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
- green onions
- homemade teriyaki sauce
- soy sauce
- pickled ginger
- wasabi from a tube (my local Target was all out of sharkskin graters)