Friday, April 13, 2007



We made sushi! We actually made sushi! It was so cool!

I totally understand how becoming a great sushi chef is all about great artistry and would take a lifetime to perfect… but if you want something better then the pre-made sushi that you can usually get in supermarkets these days, it’s so unbelievably easy!

You have to get sushi rice, but you can get that in a lot of supermarkets these days. What you really need to do is follow the directions on the packet, because different brands will differ slightly in how they need to be prepared. In addition to sushi rice, you will need Mirin, and rice wine vinegar (also widely available in supermarkets these days), mixed with some sugar and salt.

One tip is after it’s cooked, as you mix the rice with the liquid mixture, have someone fan it to cool it down (just using a bit of cardboard or something).

You’ll want a sushi rolling mat too, and of coarse the sea weed for the rolls (again, supermarket)

So you take your mat and lay the sea weed down on top of it. Cover 2/3 of the sea weed with the rice. DIP YOUR HANDS IN SOME WATER WITH VINEGAR IN IT TO KEEP THE RICE FROM STICKING!!! SO IMPORTANT!!! Then add a line of filling across it, slightly off center (towards you, not the rice-less end of the sea weed). Then use the mat to help you roll it up like a cigarette, you even wet the ends a bit to help it stick. Wrap the roll in cling wrap and leave it in the fridge till you are ready to serve it, this helps it stay well formed. When the time comes, cut them into slices (I made each roll into 6 pieces) and arrange them nicely.

I also made some that were not rolls. I don’t know if I can get sushi quality fish, and I certainly didn’t want to risk it, so I used smoked salmon instead. Take a small pan and line it with cling film, and put a thick layer of the rice in the bottom, smoothing it well. Place this in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. When you are ready to use it, take it out and turn it upside down onto a cutting board or plate. Remove the cling film, and cut the rice into squares, then cut the salmon into squares that you can drape over it.

That’s the basic gist of it. The rest is coming up with whatever ingredients you want to have in yours. I made a cucumber roll, and one with crab meat and cucumber. One really odd one with anchovy and cream cheese (actually really good), and one with smoked salmon and cream cheese and chives. I also used some pickled ginger on top of some of them.

One really important thing though. I know that in some sushi places, some of the different varieties have some wasabi (hot Japanese mustard) right in them. Please don't try this at home!!!! It’s really hard to gage how much wasabi you would want. You can taste a little of it, but somehow, it doesn’t translate. Some of ours were almost inedible for the wasabi, and that was a real shame because they were soo good otherwise.

This is something everyone should try! It’s so much fun to do, and it’s so very tasty, and it makes you feel very creative and impressive. I’m going to try again, without wasabi (you can always put it right in the soy sauce for dipping, much better idea). Next time I’m going to try some avacado, and I just got hold of some sweet pickled garlic that I think would be fun.

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