I've done a bit of reading and assume you put whatever you'd like into a roll of nori with rice and ????
How do you do it?
It sounds like a fun thing to do when friends gather.
03-26-2008, 01:58 PM
Susan, my friends and I have girls nights where we make tons of sushi. It's a lot of fun since we all like to cook, and if everyone brings one type of fish, a few vegetables, etc. the cost is spread around and it's pretty inexpensive. Some grocery stores sell a few of the ingredients, but if you find an Asian foods store you can get all of the ingredients inexpensively. I live on the coast so fresh fish is everywhere.
You can buy a sushi kit that has bamboo rollers (look like a small square placemat), a rice paddle/spreader, and some chopsticks and things, but in truth my friends and I don't use the rollers and the rice spreader that came with my rice cooker is better than the one from my roommate's sushi kit.
I recommend getting everything prepped and then assemble the rolls.
Sushi - yup, they just sell that in sheets. The big (8x8"?) square sheets are easier than the half sheets to start with.
Rice - Sushi rice is short-grain rice, which means it gets sticky when it's cooked. You can use a rice cooker or cook on the stove. Once it's done, dump it into a bowl and mix rice vinegar in generously. I'd guess about 1/4 cup to every 4 cups cooked rice, perhaps. This helps make it spread better. You sort of have to trial-and-error to learn the right texture. I think I once saw brown sushi rice at a health food coop in the bulk bin, and I kick myself that I didn't buy any. Most sushi rice is white rice, which of course has a high GI and is a refined carb.
Veggies - We cut up cucumber, green onion, avocado, sometimes peppers, carrots, whatever you like.
Spicy sauce - Mix mayo and hot sauce (I forget what brand of hot sauce we get - I don't even know if it has any writing in English on the bottle) to desired spiciness.
Sesame seeds/black sesame seeds - Lightly toast in a pan on the stove. When you can smell them, they're done. Keep the pan shaking while you're making them.
Wasabi - get the powder, not the pre-mixed stuff in the tube. Mix in a little bit of water at a time until it turns into a paste. Do this first, then flip the bowl over (to exclude oxygen) and let it develop its flavor while you work on other things.
Soy sauce - self-explanatory...
The fish - here are a few options - get very fresh fish!
Raw tuna, salmon, other fish - Get sushi grade tuna and slice into thin strips with a very sharp knife or fillet knife
Crunchy shrimp - Most stores sell tempura batter. You mix it w/ water according to package directions, and fry in a bit of oil. If you have extra batter you can just fry it to make crunchy bits to put in the rolls, or to munch on...not that I would ever eat fried dough, it's so bad for you... ;)
Scallops - Lightly saute the scallops in minimal oil, cooking spray, etc. If you have sea scallops, cut into little pieces. Cut bay scallops in half. Hard boil a few eggs (~3 for a pound of scallops, which will make a lot of sushi), chop the yolks, discard (or eat for a snack the next day!) the whites. Mix the scallops, yolks, and spicy mayo/hot sauce together.
Soft-shelled crab - You can also tempura-fry a whole, small-ish soft-shelled crab and lay the whole thing in a roll. I don't care for it, but my friends say eat it the night you make it, b/c the texture is bad the next day.
Eel - My friend gets it already barbecued at the Asian foods store, and she just adds a little eel sauce, which is sold by the bottle.
Roe - again, if you can find it and care for it
Crab - You can get real crab meat already cooked. I think the fake crab sticks taste horrible (this is what's in most California rolls, at lots of sushi restaurants) and don't bother with them.
Assembly: you take your sheet of seaweed. Spread rice on very thinly with the spreader. You can use a flat spoon, too, but it's a bit more awkward. At one end, lay strips of the veggies, whatever meat you want, the spicy sauce if you want, roe, sprinkle a few sesame seeds, etc. Don't fill it with too much - you want to be able to roll it! Starting from the side with the filling, take the corners of the sheet and roll inward to form as tight a roll as you can. When you get to the end, wet your fingers to help seal the seaweed seam. Cut into 6 or 8 pieces with a really sharp knife.
Inside out rolls have the rice on the outside. These are a bit harder to roll. You spread the rice, flip it over, and then fill it and roll as above. Sesame seeds look pretty on the outside.
Then there are those smaller rolls (that's what you use the seaweed half sheets for) that have rice on the inside, and fish on top, and look really pretty... I'm working my way up to that. I don't care for them as much, really!
Dip in soy, wasabi, whatever you like, and enjoy! It takes some practice to make it look pretty, but even if it doesn't look pretty, it still tastes good. Also, it definitely takes time and about every dish in your kitchen. You can eat leftovers for a day or two (careful with the raw fish), but as I said apparently the soft-shelled crab makes a gross leftover. The rest are delicious for lunch! Have fun!
03-26-2008, 02:24 PM
I love sushi! I don't do the raw fish, but I love the veggie rolls and the cooked rolls. My favorite are California rolls. I love avocado too.
I bought a book and a kit to make sushi. The biggest challenge is to get the rice to get the perfect consistency. I've only tried to make sushi once. I overcooked the rice and put too much liquid in it, but I still made it work. You also need a very sharp knife to cut and keep it wet to make clean cuts.
It would definitely be a fun thing to do with friends, and everyone gets to help.
06-24-2008, 01:32 PM
We love making sushi, too. I have found that we can make much better quality sushi for the same price as at a low to mid price restaurant. It's not tough once you try it a few times. Here are some recipes, followed by some tips:
Perfect Sushi Rice (makes a lot)
3 3/4 cups sushi rice, such as Nishiki
3 3/4 cups water
1/2 cup rice vinegar
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, add rice and cover with lots of water. Stir rice in water with your hands, then pour off most of the water, and agitate 10 to 15 times by quickly moving your hand back and forth, swishing rice against side of bowl. Rinse the rice several more times, until the water that drains off of the rice is almost clear. Drain water and put in cooking pot. Add the water amount in the ingredients list and let sit for 30-60 minutes, this gives the rice a better texture for sushi. After the time is up, cook rice until water is absorbed and rice is tender but not mushy.
While the rice is cooking, bring rice vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan, and then remove from the heat. Add sugar and salt and stir until dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature.
When rice is done, turn off stove and allow cooked rice to sit for 10 minutes. Transfer rice to a large shallow mixing bowl so that rice forms a mound in the center of the bowl. Using a diagonal slicing motion, gently cut into rice with a wooden paddle, and pour cooled vinegar mixture over top of rice. "Cut" rice several times to evenly distribute vinegar mixture, then allow to cool. Gently turn rice over from time to time with paddle so that rice cools evenly. When rice has cooled to body temperature, it is ready to use for sushi rolls.
Spicy Tuna Roll:
1/3 c mayonnaise
2 tablespoons hot chile paste
1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
2/3 lb tuna steak (sushi grade), minced
avocado, sliced in strips
cucumber, sliced in strips
Combine all ingredients except rice, nori, cucumber and avocado in a bowl. We do inside out rolls, so on a bamboo mat, place a nori sheet (shiny side up). Spread rice in a thin layer over nori. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the rice covered nori. Flip the nori and the wrap over (not the mat). Spoon out an even layer of the tuna mixture on nori at the end closest to you. Add some strips of cucumber and avocado. Carefully roll the roll away from you (using the mat), being sure that the plastic wrap doesn't get rolled up too! As you roll, tighten along the way. You may want to check YouTube for a video on how to roll/make sushi. We learned by reading websites and watching videos.
1 lb sushi-grade salmon, cut in thin strips
cream cheese, cut in thin strips
avocado, cut in thin strips
cucumber, cut in thin strips
Assemble as directed in above recipe.
As you can see, our favorite rolls can get calorie dense. You can either leave some of these ingredients out, or use low fat versions of some of the ingredients. We get all of our fish from Whole Foods Market. We've never had a problem with their fish. Before you assemble the rolls, put some cool water (about 1 1/2 cups) in a bowl with about 2-3 Tbls of rice vinegar in it. When you go to spread the rice on the nori, dip your fingers in the bowl so that they are slightly wet, this will make the rice stick to your hands a little less. Also when you go to cut your rolls, dip your knife in the bowl first for the same reason. Use a very sharp knife or the roll will mush down. We ended up getting a sushi knife because we were making it very often for a while until the prices of things went up so much. It seems intimidating when you read all of this but it is really easy once you do it a few times. We've always made the inside out rolls, so I can't tell you if it is harder or not to make them compared to the regular rolls.
here are a couple of helpful links:
http://www.imakesushi.com/index.html (excellent instructions with photos)
http://www.sushilinks.com/sushi-recipes/how-to-buy-fish/index.html (fish buying and preparation)