My girlfriend, Tasha, invited me over to make sushi with her. You can make sushi at home?! Well, no, you’re not going to make professional level sushi. Sushi masters go through an apprenticeship that lasts about 10 years. But, making perfectly imperfect homemade sushi that you’ll be proud to bring to the table is definitely doable. Here’s that first sushi we made together.
I was hooked! I ordered a rolling mat kit to make my sushi and a darling little panda rice mold to turn the extra rice into cutie pie pandas for my kids’ lunchboxes. The second time I made inside out rolls and loved the way they turned out. I ordered a big bag of nori sheets to fuel my fun. The rolling kit is really the only equipment you need. I’ve had a Zojirushi 10 cup rice cooker for years, and I absolutely love it, but you don’t need one.
Later on, I was playing in Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking and discovered gimbap, a delicious Korean dish with seasoned beef and vegetable rolls.
Then I found another type of sushi, hand rolls, in Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking (Morimoto). They’re a much more casual handling, so I thought they’d have wonderful party potential. If you had all the ingredients plated, guests could make their perfect roll.
We were just down at Disney. The Japan pavilion has a few restaurants, drummers, a museum of cuteness, and a huge store. It’s fantastic in there. My husband and I enjoyed a little sake tasting and bought a beautiful sake set and citrus sake to take home. My kids ordered sushi so many times on our trip. They were in love and I wanted to step up my game for them, so I thought I’d order a stand alone sushi book, The Complete Book of Sushi.
I was so excited when I saw the range in the book. Composed sushi bowls?! I’d never even heard of that!
The book started with an interesting history lesson. Sushi, like so many wonderful things, started from the necessity of preserving food. They packed layers of fish and rice, and let it ferment for 9 months. They ate the fish and threw out the rice. When someone figured how to speed up the process, the rice could be eaten, too. The flavor was desirable, so someone figured out how to get some of that fermented flavor in less time by adding vinegar to the rice, the beginning of the sushi that we know and love.
Then the authors talked out etiquette. You probably know that the tips of your chopsticks must be separated from a table surface by a chopstick rest, your plate, or a napkin. But did you know that the tips of them must point to the left? It’s considered bad luck to have them right facing.
Okay, I’ll get to my full review of the book afterwards, but first I wanted to share a few recipes from the book with you to try. Thank you so much to Tuttle Publishing for giving me permission! Continue reading “Sushi rice, Step-by-step inside-out sushi rolls, New Yorker rolls with spicy sirloin, and Cookbook review: The Complete Book of Sushi”