Monday, June 20, 2011

semi-simple sushi

Over the past 4 or 5 months i have been more than slightly addicted to japanese food... namely SUSHI. those of you who share my cravings realize how easy it is to fall into such an addiction. I am not sure if it is the fish, the rice drenched in soy sauce, or the crunch of the vegetables... likely the combination of all of the of the above. But whatever it is, i have been wanting it often. And as my fellow sushi eaters know, good sushi does not come cheap... in reality, even the sub-par grocery store sushi rolls can cost close to $10 each. so i had to come up with a more cost-efficient answer to my cravings.
Now i am sure that any trained sushi chef would cringe at my attempts at homemade sushi, but i think it tastes pretty delicious and it keeps me from sending myself and my new husband (who i have recently brought over to the dark side as a sushi lover himself) to the poor house. 

this is my handsome husband enjoying sushi the night that we got engaged... he definitely knows the way to my heart! :)

Simple Sushi-
I will say that the initial investment towards homemade sushi is a little pricey, but it definitely saves a TON in the long-run. (for me within a couple weeks).

Step #1- make your sushi rice according to the package instructions (well, for the most part. i have found that i need to add more water than it says on the rice package. just watch it closely).

I found this rice at publix, but any sushi rice should work.
After cooking the rice I add 1 Tablespoon of rice vinegar per each 1 cup (uncooked) rice that I have made.

Next you will need the seaweed ('nori') sushi wrappers. they sell them at many grocery stores. i got this pack of 50 sheets at whole foods about 3 years ago... in other words, they go a LONG way.
I place one sheet of nori on a sheet of waxed paper (i tried the bamboo mat and honestly, it's easier for me not to use it).

I put about 1/4 cup of the cooled rice on the seaweed wrapper and spread it evenly to the edges of the wrapper with the back of a spoon.

this is what it should look like once the rice is spread out. the wrapper is very brittle at first, but it softens up a lot once the rice sits on it for a minute or two.

this is my secret weapon for sushi making- my julienne peeler. it makes perfect little skinny slices (juliennes) of your vegetables for in your sushi rolls.

this is what the julienned cucumber looks like

my favorite sushi fillers (for homemade rolls anyways) are cucumber, zucchini, carrots, asparagus, avocado, crab, shrimp, and cream cheese (any combination of these is tasty).

some people prefer the rice on the inside of the roll, i like it my sushi better with the seaweed inside the roll.
place your ingredients lengthwise across one end of the sushi.

use the wax paper to roll the sushi as tightly as you can. you can sprinkle your rolls with toasted sesame seeds or tobiko (orange caviar).

I generally slice each of my rolls into 10 pieces and then lay them on their side.

and here's the final product! :) YUM!!!

i like to give it a little kick with some chipotle mayonnaise drizzled over the top.
and of course, LOTS of soy sauce (low sodium) , some people like it with pickled ginger (which is something that i find rather nauseating), and wasabi...

you can make your own from powder that comes in a little can like this one or in a little bottle. it isn't quite as good as the freshly grated, but you just add water so it's very convenient. 

hope that you have fun with this one. :) 

<3 <3 <3

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