Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How to: Sushi

I wanted my first post as a newlywed to be AWESOME, so I decided to go with something that often seems unreachable to a lot of people. Sushi is one of my favorite foods but also EXPENSIVE, so I only get to each it about once every two months. What is the solution to this? Making your own of course! Now let me warn you, this is my first time making sushi, so I didn't actually put anything raw in it. The most adventurous I got was imitation crab. With this post, I mostly wanted to show people how to actually roll the sushi and then people can experiment as they choose.

This roll of sushi was pretty basic, I was going for a Philadelphia-type roll. All of the ingredients are available at Wal-Mart, with the exception of 1, the bamboo scroll.

-sushi rice (Asian food section)
-Seaweed Sheets (Asian food section)
-Imitation Crab (or whatever fish you choose)
-cream cheese (you can substitute Neufchatel cheese here if you choose, it has 1/3 less fat than regular cream cheese and tastes exactly the same)
-Bamboo Scroll (Available at food/kitchen stores & online, cost is about $9)
-Plastic wrap

Here are some suggestions of other things you can include in your roll depending upon your taste preferences.
-wasabi (Asian food section)

Cook your sushi rice according to the directions on the back of the package and then place in the refrigerator to cool for about 20 minutes. While you are waiting, wrap your bamboo scroll in plastic wrap. This will keep your scroll clean and it allows the sushi rice to roll right off the scroll. It doesn't have to be neatly wrapped, just completely covered. You may also use this time to cut up the ingredients you will use. The pieces you will place in your sushi needs to be very long and skinny because they will need to extend the entire length of the roll while not making it too fat. I would say to make the width of your ingredients (crab, cucumber, etc.) no bigger than 1/4-1/2 the size of a dime. The more ingredients you have, the smaller width you need.

Next place a seaweed sheet on top of the wrapped bamboo scroll. The seaweed sheet will be brittle and dry so be careful when handling it.

Next, wet your hands & place the cooled sushi rice on top of the seaweed and press it to cover the entire sheet. Make sure the seaweed isn't showing through because this will be the outside of the sushi roll. If you don't wet your hands before pressing the rice down, there will be 10x more rice on your fingers than on the seaweed, trust me, speaking from experience! It should look something like this:

Turn the seaweed over so that the side with the rice is face down on the bamboo scroll so that you can put the other ingredients inside the roll. Place a small amount of rice on this side of the seaweed sheet, so that the inside of the roll will be slightly sticky. Don't put very much or you will make the roll to thick.

Next place your desired ingredients about 1/2 an inch above the bottom of the seaweed sheet. This can be whatever ingredients you want, just make sure to not use to many. If the roll is to fat, it will not be able to touch when rolled and it won't stick together. Here I used crab, cucumber, & cream cheese.

Now, roll your sushi together inside the bamboo scroll, pressing it together as you roll. This may take some practice, but it fairly easy once you get the technique down. 

Once you have rolled the sushi it should look like this:

Next place the sushi on a cutting board or plate and cut it into individual pieces. Don't press your knife strait down (this will squish your roll), instead use a back and forth cutting motion. Here are some pictures of my finished product (please ignore the soy sauce I spilled on my cutting board!):

Once you are finished, you are ready to enjoy your sushi! I like to dip mine in soy sauce that is mixed with wasabi to give it an extra kick :)

If anyone has any ideas for ingredients or wants me to try and make a certain type of roll, leave a comment. Also, if you need clarification on any of the steps, feel free to ask! I hope yall enjoy your sushi!