Roll Your Own: Sushi

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Not too long ago, we decided to try a little experiment. We all love sushi – I mean love it. We can’t get enough. Especially with that totally un-authentic spicy mayo. But good sushi is SO expensive, and who KNOWS what they’re putting into that spicy, creamy deliciousness?! So, why not try making it ourselves? There’s a fish market in Stockton that carries INCREDIBLY fresh fish, and although his prices are high, it still comes out to way less than three people eating out at a sushi place.

So, we bought some fish, researched the sushi rice technique, made some of our own spicy mayo, and – ROLLED OUR OWN SUSHI. It worked surprisingly well, and since then, we’ve been on a kind of sushi kick. I’m sure that my rolls would not live up to the standards of a bona fide Japanese Sushi Chef, but hey, they stay together, look pretty and taste really good, which is more than I can say for many rolls I’ve had at restaurants. Plus, the rice was WAY more flavorful and tasty. I’m pretty sure most sushi places don’t actually bother with the whole seasoning schtick.

So, in honor of vacationing on an island and eating lots of fish, here is our sushi method.

N.B. Be sure to have a bowl of water with some rice vinegar for dipping your fingers when spreading the rice. Otherwise you will go crazy with the stickiness.

You will need:
A wooden rice paddle
A sushi mat
Toasted Nori (I think the Eden brand is the best)
Fish of choice (1/3lb can make about 6 rolls we’ve found)
A very sharp knife
Avocado, cucumber or veggies of choice
Soy sauce

Sushi Rice

1 1/3 cups sushi rice (we prefer Lundberg)
1 1/2 cups water
1-2 pieces Kombu seaweed

2 parts organic rice vinegar
1 part organic mirin

Rinse your rice to remove some of the talc.
Place water, rice and Kombu in a pot and cover. Bring to a boil. Just after it boils, pull out the Kombu (otherwise it may get bitter). Cook for — minutes on high heat. Then turn the heat very low and cook for 15 minutes, until all the water is absorbed. Turn off heat and let steam for about 15 minutes. Once it is cooled a little, spread with a rice paddle and incorporate the rice vinegar/mirin mixture. How much of the vinegar/mirin you use somewhat determines how sticky your rice will be (and of course how flavorful). So bring the rice to your desired stickiness. Obviously it needs to be sticky enough to hold together and keep your rolls closed, but you don’t want it to be so sticky that working with it is a nightmare and causes you to pull out your hair and throw things across the kitchen. You know, a happy medium. 🙂

Spicy Mayo

2 tbsp Mayonnaise
2 tsp Siracha

We prefer to make our own mayo, but the mayo you use is totally up to you. For this particular use, we used part olive oil, part un-refined sesame oil.

And onto the fun part! Choose your favorite fish. For our first rolls, we had yellowtail (this was by far the best hamachi I have ever had) and scallop. The second time around we made some shrimp tempura, because who doesn’t like an American Dream roll, especially with chopped spicy yellowtail on top? Anyway, once your fish is chosen, and prepared as you like, slice up some avocado and cucumber. Maybe some scallion (yellowtail and scallion is the best!). If you do a scallop roll, that is fantastic topped with paper thin slices of lemon.
Lay out all your ingredients within arm’s reach. Take out one sheet of toasted nori, carefully spread the rice to the edges, dipping your fingers as needed and leaving about an inch bare on the edge farthest from you. Arrange your fillings about 3 inches in from the near edge and roll carefully, being sure to keep it tight. Slice with a very sharp knife and enjoy!

One thought on “Roll Your Own: Sushi

  1. Pingback: 10 April 2013: sushi rolls | Gratitude every day

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