Monday, February 22, 2010

How To Make Sushi

I have never been a huge fan of sushi. My first experience with Sushi was when Bradley took me out to sushi on our third date. He said his favorite food in the whole wide world was the spicy crunchy tuna at Lemon Grass. So we went to broaden my palette. After dinner Bradley asked me to rank my opinion of sushi on a scale from 1 to 10. I gave it a 4. He was deeply offended that I ranked his favorite food a 4. If we were further along in our dating relationship I would have ranked it a 2 despite Bradley's enthusiasm. I very slowly began to like sushi over time, but I really started liking it when we began making it for ourself. We were taught by some friends and now we just love it. It takes a little while but we like to make an evening of it. So here is step-by-step directions to become a master sushi chef...master may be overkill... Also, If you are absolutely disgusted by sushi I say give it a chance, I actually really enjoy veggie sushi rolls too...I probably just lost all my credibility... So here we go...

First you need rice. Make sure you get short grain white rice. Pictured below is what we use. And yes, we have a 10 lb bag. To cook the rice follow the directions of water to rice ratio. Bring the rice to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes with the lid on. *It is important that you don't lift the lid and stir. This lets steam out and your final rice product will be crunchy. Bring the rice off the heat and sit for 10 minutes. Still, do not take the lid off. Remove the rice from the pot into a bowl to cool. Add a couple tablespoons of Sushi Vinegar. While you are waiting for your rice to cool, prepare what you want to put on your sushi. This is where you get to take ownership. We like to have cucumber, green onions, avocado, whipped cream cheese, spicy mayo and salmon. The meat we use is prepared and cooked. On the package it says "hor'deuvres ready." You can of course be more daring. One time we did do raw tuna. I was slightly nervous so I opted out of eating it. Part of the reason I was nervous about the raw tuna is the meat department man seemed nervous too. But Bradley lived. I would recommend talking to someone in the meat department to make sure whatever you choose to use is actually edible raw. Bradley has also made sushi wish Shrimp that he enjoyed. So make what you like! And if you don't like seafood, you can make a veggie one. I think those are really good. Some supplies that you need is a sushi rolling mat. You can get that at World Market. You will also need chopsticks. You can get these at your local chinese carry-out joint, or again World Market. World Market is the most amazing store ever created. I love everything about it. If I were forced to choose one store to shop at for the rest of my life, it would be World Market, I love their jewlery, scarves, furniture, napkin rings, candy...I digress...

Next comes the Roasted Seaweed. This is what creates the actual sushi...obviously. So you need to have it. You can find this in the Asian section of your local grocery store.

Take a sheet of seaweed and place it on your sushi mat. Make sure the shiny side is down and the rough side is up.

Now the fun begins we are making sushi! Spread out a layer of rice. I find that actually using a chopstick is the easiest way to spread the rice. You want to spread the rice to the corners. The rice is what makes it stick together so getting it to the ends is very important. Don't make your rice layer to thick or too thin. You may have to play around to get it right.

Putting the chopsticks to use spreading out the rice. I also wanted to throw in a picture of another day making sushi, to validate my expertise.

Now pile on your ingredients! Make sure the ingredients are placed on the side closest to you.

Here comes the hardest part...the actual rolling. It starts as a tuck. You don't want your ingredients to fall out so hold on to them as you tuck the end right over top.

Once the ingredients are tucked apply pressure to the mat and continue to roll.

Continue to roll.

Roll it a couple times to make sure its not going to fall apart and the end is sealed (having the rice go all the way to the end is what seals it really well).

Now slice it...slowly, so it isn't crushed.

And there you have it! Now enjoy your hard work.

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