimchi filled a ramekin and I loved how striking the colour was! The fermented cabbage and the radish still had a good crunch, it was just the right amount of sour and tangy, and I LOVED the fact that there was a decent amount of pepper heat.

The ramune soda is available in lychee, yuzu and the original lemon flavour, which is the one I was sent to try. The first challenge? Opening the bottle! After trying a few different things I resorted to Googling…and Kelly Loves actually have a guide on their website! The bottle contains a marble which seals the liquid inside – my son loves swirling it around the empty bottle when we’d finished! Super sweet and with a gentle fizz, it was an interesting alternative to our more carbonated lemonades.


Kelly Loves - Kimchi

Kelly Loves - Ramune


I know sushi’s best eaten fresh but there were leftovers, so into the bento box they went. It’s a gorgeous box with plenty of space between its two layers, and it kept the leftover sushi perfectly fresh-tasting for the following lunchtime.


Kelly Loves - Bento Box


If you’re a fan of making your own sushi, if you’ve never tried but want to give it a go, or if you’re looking for gifts for food lovers, I’d definitely recommend this Kelly Loves Ultimate Sushi Kit. £30 gets you everything you need – bar your sushi fillings/toppings – to make your own sushi from scratch, and plenty of the ingredients that the kit contained will last me for a good while. The bento box will come in handy for packed lunches/snacks and storing leftovers, too – and many of the ingredients can be used to make dishes other than sushi.

Fancy giving it a go for yourself? Find the Ultimate Sushi Kit online here!


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