Friday, June 19, 2009

Roll out! Make your own sushi

Sushi making is probably far easier for me to make than your average carnivore. The carnivore would have to search for special sushi-grade fish, while I just have to hit up the produce section and pick out the vegetables that I want.

I LOVE veggie sushi. Brock and I love going for sushi at this place downtown and their veggie rolls are so good that I have almost converted him to ordering only veggie rolls while we are there. For my first attempt at making sushi, I stuck to simple veggie rolls but next time I would want to try to make some veggie tempura rolls. Ok, enough of my rambling, I'll tell you how I made it.
  • Seaweed wrappers
  • Sushi rice(regular long grain rice will not work)
  • 3T of Japanese rice vinegar
  • 2T sugar
  • 2tsp salt(you can use table, sea or kosher...I used kosher)
Veggie fillers(what I used):
  • Tofutti better than cream cheese
  • Carrots( in matchstick form or shredded)
  • Cucumber(long thin slices or matchsticks)
  • Avocado
  • Jalapeno(diced)
  • Cilantro
  • Asparagus(cooked until tender)
My asparagus getting ready to get tender and then cool so it can go in my rolls:
This was the sushi vinegar my local grocery store carried:
To make the sushi rice, I simply googled "sushi rice" and a site called How to Make Perfect Sushi Rice popped up. So, I just followed their recipe...why mess with perfection? Here's their recipe:

Heat the vinegar, sugar and salt in a sauce pan on the stove over medium heat until the sugar and salt are dissolved into the vinegar. Do not boil the mixture. Leave sitting off heat until needed. You can make this portion before or while the rice is cooking.

Here is my vinegar, salt and sugar mixture before everything is dissolved:
Rinse the rice with cold water. This may take several water changes. Do this until the final rinse water runs clear.
Steam the rinsed rice in an equal amount of water (i.e.: 2 cups of rice and 2 cups of water) in a rice cooker or on the stove top following the package's directions or by bringing to a boil, then cooking over very low heat until the water is evaporated and you are left with lovely sticky rice.
As always when cooking rice on the stove top, use very low heat after the initial boil and keep the lid on at all times. The trapped steam is what enables the rice to cook.
Once the rice has finished cooking, it can be left off heat in the pot with the lid on for up to 15 minutes.
When the rice has finished cooking, add the vinegar seasoning to the rice. Turn the rice out of the pot and into a non-reactive shallow bowl.

You want to cool down the rice and add the seasoning at the same time.

Use a tool like a samoji(I used a wooden fork) in a gentle chopping motion to spread out the grains of rice and ensure the seasoning covers every grain.

Some people use a hand-held fan to help in the cooling process. (I did NOT do this, as I do not own a hand-held fan and simply didn't think it was necessary)
The website also provided this handy guide:

Tips for Making Perfect Sushi Rice

1. Use a non-reactive metal or wooden container for the final step of seasoning the rice, as some metals will react with the vinegar and mar the flavor of the rice.
2. Be careful not to squish the grains of rice together when adding the vinegar mixture. You want to maintain the integrity of the rice grains.
3. Spreading out the rice makes it cool down faster. This stops the rice cooking in its own heat. To make sushi, the rice should be at about room temperature.
4. If you are not going to make the sushi right away, cover the seasoned rice with a damp cloth to ensure that it doesn't dry out.
5. Never refrigerate sushi rice, as it will get too hard to work with or eat.
After making the rice it became very hands on, therefore a lack of pictures. Mathiew Le gave me a sushi making kit a few years ago and I had never used it, so I pulled it out of the closet and gave that beast a whirl. Thank you Mathiew! Making sushi is so much fun.

Have all your ingredients ready in bowls and have a bowl of room temperature water on hand.
Lay a piece of seaweed paper on your rolling mat and spread a thin layer of rice on it. I don't like a ton of rice, so I only covered about 1/2 of the seaweed with rice. It helps if your fingers are a little wet(dip them in the handy-dandy bowl of water conveniently sitting there). Then you put on any of the topping you would like. I made several different combinations. I really like a jalapeno, cilantro, carrot, avocado and cucumber combo with a little cream cheese. Sooooo good.

Once you have your fillings on the rice, you are ready to roll!
I don't really know how best to describe how to roll, but it is important to roll tightly. Use the mat to roll and try to roll and tuck the seaweed into the rice just past the ingredients very tightly. Pull the mat back and bit and keep rolling until you have a roll.

I got a little overzealous and made a lot of rolls. I was on a roll(pun intended).

Slice up your rolls into nice pretty pieces. Pull your wasabi and soy sauce out of the cupboard, dip and eat.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am going to start calling you "Betty" for Betty Crocker!!! Looks like you will be doing the cooking when you come home. :-) You may want to buy that little pink building in Early and start up a restuarant!