Tuesday, November 10, 2009

An American Mom in Mexico Makes Japanese Sushi

I was introduced to sushi by my sisters many years ago, and since then it has become my all-time favorite food on the planet. Many people squirm at the thought of eating sushi, because they think raw, slimy fish. But did you know what? Sushi doesn't mean raw fish. Sashimi is raw fish. Sushi it just rice prepared in the sushi style usually wrapped with seaweed and stuffed with filling.

Today, we will learn how to make a vegetarian California roll (no raw fish!). My littlest sister not only introduced me to sushi-eating, but to sushi-making as well. She learned her skills while working in a sushi bar from 2 Mexican 20-year-old twins. You must understand that my littlest sister is a buxom, freckled, farm-girl type beauty and these twins took a liking to her. One of the first things they said to her, in a thick Mexican accent, was, "Congratulations! You are BEAUTIFUL!" And thus, her tutelage began, which she graciously passed on to me.

First of all, there are a few tools and ingredients you'll need to have on hand. They are...

-A bamboo sushi roller (can be purchased at any Asian grocery store)
-Wasabi (a hot horse-radish style Japanese mustard...I've purchased this at Wal-mart)
-Pickled ginger (can be purchased at any Asian grocery store)
-Roasted seaweed (I've also purchased this at Wal-mart)
-Roasted sesame seeds (can be purchased at Wal-mart or Sam's)

Okay, now that we've got all of our paraphernalia, let's begin.

Vegetarian California Sushi Rolls



Ingredients:

4 cups rice
8 cups water
1/3 cup rice vinegar
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cucumber
1 package cream cheese
1 avocado
Roasted sesame seeds
Soy sauce
Wasabi
Pickled Ginger

Directions:

Step 1: Make the rice. You can use special Japanese rice, but I just use plain rice from my food storage. I always use a rice cooker, because I could never get my rice just right in a pot. If you only have a pot, just follow the instructions on your rice package.

Step 2: After the rice is cooked, add the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt, stirring carefully so as not to smash the rice...



Step 3: Let the rice cool. Because I was in a hurry, I spread my rice out on a cookie sheet and it cooled very quickly this way...



Step 4: While you're waiting for the rice to cool, cut up the cucumber (omitting the seeds), the cream cheese and the avocado...




(To easily de-seed an avocado, just press a sharp knife into the seed and twist to remove...)



(To easily slice an avocado, trying cutting it while still in it's peel, like so...



...then scoop the slices out with a spoon...)



Step 5: Lay out your bamboo sushi roller on a hard surface...



Step 6: Place the seaweed on the roller with the shiny side down.

(Shiny side...)



(Not shiny side...)




Step 7: Spread the cooled rice onto the seaweed, leaving about an inch of empty space at the top...



Step 8: On top of the rice, place cucumber slices, avocados, cream cheese slices and sprinkle on roasted sesame seeds.



Step 9: Dip your fingers into a bowl of water...



...then wet the top of the seaweed, like so...



(This will help seal the roll.)

Step 10:
Starting at the bottom of the roll, roll the sushi over the ingredients, then press the seaweed under, like so...




Keep rolling until you have formed a tight cylinder, then squeeze it to seal the moistened seaweed edge...



Step 11: Your roll is finished!



Step 12: Now, with a very sharp knife (you can use a special sushi knife...



...making sure it is really, really sharp...)



...cut your roll into one half inch pieces, making sure the seaweed seam is down...



In my case, the ends usually don't turn out very pretty, so I put them on a separate place and eat them myself later.

Step 13: To create your dipping sauce, mix a small amount of wasabi in soy sauce, to taste. If you are not accustomed to wasabi, I would recommend you not use too much, as it can really clear the sinuses. If you do end up getting too much, just make sure you don't breathe through your nose, only your mouth. Trust me!

Step 14: It's really fun to set a Japanese place setting on which to place your beautiful sushi. I used a rectangular blue and white plate, matching soy sauce dish, wooden chopsticks and a chopstick holder my littlest sister gave me for Christmas one year...



(And just to show you how unprofessional this tutorial is, I have not placed the pickled ginger on the plate, which is used as a palate cleanser, because I didn't have any. At least I neatly formed the wasabi to mix with the soy sauce in the upper right corner.)

I really hope you enjoy this and I would love to hear your experience once you try it! Thanks for listening!

25 comments:

Ida Red (aka Richele) said...

I've made sushi before and it's great fun especially with the kids. You did an awesome job! I love this post. Thanks for posting it. My sushi was a bit messy your tutuorial will help me out.

Erin said...

Awesome tutorial. i will have to come back to it and use as a reference. Thanks!

Sammy @ Surviving the Kitchen said...

I've been waiting for this post from you for awhile! Thanks for this, I can't wait to try it on my own! :)

Brandy said...

I started making Sushi about a month ago and we have it atleast once a week! Its cheaper making it yourself rather than buying it! Thanks for the post.

Linda said...

Thanks so much. You make it look so easy, I might just venture to do it.

Blog Buddy said...

You've so inspired me to get a sushi mat and try my own hand at this! I am so in love and addicted to sushi in my own town-that they know me by name at Ninja:)

Scuba Girl said...

OK, HELP!!!! I've tried making sushi only one time, but I had step-by-step pictorial directions from an Asian sushi website. They turned out about 6 inches across the top! I know I used too much rice, but I couldn't get it to spread out in a thin layer. I did use sushi rice, mixed in the vinegar & sugar, and even cooled it well.
What's the secret to small rolls? Mine did taste good, even though we had to use forks & knives to eat them!

Cassie said...

I would love to try this although I think, I also would make some with the fish.

Barbiemat said...

Love the fishie plate and utensils. When do we get to come over and eat some of that deliciousness?

Suzanne said...

I guess now that you are a vegetarian you don't make hotdog sushi anymore??? Where's your sense of adventure???

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Scuba girl, your problem is one I have experienced before. Here's what you can try. You can either wet the back of a large metal spoon to get your rice to spread easier (make sure the rice has had time to cool down), or you could even wet your hands and spread it that way. It does have to be a pretty thin layer or else it's hard to roll up, cut and eat! Let me know if this helps!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Suzanne, I had totally forgot about hot dog sushi! Those were desperate times when I had six little kids and didn't want to venture to the Asian market with them in tow, so I used what I had! Makes you miss me, doesn't it!

alessandra said...

Can you really eat wasabi? I tried only once in my life, and will never do again!
However I love sushi, even the raw fish one, and this vegetarian it's worth a try. Besides, beautiful tutorial!
P.S.: Yesterday evening, my "Italian" dinner was a delicious ( I say it myself )pumpkin and whole grains soup.

Scuba Girl said...

Thank you - I'll try those things next time! There will be a next time - it's too good not to eat!

Melissa Erickson said...

Yummmmm, I really miss my friend that always made me sushi. I will have to try it myself I guess.

I make my dipping sauce spicier though. I also mix wasabi and soy sauce but I add in Huy Fong Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce. We know it as "Rooster Sauce" in our house. The bottle has a rooster on it.

It is super hot so you just add a dab to sauces for an extra kick.

Cheryl B. said...

Mornin Jen :-D

The only oriental food I like is white rice and the deep fried version of sweet and sour pork, both of which I know don't really qualify as oreintal foods ;-p HOWEVER, I do have friends, as well as a couple of the people in my immediate (in house) family who do like this, so I have forwarded this posting on to them. Your welcome o;-p

I did a posting today about something else you like - brownies. Maxed our fudgie brownies :-D Go to my site and read about them. Come on, I know you want to o;-p

Oh, and for the record - for this being your what number pregancy?! you AREN'T that big yet!!! SERIOUSLY!!!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Melissa, I can't imagine wasabi dipping sauce being any hotter than it already is, but adding a chili hotness would give it a fun kick, I bet!

Cheryl, this is child number ten, and you didn't see me from the side!

Brianne said...

Wow great job never even thought I could make it at home! I just might have to try! Thanks for the pics, always a great help!

The Homemaking Helper said...

WOW! You are my hero! I absolutely LOVE to cook, but I'm scared to death to make my own sushi. You make it look so easy! Thanks for inspiring me.

Gayle said...

I can't wait to try this!

GapGirl said...

Oh how yummy!!!! Thanks for the "class"
XoxoGapGirl

layne said...

Yuuum. I love sushi! I might just have to attempt to make my own. Looks like fun!

Melinda said...

WOW I never thought of making sushi from home. It doesn't look as hard as I thought it would be. Thanks for sharing

Keeslermom said...

I'm brave enough to try that at my next Mom's Night Out cook-a-thon! Can this vegan mom leave out the cream cheese? Do I sub something in, or just leave it out?

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

KeeslerMom, you don't have to add in the cream cheese. But...as a fellow semi-vegan, what if you made a thick almond paste with a touch of lemon to make something that resembles and tastes like cream cheese? You could even put coconut oil in it and chill it for firm it up. I don't know, what do you think? Hmm, you could really put anything you want in it....mushrooms, any other vegetables...I'll bet if you googled vegan sushi, you could find all kinds of good ideas. I think I'll do that myself!