Friday, March 30, 2007

S is for...

S is for Sushi.
Who: Sushi
What: A Japanese specialty of cooked rice flavored with rice vinegar and served with other ingredients, most usually raw or cooked fish and nori (seaweed) in rolls, designed as finger food for snacks or full meals.
When: Sushi originated in China as a way to preserve fish. The Japanese variety, which bears little resemblance to the original, began in the 1300's.
Where: Sushi is available now pretty much anywhere; restaurants, food courts at the mall, in larger grocery stores. You can also purchase the ingredients (sushi rice, nori sheets, pickled ginger, wasabi) to make your own.
Why: Sushi can be very good for you. Most types are low in fat and packed with vitamins and nutrients. Sushi can be prepared with raw or cooked fish, vegetables or even with meat.

In addition to the ingredients for your sushi rolls, you'll also need a bamboo mat for rolling the sushi, and a sharp knife. Don't forget the soy sauce and wasabi!

If you've never made your own sushi before, it's not that hard. The Post Punk Kitchen has a video showing how to roll sushi. Go here to watch.

Other sites for reference: Sushi 4 Me, and Sushi Day.

For the sushi rolls there are two kinds you can make: inside rolls and outside rolls. The only difference is where you place the nori. An inside roll has the nori under the rice, so the rice is on the outside, an outside roll has the nori on the outside.

Inside roll being made:

Outside roll being made:

Finished inside roll:

Finished outside roll:

Sushi Rice

2 cups sushi rice
3 cups water
1/3 cup rice vinegar (not the seasoned rice vinegar)
2 tb sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Bring the water to a boil, add the rice, cover and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes until the rice is done. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir the vinegar, sugar and salt together in a large bowl until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Gently fold in the rice and mix carefully but thoroughly. Let stand until the rice is at room temperature.

Sushi Balls

1 cup sushi rice
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tb sugar
1 tsp salt
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
3" piece of cucumber, cut in half, seeded and chopped finely
3 green onions, finely chopped

Cook the rice and water in a covered pot for 20 minutes (or until water has evaporated). Let stand for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile stir together the vinegar, sugar, salt, carrot and cucumber. When the rice is cooked, transfer to a large bowl and stir in the vegetable-vinegar mixture. Let cool to room temperature.
Roll the rice into small balls. Sprinkle some with green onions and leave some plain.
Serve with soy sauce or ponzu.

Just for you we took a trip to the local sushi place for some lunch.

This above was my least favorite. Scott ordered the BC Roll which we thought had smoked Salmon in it. I don't like Salmon but Scott convinced me to try one. It had Salmon skin in it! I did not enjoy it.

Here's the Vegetable Roll. Lettuce (sort of strange I thought), tomato, cucumber and something yellow, possibly mustard. Good, but I would have preferred the rolls to be a bit smaller.

My favorite, Dynamite Rolls. Tempura Shrimp and Avocado.

We tried these for the first time, Tamago, which is Egg.

Lastly the classic California Rolls.

We also had some Vegetable Tempura which was good but a real rip off; 4 pieces of tempura (4 one bite pieces) for $3.49! We got hosed on that one.

Previous Alphabet Posts:
A is for Artichoke
B is for Beet
C is for Carrot
D is for Dogs
E is for Egg
F is for Fondue
G is for Garlic
H is for Hamburger
I is for Indian Food
J is for Jamie Oliver
K is for Kaffir Lime Leaves
L is for Lobster
M is for Mushroom
N is for Noodle
O is for Onion
P is for Pub Food
Q is for Quinoa
R is for Rice


Brilynn said...

I love sushi and I'm actually making some tonight!

Ruth Daniels said...

Sara, these all look awesome. Unfortunately something in sushi doesn't agree with me -we're not sure what, but everyone else I love loves sushi and I know my daughter Joanna will love to make these dishes.

Thanks for sharing.

foodiechickie said...

I sooooooo love Sushi. I am so glad you wrote about it and also made it. I made it once a long time ago and am so glad there was someone out there who also did. Thanks for the recipes:) Will have to try to make it but not for a while;)

Lis said...

Sushi and Sashimi is our latest obsession.. we have everything to make california rolls - just haven't gotten around to making them.. seeing your feast makes me want to get on it! I'd really like to make sashimi at home, but I'm never sure just how fresh the fish we get here is. *sigh*

Do you guys like sashimi as well?


Emmy said...

Your sushi looks great and I'm eyeing the sushi balls. They sound tasty. I do ok at making sushi at home but my biggest problem is getting the right amount of rice on the nori. I either use too much or too little. Not sure why I have such a hard time with it but I do. LOL Our favorite rolls are cucumber and avocado. Hope you have a good weekend :)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Your pictures make me crave sushi. I have done it about a year ago. Actually made it about 5 or 6 times, it is easy once you have the ingredients assembled. It's really fun for a party or just a few people and let everybody make a few. Don't know why I haven't done it for a while.

tigerfish said...

You even made Sushi! Cool!
I made sushi many years ago...I don't even have my bamboo mat with me to roll sushi now :(

peasantwench said...

Every time we have a party John wants to make sushi rolls - he thinks of them as the perfect party food. (I think that means he can munch on them all night and not feel bad about it, unlike chips!) He often uses pollock, but he'll throw almost anything he can in there. If you're at T&T, you can buy roe, so he'll often use that too.

Tamago is my favourite non-fish one - I have a semi decent recipe for it, but it sure doesn't look at pretty as the one in your post!

I wish we lived near the ocean. One time in Vancouver, at the Lonsdale Quay I think, we bought a large chunk of sashimi grade salmon and a container of sticky rice and ate it with our finger sitting on the quay. Bliss.

Stephanie said...

That's so funny! Matt did a 'guest post' on sushi almost two years ago, too.

Sara said...

Brilynn - hope to see a post about it!

Ruth - poor you! don't worry, i will eat your share.

FC - hope you enjoy!

Lis - scott likes sashimi more than i do, i'll only eat one or two pieces and only certain types...i'm not very adventurous with a lot of seafood.

Emmy - thanks! the ones in the picture are cucumber, my avocado went south before i got the chance to use it. i wanted to try to do one with some kind of pickled veggies (like the carrot and daikon salad we had at the japanese restaurant) but i couldn't find a recipe i liked.

Tanna - i was shocked how easy it was. if i can do it, anyone can!

TF - do you have a dollar store near you? that's where i got my mat.

Morgan - i love going to vancouver for that reason alone - the quality is so much better than here.

Stephanie - just read the post - matt did a super job!

Elle said...

What a great post Sara...all things sushi. It is kind of neat that it's pretty easy to make your own. Make 'em for potlucks and they go really fast around here.