Friday, February 5, 2016

Sushi Sensei


With one major storm behind and another predicted for next week, the activities for snow days can wear thin. A popular thing to do is bake and decorate cookies with your kids, but after awhile that activity can become tedious. I've found my kids really enjoy making homemade sushi rolls. Truth be told, it might not technically be sushi, as I'm reluctant to actually use raw fish at home as fish for sushi should be a very premium quality and ultra fresh...something I'm not able to source easily where I live. However, I use a variety of vegetables, fake crab sticks, homemade lox or any type of cooked fish I have on hand. I have even on occasion made "gefilte sushi"! 

The act of preparing all the veggies and rice, as well as making sure your mix-en-place (when you lay out all your ingredients and equipment before you start cooking) is an activity in itself. The only special equipment you will need is a bamboo sushi mat. But you can also substitute a flexible silicone cutting board, or even parchment paper if you don't have a sushi mat. I've seen the bamboo mats sold in the Asian food section of my local chain supermarket. All the ingredients are generally readily available at your local supermarket, kosher specialty store, or health food store, and you will find the cost of making your own is majorly cheaper than buying prepared sushi.

Since learning to make sushi rolls is a very visual experience, I prepared a video with Rosie to show you how easy it is to make sushi rolls. Sensei is a Japanese word for teacher, I hope I can be your sensei in your sushi making experience. The biggest tip I can give you is to not overfill the rolls, and to roll them tightly. Once you get the hang of it you'll never want to buy that stale looking supermarket sushi again!

Check out my videos for preparing sushi rice with ease, and prepping your nori.

California or Veggie Sushi Rolls

6 sheets Nori (dried seaweed wrappers'd be surprised but many supermarkets carry them in the Asian foods section)
2 cups prepared sushi rice (prepare according to package directions)
2 medium avocados, pitted, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large cucumber (I prefer English for this), peeled and cut into 2-inch long thin strips
12 pieces of imitation crab sticks (I like Dyna-Sea brand--make sure it is gluten free and allergen free as needed)
Optional veggies:
scallions, cut in thin strips
lightly steamed carrots, cut in matchstick size strips
Daikon radish, cut in matchstick size strips

For serving:
gluten free soy sauce
prepared wasabi (optional)
pickled ginger (optional)

First lay out all the ingredients and tools. Place a piece of plastic wrap over your sushi mat. Put out a small bowl of warm water nearby in case your fingers get sticky from handling the rice.  Line up all the cut sushi ingredients in front of your mat. Have a tray or plate ready for your completed rolls.

If you have a gas burner, turn it to medium, and wave the nori a few inches from the flame for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, set aside.

Place nori sheet flat on the plastic covered bamboo sushi mat. Spread about 1/3 cup rice over the nori, leaving a 1-inch margin at either end.  

At the end closest to you, layer your fish and vegetables in a single layer no wider than 2-inches.  Spread with a thin layer of wasabi, if desired, for a hotter taste.

Slowly flip the end of the mat closest to you up and slowly roll the filling inside the nori.  You are using the mat to nudge the roll along, the mat will not roll up in a cylinder (refer to video). When the roll is complete, cover it with the end of the mat you used to roll it up, and press along the length of the mat with your hands in a "c" shape, in order to firm up the roll.  

If I'm rolling the sushi in advance, I like to wrap it in the plastic wrap that covered the mat, and use a new sheet of plastic wrap for each roll. Otherwise, using a sharp knife, slice sushi roll into 1-inch thick pieces and lay on a plate.

To serve: place soy sauce in small individual bowls for each person. Arrange sushi on a plate or tray, garnished with wasabi and pickled ginger, if desired.

Serves: 6 for a main course; 12 for an appetizer

No comments:

Post a Comment