Monday, March 30, 2015


I thought it would be good to do a basic sushi post. My cousin, Kara, took a sushi making class years ago. She taught my family how to make sushi and we've been hooked ever since. My 18th birthday party was a sushi making party. We even made some of my not so adventurous friends try the nori. I just learned that all sushi fish is flash frozen at sea so it's still raw but not in the way I always thought. I always imagined ocean, boat, then sushi. 

I just had my parents over for dinner last week since they were coming up anyways to pick up the monkey. She shadowed me (and was super bored) but I like to think that I made up for it with awesome food. I made my miso soup (in the archives) and we had some appetizers from the Korean grocery store. Octopus, etc.

I get my fish fresh from Whole Foods. It is technically sushi grade but the fish people aren't allowed to condone making sushi. But I trust them. Also YOLO. There are no quantities included because it really depends on how many people you're serving and how much those people can eat. In the case of my family, we eat A LOT. Also sushi is meant to be eaten right away. Leftovers aren't as good but definitely edible.

You're going to need:

For the rice:
Sushi rice (short grain white rice)
Rice wine vinegar
Sea salt
White sugar

Nori sheets

Veggies + misc:
Carrots (I love the multicolored ones)
Cream cheese (for Philadelphia rolls, duh)
Black sesame seeds (to be fancy)

For the seafood:
Imitation crab
Salmon filet
Tuna steak

Dippings + sides:
Soy sauce
Pickled ginger

Bamboo sushi mats (found at Asian grocery store)
Plastic wrap

Ok to start wrap the plastic wrap around the bamboo mats to decrease the mess.

Then cook the rice. I cooked about 2 1/4 cups sushi to make enough rolls for 7 people. 1 cup uncooked rice makes 3 rolls.
Rinse the rice under running water until the water runs clear. Cook in a rice cooker or according to directions. So for 3 cups uncooked rice, you will need 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar, 2 tbsp white sugar, and 2 tsp sea salt. So I decreased each a bit since I had less rice.  My cousin just used rice wine vinegar, so you can do that too. Once the rice is cooked stir about half the vinegar mixture in with chopsticks or a wooden spoon in a ceramic bowl. Metal reacts with the acid so avoid metal utensils for the sushi. Then taste the rice and add more seasoning as needed. I like a lot of seasoning. Let rice cool at room temperature until it is easy to handle.
Source for rice instructions: Make My Sushi

Chop the vegetables and fish while the rice is cooking and cooling. I like to set them out on separate plates so it's easier for people to grab what they want.

Fill a bowl with warm water. Place a nori sheet on the mat. There will be subtle lines on the nori and you want them vertical on your mat. Then wet your hands and grab some rice (maybe a couple tablespoons) and press pretty firmly all over nori leaving a small strip at the top edge empty. Make sure not to use too much rice unless you want huge sushi rolls. A thin layer is enough. Rewet hands as necessary. Then line the fillings evenly one inch up from the bottom of the nori sheet. Roll from the bottom up pressing the roll into itself firmly as you roll. So roll, press, roll, press. This is how you get a nice looking roll!

Some favorites are:
Salmon, cream cheese, cucumber
Tuna, avocado, carrot
Carrot, cucumber, avocado
Tuna, salmon, cucumber
Imitation crab, cucumber, carrot

Then to slice the rolls, wet a large and sharp knife and slice in a quick downward motion. You may have to clean the knife as you go along. It helps to have one person be in charge of slicing. If it's your first time it may take a couple tries to get the rhythm down. It's easy though, I promise.

Eat right away with some wasabi swirled into soy or tamari sauce. You can also sprinkle some sesame seeds on top of the sushi!

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