Monday, November 9, 2009

So. You Want to Make Some Sushi.

We can do that!

I love sushi.

It's yummy.

It's relatively healthy.

And it appeals to my whole "everything in its place" mentality. Those little rolls of sushi are so nice and organized!

Sushi is often misunderstood. It looks a little daunting-all those ingredients, all sliced so neatly, yikes!

But I promise. If I can do it, so can you. You only need a few items.

Let's get started.

First, we need our rice. And the rice needs its seasonings.


Sushi Rice-you can buy it in the grocery store in the ethnic food aisle. I've never made sushi with regular rice. I suppose it sort of would work, but sushi rice is stickier than regular rice. So you can try it. But don't blame me if it doesn't work.



Rice Vinegar-the most important ingredient. Once I was making sushi and didn't have any rice vinegar-I used tarragon vinegar, and while it was ok, it DID taste a little funky.

And don't worry, I'll tell you how much (ish) of everything you need.

I think you all can safely figure out what these items are. But for those who really don't know what's going on in the kitchen, these are an avocado, a cucumber, and a carrot. Maybe this tutorial isn't for you. But for everyone else... And don't you see the package of mock crab next to the veggies? The invisible ones because I forgot to take a picture? C'mon. Pretend it's there. Mmmmmm. I love me some mock crab. Yummers. You need it. You can buy it most anywhere-but I generally run to the kosher store to get it because I also need...

Seaweed and wasabi powder. And a bamboo mat. The bamboo mat lasts forever, the seaweed does not. And I used to buy seaweed at the grocery store because "they" said any seaweed was fine, but then I read the back of the seaweed package, where it said that it might contain shellfish. Ahem. Sushi Metsuyan seaweed for me.

So now you have everything you need. Oh yeah.

You also need a cutting board, a sharp knife, some measuring cups and spoons, a small bowl of water, and a pot. And some yummy coffee. But that's to sip as you roll. Or as you blog. And a sick little girl (is 99.8 fever? Discuss)who is making me stay home in my pjs today. And ditch school. In my pjs. Did I mention that I'm in my pjs? I feel so decadent!

Ok back to sushi, enough about jammies and coffee and 8:15 on a Monday morning.


Let's make about 6 rolls of sushi yumminess.

Measure into a pot: (oops, no picture. Imagine)

1 1/2 cups rice and 2 cups water. As per the rice bag (toldya I'm lazy-my own recipe? ha! Read the bag to cook the rice, m'dears), bring to a soft boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Let it rest for 10 minutes.I often find it takes much shorter. Keep an eye on that rice. Don't forget it's cooking and then go jogging with your hubby and leave it cooking on the stove. It will burn. Just sayin'. Don't know who that happened to.

After it's done resting (it was hard work for that rice), you want to add some seasonings. Sprinkle about a few teaspoons of salt, a tablespoon or two of sugar, and lots of yummy rice vinegar. Don't ask me how much. Some. Sprinkle. Sprinkle some more. Then take a spoon and taste it. If it's too salty, add some sugar. Too sweet, add some salt. Not tangy enough, add more vinegar. Told you I'm lazy. Just sprinkle. Trust me.

Then, dump the rice into a bowl-it cools a but faster that way. I've burned my hands on too hot rice.

while the rice is cooling you need to cut your veggies. Remember the sharp knife and cutting board? Now it's time to use them.

here's my veggies. Well I forgot to take a picture of them in the beginning. So there's not that much left. And ooh yuck. I need a new cutting board. Mine looks kinda icky. But I digress. Notice the long thin slices of carrot and cucumber? Do that. And cut up the avocado into slices. If you don't know how to peel avocado nicely, ask me and I'll teach ya that next. It does not need to be scooped out with a spoon. What is up with that? wastes too much. Don't do it.

Oh yeah. Drink a bit more coffee. Mmmmmmm

Then unwrap about half of the mock crab-each piece is in plastic. Remove the plastic. Plastic is not yummy. Sushi is.

OK everything is all laid out nicely and ready. Cooked, seasoned rice, veggies, mock crab, and the bamboo mat and seaweed are nearby. Oh-one more thing-fill a small bowl with water to dip your hands in.

Now it's time to roll some sushi!

First things first. Lay out your mat. You can do that!

Lay a piece of seaweed on it.

OK here we go. Dip your hands in your water. You want them wet. Gather up a ball of rice in your wet hands. Kind of form it into a ball with your hands. It will look like this. Not sure why that's important, but it's what they do at the sushi places. So I do it too.

Now, take that ball of sushi rice and dump it on your seaweed. Pause and wet your hands again. All the wet hand-i-ness makes the rice not stick to you. Smoosh the rice all over the seaweed, leaving a small area around the perimeter without rice. See my picture? I'm very scientific.

Then, lay your veggies at the end of the rice closest to you. Choose what you want. I didn't have too much mock crab left (ate some by this point) so that's why I don't have a ton. But you can do whatever you want-no carrot, extra cucumber, whatever you, or your picky kids, want.

OK so now we're ready to roll ( literally!)
If you've made a jelly roll, it's similar-but even easier. I've never successfully made a jelly roll cake. Always falls apart. This works. So. Using your bamboo mat to help you, roll up the end a little-enough that there is a small roll of seaweed most of the way over the top and the filling items are encased. Like this.

Once it's enclosed, you want to squeeeeeeeze it. Kinds smoosh it together to be more compact. This is what makes the whole roll stay together. See me squeeeeezing? Ooh. I have old lady hands. What's up with my veins?

Pull back the bamboo. Your roll will hopefully look like this.

Say to yourself...hmmm...this wasn't too bad! I can do this!
Then flip the bamboo over the top again. Roll the sushi one more roll? revolution? Using the bamboo to hold it all together.
Squeeeeeeeze again.
Squeezing is important. It's also important to squeeeeeeze your kids. Hang on. Going to squeeeeeeze my sicky jammy girl.
OK. Back now.

Now that you've done the whole roll/squeeeeeze thing twice, you're left with a little bit of seaweed still to roll. Roll it right up. Don't need the bamboo at this point. But sometimes I flip the bamboo over again and squeeeeeeze again.
Now you have a roll of sushi! Once you get good at it, it takes about 30 seconds per roll. Stack them as you roll, and admire your handiwork.

Ahem. I forgot to take a picture of the slicing.
But once you have a whole pyramid of happy rolls, You need to slice them.
You want to use the sharpest, non-serrated knife you own.(those little knives from Israel are the best ones to use!) Serrated knives will rip apart the seaweed and you'll be sad. Trust me. I know what I'm talking about.
Take one of the rolls. I usually slice the first roll that I made first-because that roll has had even a little more time to mush together. So take a roll.
Put it on your cutting board. First, slice off your ends. They're a bit raggedy and not so pretty.
Slice em off.
Eat them. (They're messy, but yummy. We don't want to waste)
The, you want to slice your roll into slices about 1/2 inch wide. Use your sharp sharp knife, and as you slice, put them on your serving tray.
You need some wasabi, right?
OK. Take a little bowl. Pour in about a tablespoon of wasabi powder. Add little amounts of hot water to the powder until you get a nice pasty consistency. That was easy.
You've done it! Didn't it feel good to make 6 rolls for about $15 as opposed to buying 1 roll for $9.95?
I thought so.
And I promise. It's not hard. At all. I'm a cooking spaz, and I make it all the time.
Let me know how it goes!!


WriterGrrl said...

Thank you, Sara! :-)

Miriam said...

Love it! I'm not huge into sushi- but I will definitly give this a try some time. =)

Stephanie said...

When BAT were babies we made them sushi rice balls because we thought it would be easy for them to pick up and eat. It didn't go well. I think T STILL has rice in her hair. I have not made sushi rice since. I'm scarred for life.
And 99.8 is not a fever I would medicate, but definitely a fever I'd keep S home for - her body is fighting something off, so lots of fluids, Vitamin C and rest!

agent99 said...

snorted my coffee out my nose reading this. I love you.....


chaviva said...

This was so funny. I don't do raw fish, but my hubby recently got into it. Maybe I'll make his day one day and make this. Question though, aren't the sushi rolls wrapped in some thin white thing when you get it a restaurant?

Rach said...

can you start a cooking show? seriously- that was hilarious and now I am CRAVING sushi, mmmmmmmmmm

Anonymous said...

Wow. It looks strangely familiar, for some reason.... :)

Anonymous said...

Last comment was me.
David Brand

DESJ and Company said...

What you see at the sushi place is an inside out roll. The rice is on the outside. Which I can do. But I was afraid it might make some people's heads explode. So I left it out. But I can teach that if anyone wants!

Nahum said...

You are NOT a cooking spaz. And I think I might try this...

chaviva said...

well if it's even half as funny to learn how to make inside out sushi as it was to learn right side in sushi, i'm all for it.

npl said...

That was fab - I'm so tempted and it takes a lot to get me to try anything vaguely "patchke"!
And, keeping my eye out for the tea, to see if we get it North of the Border, but no luck so far.

Rayli said...

when I made my kids and their friends make sushi one time, I totally only added salt to the rice.... did not have a bamboo mat..... and did not know about the water trick (their hands were covered in sticky rice!) and it still tasted really good. So now that we know the tricks, it will be a whole lot easier!

Lindsay said...

I think you need this shirt :) great post! i love sushi and will have to try to make it myself sometime!