Friday, March 20, 2009

How to win friends and influence people with sushi

A former roommate showed me how to roll sushi and whenever I want to impress someone, I invite them over for sushi. They are often highly impressed and think I am smart and fabulous because sushi in a restaurant is very expensive and you can pig out like a rich person if you make it at home. I am a mere simpleton, so here is how a simpleton makes sushi at home (aka the California roll or sushi without fish).

The primary ingredient in sushi is sushi rice, and you must purchase high quality sushi rice and cook it according to instructions (less water). Minute Rice will not suffice! Repeat in your Johnny Cochran voice, "Minute Rice will not suffice!" Very good. OK, sushi rice should be very sticky and needs to be refrigerated before rolling. You cannot work with warm rice. Sorry! Season sushi rice with a sugar and rice vinegar. Go searching for recipes if you would like specifics. :)

Next you chop veggies into thin strips, this is the hardest part. Avocado, carrots, and cucumber are my favorite for California rolls. You will need seaweed paper called nori paper, wasabi, low salt soy sauce, and pickled ginger. If you have never made sushi at home before, you will need to buy these items, however, once you have them in your pantry, you will only need to buy fresh veggies to roll your own.

I have purchased a special sushi making contraption called a "Maki Sushi Ki" that allows you to place rice on the nori paper, smush it down and then place veggies in a little trough. I put ginger in my roll on top of the veggies, some people also put a thin strip of wasabi inside. I save my wasabi for the soy sauce because I put too much in once and you don't make that mistake twice.
After you fill with goodies, you top with more rice and with my contraption, you smush it all together and then nicely wrap the paper around.
This is easier than rolling the sushi, however it does come out in a square shape instead of a round shape.
A little bit of water on your fingers will seal the paper. Next you slice into bite size pieces and start eating! I place a dab of spicy wasabi (purchased pre-made in a tube) into soy sauce and start dipping. 9 pieces of California roll have 281 calories. It makes a great appetizer or pig out on multiple rolls for a filling dinner.

You can add smoked salmon or crab if you would like to add some protein to your California roll. The only problem with trying this is you might become addicted and want to eat it every day. Burbing wasabi and seaweed paper might lose you some friends so be careful your plans don't backfire. Literally!

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