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Sushi!

October 26, 2012

Oh my goodness, I LOVE sushi, though it took me years to get there. It’s basically an affront to Vancouver but I didn’t even try it for years and when I finally did it just didn’t seem that great to me. After starting to date Hélène, it quickly became clear that that wasn’t going to be possible and I realized that I DO love it. Luckily in Vancouver, sushi places are everywhere and they’re cheap. But…they’re of extremely variable quality. In our old place, we lived close to the best sushi place ever – Kitsaya – and to another place that had fancy “hipster” sushi, The Eatery.

Since moving to our new neighbourhood, it really hasn’t been the same. We’re slowly working our way through the 5-7 sushi places in our seven block radius but so far, it’s been a bit of a disappointment. This isn’t to say that I’ve just converted to homemade sushi and won’t bother to get take-out again. Clearly that takes away at least half the point of sushi! But, it’s a really great thing to do sometimes and makes a pretty impressive appetizer. It also works well to have dinner party guests make their own at the table – fun!

Sushi Rice

1.5 cups sushi rice (easy to find at grocery stores)
1.5 cups water

Cook in a rice cooker (it’s just so easy!) or on the stove. While cooking, prepare:

3 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sugar
pinch of salt

Once the rice is cooked, spread it out in a large bowl and drizzle the sushi vinegar onto it, slicing through the rice with a wooden spoon to mix it in. Don’t stir – apparently this can squash the grains!

If everything isn’t ready yet, you can place a damp cloth over the bowl to keep the rice moist enough.

Fillings

So many options! Ones I like are:

avocado and mango
cucumber
avocado and cream cheese
red pepper and carrot
green onion and red pepper
really, choose anything!

have some toasted sesame seeds on hand to sprinkle on the outside of the inside-out rolls.

Slice/julienne all the ingredients and have them ready to go for sushi prep.

Technique 

For this one, I sprinkled the sesame seeds in advance. That works well if your rice is as sticky as it should be!

Slice a sheet of nori (seaweed) down the middle and place it on a bamboo mat. These sushi mats are about $1 and can be found at kitchen stores. They’re great for getting the rolls tight! Using a wooden spoon, spread rice evenly over the sushi – I like mine about 1/2 an inch thick or slightly less.

Decide which side you want to have your rice on – inside the nori, or inside-out with the nori on the inside and the rice outside (my favourite!). If you want the rice on the outside, flip your sheet so that the nori is up. Place the julienned ingredients up and down the sheet in a thin line along the middle.

One of my biggest beginner mistakes is having too much rice or too many fillings and then my roll never closes! You need some rice-on-rice sticking to happen so it’s important to spread the rice to the edges and try to keep the fillings to a minimum.

Once the fillings are in, roll up the sheet and stick one end to the other. Tighten as much as possible with the bamboo mat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds (if inside-out) then slice with a VERY sharp knife. I actually got my knives resharpened before making these because the first time I tried making sushi, my beautiful rolls totally fell apart at this stage.

Serve artfully!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Allen permalink
    October 26, 2012 11:25 pm

    I approve this message. Love it!

  2. Morgane permalink
    March 5, 2013 5:05 pm

    If I have one advice with sushi rice, it will be to give a good wash/rince to the rice before cooking (around 3 times more or less, until the water get clearer).
    That, and let the rice steam when it’s done cooking for 5 more minutes.
    :)

    (but in general, rincing all of your rice is a good idea ^^)

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