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syntaxerrorsix
03-13-2008, 17:50
I have the unfortunate problem of eating more food than I can afford when we go for sushi so I started doing it myself. Of course the most critical decision will be the quality of your seafood. If you do not have a reliable fish market or are not comfortable ordering flash frozen sushi grade fish online you may be out of luck.

Fresh fish should never smell like fish, there should be be no "skinning" over of fresh fish. Flaking fillets at the market are a sure sign of previously frozen or older fish and should be avoided. Look in the container holding the fish, there should not be much liquid if any. The best fish is the fish YOU caught, however it never seems to make it off the boat.

Selection of the seafood is paramount the rest is pretty easy. Select a quality short grain "sushi" rice from your local Asian market. Some rice will require washing to remove some starch and impurities. Measure the amount of rice you will need (I do 2C at a time) add to pot. Pour in about a 1/4 C water and stir with fingers until water is mostly white then drain and repeat a few times until water is mostly clear. Dump rice onto plate and cover and allow to sit for about 1/2 hr. Mix rice and equal parts water to pot, bring to boil and reduce to low for about 15min. Remove rice from burner and allow to steam for another 15min. Rice should be seasoned while warm. I typically use about 1/4 C rice vinegar seasoning bought most any supermarket. Drizzle over rice and cut in gently with whatever tool you have available.

On to the fish, less is more, thin slices with the grain of the fish are easier to deal with and are more presentable. thicker pieces cut against the grain are more suitable for your rolls (along with all the cuts you mess up or scraps.) When handling the rice make sure your hands are damp.

Hand wrapping rolls is pretty straight forward and there is really no need for a bamboo mat if you are using fresh nori (seaweed) and use a gentle touch. Spoon rice onto sheet and get it as even as you can (think one grain of rice thick) covering all but 1/4 of the nori. Add your fish, cream cheese, veggies, roe for the roll you are creating (no rules here) Go light on everything so as to be able to close it. Wet the 1/4 of the roll not covered with water and gently roll and compact(gently) the slab of food and seal to the wet end of the nori. It takes practice and a bamboo mat will make it more uniform for the beginner. For inside out rolls, wrap your bamboo mat with cling wrap, add rice then flip slab over and add ingredients to the bare nori and roll. Cling wrap keeps the rice grains from sticking in between your mat.

A sharp single edge grind knife is ideal for the last stage but any chefs knife with a sharp edge will do. Keep the faucet running or use a wet hand towel to keep the blade wet between every slice to keep the nori from tearing. 1" cuts is typical as all pieces are to be treated as one bite.

Decoration or other wraps are up to you. Frozen pre-prepared eel is available at every Asian market I have ever been and is a NO FAIL way to go. You will also find salmon roe fresh ginger and wasabi. Octopus, shrimp, anemone and other slightly exotic foods can be had frozen and shipped if you happen to be landlocked. Tuna, snapper, Florida lobster are a few of my favorites to work with.

Remember there are no true rules or recipes let it be your creative result. 3/4 of this meal is presentation and it takes practice. Wasabi volcanoes with salmon roe coming out the top and strategic ginger placement and personality makes this fun to do at least once a month. As a note it can be a good way to get out of trouble with your SO :)

Chef gets to cheat throughout the course. Starts and stops of rolls may not be perfect, must eat them to hide evidence of your mistakes, same with unusual cuts of fish or anything not worth presenting as sashimi.

punkture
03-14-2008, 09:28
i have a few sushi kits in the top of my cabinets and work near a Japanese market where i can stock up on goodies to do it all myself. i need some motivation and you make me hungry. i may try to learn thanks to you. but in the meantime, today is company lunch friday and we are going to sushi! nothing beats free sushi.

syntaxerrorsix
03-14-2008, 17:37
i have a few sushi kits in the top of my cabinets and work near a Japanese market where i can stock up on goodies to do it all myself. i need some motivation and you make me hungry. i may try to learn thanks to you. but in the meantime, today is company lunch friday and we are going to sushi! nothing beats free sushi.


Enjoy the free food. There certainly is something to be said for skipping all the prep/time and having someone ELSE do the work :)

MrsKitty
03-14-2008, 20:23
For those who don't want raw fish (or can't get it for a reasonable price/amount like me), you can use cooked shrimp, chicken or any other meat. Or you don't have to have meat.

The first time I made sushi I used dried nori, Saran Wrap and a kitchen towel. I didn't have any trouble at all.

YUM! I am now hungry :)

AndABeer
03-15-2008, 13:03
My favorite roll filling is SeaPak Oven Baked Shrimp Tempura. Having a hard time finding it lately though. Hope it hasn't been discontinued. Gives the rolls a nice crunch.