Soooo .... What are your thoughts on sushi? Have you ever made sushi? When you think about it, all sushi is is rice, seafood, and veggies. I’m a total novice when it comes to sushi making. To be honest, I couldn’t tell you the difference between sushi and sashimi and all the other wonderful finger edibles gifted to us from Japan, but I do like them.
Granted, I’ve never dipped far into the sushi pool, mostly enjoying nummy little bits of cooked shrimp, crab, and salmon with rice. Last week, though, I saw some sushi at the grocery store, and thought to myself why buy day old sushi when I could tackle making it at home. I bought a little sushi rolling mat at the store for $1.50, and picked up some cucumber, avocado, shrimp, salmon, nori wrappers and sushi rice. I was going to get the veggies and seafood anyway, so all I needed was some nori wrappers and sticky style rice. I really wanted some crab, but since it’s currently priced at the equivalent of pure gold, I figured we’d forgo it this time around.
You’ll never believe what happened next. Wanna know what happened? Wanna know? Huh, huh? (Insert drum roll here.) My kids wanted to be involved in making it! My oldest and youngest were really interested, my middle girl kind of stood off to the side ready to nab any stray cucumber slices that might pass her way. My hubby remained noticeably silent which is an indication of not being thrilled. With a controlled glum expression, he wondered aloud what the nori would taste like, and I assured him that it’s flavorless. It adds a bit of color, but mostly it’s job is to help with the rolling process.
The internet provided lots of insight into the process. YouTube has gobs of sights showing how to roll the rolls, and one of my cookbooks had some great suggestions on different ways to form the little bundles of yum. Now I should point out that I didn’t attempt anything fancy, but it was soooo easy to make. In the end, everyone ate it! Hallelujah! Let me show you what we did!
1-1/2 cups sushi rice
2 cups water
2 T rice vinegar
2 T sugar
1 teaspoon – sea salt
Rice the sushi rice three times in a bowl of water. Put the rinsed rice into a heavy weight pot. Add 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Cover, and simmer on very low heat for 15 minutes. Keep lid on pot and remove from heat. Let sit 10 minutes. Transfer rice to a non reactive bowl. Combine rice vinegar, sugar, and sea salt in a small bowl. Heat for 30 seconds in microwave. Stir into the rice and combine well. The rice will be super sticky. That’s a good thing.
Shrimp Salad and Salmon Roll
1 cup – tiny little cooked shrimp (we call those popcorn shrimp)
½ cup mayo
Cooked smoked salmon – lox style sheets
cucumber slivers or shavings
thin slices avocado
black sesame seeds
Combine shrimp and mayo in a small bowl. Place a large sheet of plastic wrap on top of a sushi mat. Place one sheet of nori, shiny side down, on top of the mat. Spoon out enough rice to spread a thin but solid layer of rice over the nori. With WET hands, press down the rice until it is a uniform layer. Near one end, place a couple strips of cucumber. Do the same for the avocado.
Now put down a couple spoonfuls of the shrimp salad. Put down a couple strips of salmon. (I made some with and without the salmon).
Using both the plastic wrap and the sushi mat, very tightly roll the sushi. Using the mat, really pull on the roll to make it nice and tight.
Here's what it should look like when you are done rolling.It's nice and tight and uniform.I left the plastic wrap on it to help with slicing.Using a wet, sharp knife, slice into bite sized pieces. Wipe and wet the knife in between each slice. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds if desired. Serve with dipping sauce and/or spicy mayo.
Mix equal parts mirin, wheat free soy sauce, and rice vinegar. I took it easy on the vinegar.
Spicy Mayo Sauce
½ cup Mayo
1 T Mirin
Dash Sesame oil
1 teaspoon Sweet Spicy Chili Sauce
Mix together in bowl. Adjust spiciness by adding more chili sauce
To make little formed nori-free bites, I used a plastic ice cube tray as a form. Wet the little compartments in the tray. Place halved cocktail sized cooked shrimp or salmon in the tray. Top with sushi rice. Really tamp down on the rice. Turn upside down, and firmly tap the tray to get the sushi free style bites out.Garnish with cucumber or avocado. My son loved the salmon ones.
For my oldest girl, who really wasn’t digging the sushi, I served hers “scattered” style in a bowl with sticky sushi rice, shrimp, avocado, and cucumber.Look at how gorgeous that shrimp is! She loved the rice. Not so crazy about the avocado, but I’m not complaining!There was NOTHING left! I was tempted to ask them, “Who are you and what have you done with my children?” In the end, though, I just smiled and ate my sushi, all the while thankful that the picky eaters club members branched out and tried something new. An added bonus is that these are gluten free, all the way, baby!
What about you? Do you like seafood, rice, and veggies? Think you’d like some of my sushi?