Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sushi Sushi Sushi

Yum I love sushi, and making it is so much fun! This was my very first time making sushi. Dan and I had been planning a trip to Japan which had been booked for this past April, just a few weeks after the devastating earth quake hit. We ended up canceling our trip in hopes of going at a later time. We are hoping to have the chance to go this coming year but until then, this sushi will have to do!

Who says sushi has to have fish? Vegetarian sushi can be so delicious, making your own sushi is a great way to mix and match different veggies and sauces and have a better variety then you will find at a lot of sushi places.

What you will need
  • Sushi rice *picture below*
  • Nori (sea-weed wrap)
  • Inari abura age (marinated tofu pouches)  *picture below*
  • Kewpie (this is that mayo stuff they use in sushi) *picture below*
  • Siriacha hot chili sauce *picture below*
  • Blackened sesame seeds (optional)
  • Panko crumbs
  • Vegetables of your choice (I suggest)
    • cucumber
    • carrot
    • avocado
    • sweet potato
    • green onion
    • asparagus
    • enoki mushrooms *picture below*

Dan and I went to T&T before making our sushi. T&T is a huge Asian grocery store in Ottawa, it has everything you will ever need for any sort of Asian cooking. We love this store so much that every time we go we set aside a few hours so we can really explore everything they have. If you live in Ottawa you have to check this place out.

How to make sushi rice
(we had to double this recipe)

  • 1 1/3 cups japanese short grain sushi rice
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 postcard size piece of kombu (optional)
  • Vinegar mixture
    • 4 tbsp japanese rice vinegar
    • 2 tbsp sugar
    • 1/2 tsp salt
Place the dry rice in a sieve and submerge in a large bowl of water. Wash the rice thoroughly then dump the milky water. Repeat this step until the water stays clear, drain the water and let the rice stand for 30 min.
If you are using the kombu break it into a few large pieces.
Place the washed rice and water in a pot and add the kombu. Cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat. do not lift the lid at all while rice is cooking. Once the rice has come to a boil turn the heat down to low (or 1) and let simmer for 10 min. Once the rice is finished cooking you can pick out the kombu and throw it out.
Heat the ingredients for the vinegar in the microwave for 30 sec. Make sure the salt and sugar are dissolved, but do not let it boil.
transfer the rice to a large bowl and a little bit at a time add the vinegar mixture while stirring the rice. Continue to stir the rice until it has cooled to room temperature.

How to make Spicy Mayo
  • 1 Tbs mayo (if you don't have Kewpie regular mayo will work too)
  • 1 tsp Siriacha hot chili sauce
Mix the two together and adjust the spiciness if desired

For vegetables like carrots, cucumber, and sweet potato you want to cut them into matchsticks like this

The two vegetables that I steamed were the sweet potato, and the asparagus. I felt this made for a better texture in the sushi though I am sure they would be delicious raw as well.

Now for the fun part, Making the sushi.
Set yourself up a little station so that everything is easily accessible.
That fish was for Dan's sushi not mine.
get yourself a bowl of water for your hands, cover your sushi mat with plastic wrap so nothing sticks and place a single sheet of nori, shiny side down on your mat.
Wet your hand in the bowl of water (so the rice doesn't stick) and grab a hand full of rice and spread it out thinly on the nori. Make sure at least one edge is rice free this will seal it together when you roll.
Now pick some fillings and lay them on the rice

 tofu, avocado, asparagus, carrots, cucumber, enoki, mayo, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
This was an attempt to remake a roll I had recently *Spicy Avo Bit Roll*
Avocado, spicy mayo, panko crumbs.
The next step is to roll, this is not something I am great at. Do your best to roll it tightly, dip your fingers in water and use that to wet the flap of nori that is not covered in rice, the wet nori flap will help seal the roll, if it is not quite sticking rub a little more water on it. The rolling takes practice so don't be discouraged if its not perfect the first time. This was my first time making sushi and by the end I felt like my rolls were much better then the first.
Cutting the rolls. Wet a cloth and wipe down the blade of a serrated knife before each cut, this will give you a nice clean cut.

Tofu Pouches
These tofu pouches are so tasty, every time I go out for sushi this is the first thing I order. You can also cut these up and put them in a roll.
This is a very simple piece and usually just has rice inside.
Wet your hand in the bowl of water and grab a bit of rice and gently form it to it will fit in the pouch.

Idea's of different rolls to try
Cucumber, avocado, and asparagus
Sweet potato, panko, and mayo
Mango, panko, and mayo
Asparagus, spicy mayo
cucumber, carrot, asparagus, sweet potato, green onion, enoki, tomago.

Dan was given this beautiful sushi set as a gift and we got to use it for the first time.
Here are some pictures of the finished results.


 Here is our massive sushi feast, we made WAY too much and I think we will be eating sushi for the next month. At the top is my veggie sushi and bottom is Dans fish sushi.

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