Make Mine Sushi

Lately, I've had a real thing for sushi. I can't get enough of it. For dinner, for lunch... heck, I'd even eat the stuff for breakfast.

Problem is, you just can't get sushi cheap. So last Friday I got out my much-read-but-never-used sushi cookbook and decided to give it a whirl.

My sushi cookbook, I should mention, is entirely Japanese in character. It cares very much about aesthetics, technique, and Doing Things Right. As evidence, I submit the following quotes:

"Hold the rice ball up to the light. You should be able to see light filtering through it."
"The best way to grate wasabi is with a piece of sharkskin attached to a small wooden board."
"Thou must toast the nori for ten seconds, and the seconds of the toasting shall be ten. Thou shalt not toast eleven, nor shall thou toast nine (excepting that thou then procedest to ten). Twelve is right out."

I ignored most of this. Not because I don't appreciate the eternal Japanese pursuit of perfection (in fact, I dote on it), but because if I hadn't, the intimidation factor would have killed this project in the offing. I also had to pass on using actual raw fish, because I wasn't feeling ambitious enough to drive all the way to the Asian market across town, and I had this conversation with the girl behind the seafood counter at Kroger:

Me: Hi, I was interested in making sushi tonight. Do you have any tuna that's fresh enough for that?

Fishmongress: We have it, but it's frozen.

Me: (aside) I don't think you understood my question.

So, I was stuck with the following seafood:
  • smoked salmon
  • imitation crab
  • cooked shrimp
I also prepared the following roughage:
  • spinach
  • mushrooms
  • green onions
  • avocado
  • cucumber
And the following condiments:
  • homemade teriyaki sauce
  • soy sauce
  • pickled ginger
  • wasabi from a tube (my local Target was all out of sharkskin graters)
And, just to be original, a banana and some cream cheese. I assembled the ingredients, and then I rolled. And rolled and rolled. Overall, I was really happy with the results. The rice had a good texture, and the dressing seemed evenly distributed, though just a touch too vinegary. I definitely need to work on my rolling technique, which I plan to do next week with some real, legitimate fish. And next time, I might just toast my nori.


Kelly said...

Sounds like we need to have a sushi dinner night and test your skills!

Jane said...

Hmm, perhaps... if I throw a ziti in the oven just in case everything turns out horrible.

Leigh Anne said...

Wow, good for you, Jane! It sounds great. I'd love to see some pics!

Becky said...

Yes, I'm thinking we need a sushi night too! Wouldn't they have the right kind of fish at Whole Foods? We could all chip in, and I'll even help you toast the nori. As soon as I figure out how the heck to do that.

Jane said...

Believe it or not? In a toaster.

So, I'm totally into the idea of sushi night. I'll try to sharpen up my skills this weekend in anticipation. And Leigh Anne, next time I'll definitely take photos.