Wednesday, July 2, 2008

It's a Sushi Party!

Tekka Maki with CucumberI'm always a little bit confused by those who claim they don't like a certain food because "they never grew up eating it." Well, I'm proof positive that you can break through these barriers! My parents would rather starve than dine on succulent raw fish, so they are obviously major haters of sushi. My mom also orders steak at a five star restaurant well done so I suppose her need for cooked fish is no surprise.

Tekka Maki:
Tuna Cucumber Roll

On the flip side, hubby and I harbor a tad bit of an addiction to sushi of all kinds. Whether it's served in a hole in the wall restaurant or a "traditional" Japanese joint, we welcome it all. Strangely enough, we've never made it ourselves.

After having a bit too many tastings of wine, I purchased a sushi mat at Robert Sinskey Vineyards in Napa Valley. I suppose that after shelling out our life savings on wine bottles, it was a welcome sight to see something cost less than $5 & the bargain shopper in me couldn't resist. Oh, and isn't drunk shopping the best kind? :) In any case, the sushi mat has been sitting in my cupboard for months until hubby and I finally decided to take the plunge & have ourselves a little sushi party.

Rolling the sushi was much easier than I expected though I still have plenty of room for improvement. Follow one of the many tutorials online and you'll be a pro in no time! Be sure not to overstuff and you'll be fine. Finding the right balance between fish, veggies & rice was the biggest challenge for me. Some rolls, like the first picture had too much rice while others didn't have enough. For those in the area, El Pescador is an excellent source for yummy fish.

Sake (Salmon) Sweet Chili Maki:
Sweet Chili Salmon MakiHere's the sushi rice recipe we followed, based on the 4-5 websites and cookbooks I had open at the same time. Feel free to scale down the recipe; the ratio of rice to water is about 1 1/4 cups of water to 1 cup of rice.

Sushi Rice
2 cups sushi rice
2 1/4 cups water, plus extra for rinsing
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tsp salt
electric fan

Place the rice in a fine sieve and rinse with cool water. Continue to rinse and toss rice until water runs clear.

Place the 2 cups of rice into a medium sized saucepan and cover with 2 1/4 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat and cover. Cook for 15 minutes and then remove the rice from the heat, covered for 10 minutes.

In a small saucepan, combine the rice vinegar, sugar and salt. Heat until the sugar dissolves.

Once the rice has set, pour into a shallow bowl. It's important to cool the rice down quickly so either have someone else help you to fan the rice or bring over an electric fan. With fan blowing on rice, mix in the rice vinegar mixture and use cutting strokes to mix in the seasoning. Take care to cover all of the rice with the seasoning.

Cover with a damp kitchen towel & allow rice to come to room temperature before using.

Sushi Rolling tutorial

Sweet Chili Salmon Maki

Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a skillet and sauté salmon for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Allow to cool and gently flake salmon. When rolling sushi, line salmon down the rice and pour sweet chili sauce alongside. Include cucumbers or avocado if desired & follow sushi rolling technique above.

Happy 4th of July!!


LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Your sushi-making skills are fabulous!

Anonymous said...

I've made my own sushi before - so much fun! I love sushi, but sadly, DH hates it. Blasphemous!

Anonymous said...

Your sushi came out great! And thanks for the tip about El Pescador - I've been looking for a good fish place!!

Meandering Eats said...

I'm with a sushi-hater, too, so I don't get to make it often. Your pictures, as usual, are gorgeous!

Sharon said...

veggiegirl - thanks! It's always a gamble when you try something for the first time.

Kristal - slowly feed him sushi...hopefully he'll begin to like it. It took me awhile and now I'm obsessed!

paninikathy - It's a great one though I've heard of a couple other fish markets I'd like to try as well! Pescador has amazing food that you can take out.

moowiesqrd - what's up with all the sushi haters? :)

Happee Monkee said...

I love sushi and it's great for parties. It's incredibly fun to make it with friends - just like bachang - becos of its level of messiness :)

Julia Goolia said...

Mmmmmm, sushi. Now I'm craving it -but I'm with Kristal, because NAte 'is allergic' to fish. And I use those quotes loosely.

daphne said...

I love the presentation here!

La Bella Cooks said...

Your sushi rolls look perfect for a first-timer. That is one dish I have never tried to make but you make it sound so easy. Will you be doing a repeat sushi party soon?

grace said...

that, friends and neighbors, is what i call a party. ya done good!

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

Yum! I love sushi but have not attempted to make it yet. Yours looks beautiful!

Jenny said...

Your sushi looks absolutely beautiful. I've always been scared of it, but I'd soooo eat this! Have a great 4th!

Anonymous said...

I love going to Sinskey. Last time I was there I tried a certain Pinot Noir and really enjoyed it. I thought they were $30 a bottle which is cheap for good Pinot. However I read the thing wrong and it was really $90 a bottle. I told the woman I wanted a case and almost died when she brought me the bill. No wonder she was so happy. I didn't have the heart to tell I own a case avery expensive Pinot!

Prudy said...

Those are just so pretty, almost too pretty to eat. I'd love them!

test it comm said...

Great job rolling your own sushi! It looks really good!

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

Your sushi looks great! I have made some before, but it has never look as amazing as yours!

Darlene said...

Looks like you did a great job. Sushi making parties are great fun.

Anonymous said...

Those look great! Just looking at them, I thought you were at a restaurant! They really look so professional!
Happy 4th of July to you too!

Emily said...

Wow, I'm hungry for sushi now. I've never made it before. You've got mad skills!

Love the pictures.

Elle said...

Did I say whoopie pies were my kryptonite? Forget that. Sushi is!

Gawd, what cravings I'm having right now, hehe! Sushi with a side of whoopie pies.

vanillasugarblog said...

Oh I love sushi. I am always craving it.
You did such a fabulous job on rolling. I highly doubt mine would look as good.

tigerfish said...

You make great sushi, lady :)