Yes, that’s right Team! I made sushi. At home. It was much more simple than anticipated and oh.so.delicious!! We picked up little packets of Miso Soup to go with it and some Japanese beer, as well. I’m not going to go into the directions too thoroughly as I didn’t write them down – so what you’re getting here is based on memory. I will also give you this link so you can gather solid visuals as to how to make your own.
California rolls happened to be the most popular choice at the Cheese Abode, so we procured some avocado, cucumber, carrots and crabmeat for the filling.
The subtle sweet flavoring of the rice is what surprised me most, as I didn’t realize that rice used in traditional sushi is even flavored, but the combination of rice vinegar, salt and sugar mixed into the rice, hit the palette like I was sitting in a sushi bar holding a pretty pair of chopsticks.
To make the rice, I bought sushi rice specifically and cooked it the way you would cook normal rice, that is bring the water to boiling then lower the temperature, cover and let simmer until all liquid evaporates. While the rice cooks, we combined the following in a small sauce pan:
¼ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
The sugar and salt dissolved quickly, in about 2 minutes, while being stirred over low heat. Our Cheese Friend helped me drizzle and fold the mixture into the rice, which we then spread onto a sheet pan to allow for faster cooling. This makes for easier handling when the time comes to assemble the sushi.
With the mise en place lined up, I commenced to don and doff my plastic baggies, as I do not have any sanitized kitchen gloves and the link I gave you suggested I wear gloves. Whatever. The baggies are plastic: same, same. I put a dab of mayonnaise on my “gloves” to prevent the rice from sticking to them and set about my work.
Gathering enough rice in one hand to fill the palm, I formed it into a sort of log and placed it on the sushi mat, which I first covered with plastic wrap. Because, let’s face it, if we forgot to do that, the whole thing would’ve had us cussing up a storm about the f^%$ing rice that would not come out of the cracks in the fuc&^%g bamboo mat!! Where was I? Oh, yes, I placed the ‘rice log’ in the center of the plastic wrap-laden bamboo mat and spread it out to cover the mat. On top of that, we placed a sheet of Nori or seaweed. In the very center of the Nori sheet went the avocado, crabmeat, cucumber and carrot. One ingredient in front of the other; not on top of. We piled them close to each other, but remember – not on top of.
Once done, we simply picked up side of the bamboo mat that was closest to us, and began to roll, slowly and tightly. Watch the video at this link, a few times if you must. I had to, to get the process right. I almost wet my pants when I saw how beautiful it came out! We sliced that roll open and devoured half of it before I had a chance to start the next one. It was decided that the sushi would simply be the appetizer for us all while we waited for hamburgers to cook, because it was so delicious and we simply ate the little rolls up as soon as they were prepared. For the very last roll, I remembered we bought the Miso Soup, so we popped that on the stove, made the wasabi paste from the tiny canister I bought at Whole Foods and sat down to our final, insanely delicious California roll. It is just unbelievable to me that something that seemed so unreachable, so foreign and really out of my realm of expertise, could be made and made well, in my kitchen. To the utter delight of myself, Mr. Cheese and Cheese Friend. One of my greatest successes, to date. I am excited now at the possibilities and will begin to play around with sashimi, maybe put some caviar sprinkles on the outside, the possibilities are endless. In my kitchen. Or yours.