February 7, 2012

Vegetable Sushi Rolls

Day 6

Posted by Ethne~

In scouring my fave blogs and Pinterest this past week, I got a bee in my bonnet that I wanted to make sushi.

I should clarify that I really didn’t want to make sushi, since I’m pretty sure that sushi requires fish, but Shaun’s not a huge fan of fish (except the whitefish I make with a special baked breading – future post) and I’m not a huge fan of raw fish.  So we’re really talking about California rolls.

To me, it’s sushi.  The D Family make terrible pescatarians.

I sent Shaun to Super Target for sesame seeds, avocado, green onion, carrots and cucumber.  He was able to find the srirabi (spicy chili) sauce there, but not the nori paper (seaweed), sushi sticky rice or bamboo sushi mat.

Luckily, there is an Asian market right by my house.  The lady there found the mat, nori paper and sushi rice in a flat second.  I would’ve scoured every aisle of the Asian market since it had loads of interesting things there, but it was getting close enough to dinnertime that I had to get home stat.

The rice was grown in California, which meant that the instructions were in English.  I was pleased.  And the directions were perfect: 1 cup rice and 1-1/4 cups water.  Bring both to a boil on high heat and turn down to simmer for 25 minutes.  Be sure to watch it so you don’t burn the bottom.  When the rice is done, we poured a splash of rice wine vinegar (which I already had) into the rice and stirred it around.  Shaun had seen Iron Chef Morimoto do that on Food Network, so we figured it was a reliable tip.

The process isn’t particularly difficult, I think it just takes a little practice.  We tried the version where you put the rice on the outside of the nori paper, but that was a total mess.  We much preferred the rice on the inside.  That’s what I’ll talk about then.

1) Wrap the bamboo sushi mat with plastic wrap (Press N Seal worked great!) so nothing sticks to it and it doesn’t get dirty.  Duh!

2) Lay down a piece of nori paper centered onto the bamboo mat.

3) With wet hands (keep a small bowl of water nearby), pat a layer of rice onto the nori paper.  That rice is STICKY.  Leave a ¼” of the paper rice-free so you can seal the package up when you roll it.  Do this on the end furthest from you.

4) Lay the slices of veggies you are using (and fish if you are using that) horizontally about an inch from the end of the rice square, closest to you.  We used enough of the veggies until there was a decent stack in front of us.  No need to have a wimpy, tasteless roll.

5) Begin rolling the sushi log starting at the end nearest to you and toward the end furthest from you.  Stop rolling a couple of times and adjust the bamboo mat so it is not getting wrapped up too.  The purpose is to have that assist you in getting a nice tight roll.

6) When you make the stops to adjust the bamboo mat, gently squeeze the roll so it’s tightly wrapping.

7) At the end of the roll, wet the rice-free edge of the nori paper with water – just use your fingertip.  Seal the edge of the log with the wet paper.

8) I found that cutting the log into the sushi bites worked best with a large, sharp knife, and I wet the blade for each slice.

When you eat, you can dip it in soy sauce, srirachi chili sauce (it’s really hot, so be cautious) and wasabi sauce (Japanese horseradish).  We didn’t get the wasabi, but we both really enjoyed a combo dip of soy sauce and srirachi. 

I think even more than the fact that our sushi rolls were delicious, and different from our regular fare, but it was super fun that Shaun and I made it together.  He was the master wrapper and sliced up all the veggies.  [As with swaddling our kids when they were babies, Shaun just had a knack for it.  He could get the tightest little baby burritos; they literally couldn’t get their arms out which is why he named them baby straight jackets.  Trust me, they liked it that way, most likely because they were crammed in my belly for 37 weeks.]  And he cut the veggies because he thinks I cut myself every time I use a knife.  Not true.

Enjoy – sushi is a great Valentine’s Day food!  Even KD and Easy Mac like it.

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