18 February 2010

Learning Sushi

My taste-tester doesn't want to go out for sushi because it's too expensive and he's not all that crazy about it. But I like sushi, and I want to eat it sometimes (sure, it would be great if I didn't have to pay an arm and a leg!). I had some friends in Israel who made sushi at home. I looked online. Only about a thousand articles on making sushi at home. Okay, it definitely seems doable.

The Ingredient Round-up was the most challenging part. Not because I don't have easy access to everything I need--just, well, I didn't make the time to go to the Oriental grocery and get it. It's, like, two miles away, you know? I'm not by there every day. Honestly, the biggest set-back was the sushi rice. I didn't want to pay out for five pounds of sushi rice that I might or might not use. So when a friend offered me some of his sushi rice, I jumped at it. We amiably swapped brown rice (we get it in a 25-lb. bag) for sushi rice. Yes! And then it was (finally) off to the Oriental grocery for the rest of the stuff: seaweed sheets (called "nori"), wasabi paste, rice vinegar, a bamboo sushi-rolling mat, and a few vegetables for fillings. I also got some noodles, cilantro, and lime to make a soup to go along with our sushi meal.

Things we already had on hand: chopsticks, fish (we cooked it for our sushi), tons of soy sauce, and a few other fillings (sesame seed, cream cheese, green onion).

Now that everything was assembled, I had no excuse. So, we made sushi! And it was good! Not the best sushi I'd ever had, but a lot cheaper and more fun to make it ourselves. We ran out of rice at three rolls, which was good because I could have made a LOT more and would have overeaten, I'm sure.

A few things: the nori were kinda chewy rather than soft or crunchy. Not sure what the deal was there. And we weren't sure if we were rolling them correctly. I had to do more research. I found out that there is a shiny and a rough side, and you're supposed to roll it with one specific side in. Hmmmm . . . totally missed that! I also discovered that most of the rolls were made with 1/2 a sheet of nori. This is great because with the same amount of rice we could experiment more and our rolls wouldn't curve around themselves as much. I read, too, that one make-your-own-sushi-at-home-er suggested wetting the roll when it was finished so that the nori wouldn't be chewy. This sounded like a good idea to me, but some commenters derided him for it, so I'm not sure.

Sushi is one of those intimidating foods because it has this whole set of rules and customs surrounding its making and eating. But I guess since we're not experts and not eating it in public (another advantage to making it at home) we can DO WHAT WE PLEASE! When we've figured out how we like it best, I'll post a how-to. In the meantime, scour the web and let me know what hints you might have for us.

1 comment:

  1. Sistah A, was this your 'official' taste test of the kim ve wong? what's the word?