Sunday, March 11, 2012


One of the new things I've been doing this winter is making sushi.

When I went to Grandpa's 90th birthday in January I found out my uncle was spending his retirement cooking and he couldn't stop about how easy and wonderful sushi is to make.

Luckily for me, this Christmas I had been gifted almost everything I needed to get started.

A wonderful apron! This is very necessary because the first 2 times the rice gets everywhere. Actually, every time I cook everything gets everywhere.

Sushi means vinegar rice not raw fish. I had no idea. No wonder I like it so much. I make mine with stuffing of tuna salad or cream cheese. Boiled egg is a great addition. I was so happy to receive this egg timer since 'mine' was left at home when I went to college. I haven't boiled an egg with ease for years. If I have to evacuate my kitchen I'm taking my favorite knife, my rice cooker, and my egg timer.

I was also given chopsticks. Isn't this the Coolest Ever! I absolutely love the colors and that it serves five!!!

I’m not a food blog so I’m not going in to detail but I do have some tips.

1. Read 5 food blogs on how to make sushi. Every recipe out there says to use rice vinegar. One of the blogs I came across mentioned how nasty rice vinegar tastes. So I picked up a bottle of rice vinegar but I also brought home some distilled white vinegar. Good thing I did. The rice vinegar from my grocery store shelf is not just nasty it is super nasty. If I had read only one blog I would not have know that. Most of them rave about rice vinegar. Maybe it’s the brand. Even so, be prepared and get different views on it.

2. To roll sushi it needs to be supported. While you might be able to find something from around the home that would work a bamboo sushi mat costs less than a dollar and is super cool. Instead of lining it with plastic wrap to keep it clean just shove it in a gallon sized zip lock bag.

3. Read a few sushi rice recipes and use your brain. They all have rice, sugar, vinegar, and salt. But do you really want a tablespoon of salt per cup of rice when the soy sauce already has more sodium than you need in a day? Do you really want ¼ cup of sugar when another calls for a tablespoon? Watch the vinegar amounts too. In the restaurant the rice doesn’t taste the vinegar and sugar it’s just so it holds together. I don’t have a recipe to recommend since I’ve made sushi 3 times and already I’m doing it by taste.

4. Don’t buy the 10 pack of nori sheets. If you like sushi enough to try making it at home the 10 pack will be gone halfway through the second batch causing huge sadness. Although, since Nori varies by brand- one of my packs was very fishy- getting the 10 packs but get one of each is a good idea. Myself, I’m too cheap so after my first 10 pack fiasco I’m trying each brand with the 100 pack.

5. Broccoli slaw is great in sushi and needs no kitchen prep meaning making sushi is no harder than grilled cheese sandwich.

6. If you like sushi enough to be making it at home, make a double batch the first time. The first roll won’t even make it onto the plate it’s so good. Neither will half of the second roll. It’s like cookie dough and too good not to just gobble up. After that the end pieces look sort of funky so they get eaten on the spot. So does all of the 4th roll because it’s SUSHI and just so very good. Serious gorging goes on in the kitchen.

7. The little finger bowls of water that are in blog photos, including mine, are a joke. The first time make it next to the sink since lots of hand washing not finger dipping is needed. I can make do with just finger dipping at this point.

8. The recipes say lightly dampen the nori along the edge. I don’t know what world they live in. To me lightly dampen is the dry lick given to stamps. The nori needs the sloppy kiss that makes you say “eeeeeeegh I’m never kissing you again, you cretin”.

9. The recipes also talk about the shiny side of the nori. Um, both sides are shiny. I put the nori flat side down and match the grid to the grid of the bamboo mat. I figure if the bamboo rolls in one direction that the grid of the nori will roll best in that direction too. Sometimes I forget and put it the other way.

10. No ten, sushi is easier than that.

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