Thursday, February 24, 2011

This is How We Roll: Homemade Sushi!

I was repeatedly surprised when people asked me if I was afraid to move to Okinawa. Maybe they thought I would be since I had lived in Virginia my entire life. Maybe they thought they couldn't do it - so how would I? No matter how you cut it, my answer was always the same, "No way. I'm so excited; I just want to get there!"

Moving to the other side of the world - to Asia, specifically, as I had and continue to have little knowledge of its culture/customs/history - has been an awesome adventure so far. A couple weeks ago, hubby and I celebrated being here for six months. Neither of us can believe how quickly the time is flying.

Six months has allowed us some time to get to know a few of the local restaurants, including a handful of sushi houses. Our first experience with Japanese sushi was what is referred to as a "sushi-go-'round," a restaurant that has a revolving conveyor belt of sushi that snakes throughout the restaurant so that customers at tables/the bar can grab whatever plate of sushi they want. Chefs in the middle of the restaurant also prepare custom orders. It's quick. It's delicious. And it's cheap -- er.

If you know me, you know I'm cost-conscious. I coupon. I love a good sale. And I hate buying something that I know I can make/do myself. While sitting in a hole-in-the-wall sushi joint with hubby Saturday night, we both came to the conclusion that we could "totally do it. Yeah. We can do this. We could make breakfast sushi. I bet we could do dessert sushi!" (You know, the same way crazy-genius and crazy-awful ideas develop.)

Enough of the lifestory - on with the lesson/recipe!

After much research, I selected a handful of tutorials/web videos/websites to guide me through the at-home sushi-making process.

Step 1: I used THIS video to make sushi rice. You'll need:

  • 1 1/2 C good-quality, short-grain rice 
  • 1 1/2 C water
  • 3 tbsp of rice vinegar (*Don't let this scare you. It's super easy to find in the "international" section of your grocery store, often near the soy sauce.)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp salt
Step 2: Make sure you have your tools laid out. You'll need:
  • 1 bamboo mat, wrapped in saran wrap (*For my Okinawans, check the 100-yen shop or the grocery store for cheap ones.)
  • a few sheets of nori (seaweed wrap)
  • a bowl of water and small towel, for dipping your fingers and knife
Step 3: Prepare your fixin's. Some ideas:
  • 1 avocado, finely sliced
  • 1 cucumber, finely sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely sliced
  • cream cheese (*We recently discovered Philadelphia cream cheese minis and they're perfectly portioned for sushi night!)
  • fresh fish (*We love tuna.)
  • sesame seeds
  • shichimi (Japanese spice mixture)
    • Wanna make it yourself? It's got ground red chili pepper, ground Sichuan pepper, roasted orange peel, black and white sesame seeds, hemp seed and ground ginger.
Step 4: Here we go!
  • This video was what I used to make an inside-out spicy tuna roll. (DE-LISH!)
    • To make a spicy sauce, I used this super simple, perfectly spicy recipe. (*Heads up: It calls for Sriracha. This is the Thai "screaming rooster" hot sauce you may often see on tables at Asian restaurants. I highly recommend getting some!)
  • Here is another great video I used to make a nori roll (seaweed on the outside). 
Here's how mine turned out:

(Spicy Tuna Roll)

Tuna, Cucumber & Avocado Roll

Et voila!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Kaylie! It looks awesome and professional! I bet it tasted good too. :) Next girls' night we are doing sushi for sure. ;)