Sushi: You really can make this at home!

Our family has embraced the blizzard of 2016 with lots of cooking.  My sweet Vivian challenged us to make sushi, one of her favorite dishes.  We took the challenge. We recommend opening Pandora, type in “traditional Japanese music” to set the mood.

Blizzard fun!  The play time made us hungry!

The recipe we used but had to make some adaptations was from The Food Network.

Shrimp Sushi Rolls

1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup short-grained sushi rice (We used long grain rice. We used the directions on the bag of rice.)
1 1/2 cups water
4 sheets toasted nori (We purchased this at Kroger, but check your local grocery first before heading out. Of course, an Asian market, or international market would carry nori: an edible seaweed, eaten either fresh or dried in sheets, especially by the Japanese.)

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1 kirby cucumber or 1/2 regular cucumber, seeded and cut into matchsticks (We used the “no name” cucumber that was in our refrigerator. We used a mandolin slicer to make sushi sized sticks of cucumber.)
1/2 firm-ripe Hass avocado, peeled, thinly sliced lengthwise, sprinkled with lemon juice (I wished we would have had an avocado, but we did not.  We used creamed cheese, cucumber, and we used a bag of frozen shrimp that we thawed and steamed.)
8 large cooked shrimp, peeled and cut in 1/2, lengthwise
Soy Sauce
Equipment: Bamboo sushi mat (We used parchment paper because we did not have a mat.  I went on Amazon that same night and ordered one to be shipped for next time for only 5.00. While one was rolling, Vivian would take the parchment paper and tug on the other end to help get a tighter roll.)

Sushi Mat from Amazon:

For the rice: (Remember we stated that we made the rice by the directions on the bag/box versus the below directions.  We did add the vinegar, sugar, and salt.)

Mix together vinegar, sugar, and salt.

Rinse the rice with cool water in a colander; drain. Put the rice and water in a medium saucepan with a tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to very low and simmer, tightly covered, (For a good seal, wrap the pan’s lid tightly with a small kitchen towel and cover the saucepan. Make sure the towel’s edges are folded up well away from the heat.) Cook until all the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove the rice from the heat (don’t uncover), and set aside for 10 minutes.

Fluff the rice with a fork and transfer to a large bowl. Add the vinegar mixture and toss with a wooden spoon. Spread the rice out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Fan the rice continuously with a fan or magazine until cooled. Cover the rice with a damp towel.

To assemble rolls:

Place the sushi mat (or parchment paper) with the slats running crosswise directly in front of you on a clean work space. Lay a sheet of nori shiny-side down and lined up with the closest edge of the mat. Light moisten fingers with water, and evenly press about 1/4 of the rice onto the nori, with 1 1/2-inches uncovered at the far edge. Line up the fillings about an inch from the closest near edge, evenly across the rice. Leave 1 inch of rice uncovered at the far edge. (Keep a little bowl of water handy so you can keep your fingers moist while putting the rice on the nori. This will keep the rice from sticking to your hands.)

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Here are some pictures of our fillings:

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Beginning with the near edge of the mat, tightly roll up the nori, rice, and fillings into a cylinder. Firmly tug on the rounded mat over the roll as you pull on the far edge of the mat to tighten the roll.

“On a roll” video:

Open the mat, dab unsealed edge of nori with a bit of water and roll the sushi forward to seal. Transfer the sushi to a plate and cover with damp paper towels. Repeat with remaining rice and fillings.

Cut each sushi roll, crosswise, into 8 pieces with a sharp wet knife. (Keeping your sharp knife wet is helpful in cutting the roll.  Don’t exclude this step.)

Serve with bowl of soy sauce for dipping.

If you would like to take a sushi making class, I noticed today (1/25/2016) Groupon Richmond has a Sushi-Making Class for two at Kabuto Japenese House of Steaks and Sushi for only 49.00.

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