I often walk into the supermarket with little idea of what meal I want to create. The other day, I was on my way to the market, and I passed a sushi restaurant I have wanted to try out. My girlfriend and I contemplated going there instead of cooking, but I said, "Nay! I will make us sushi!" I've never made sushi, so this was a bit of an experiment, but I figured it would be fun to try.
Before I dove into the sushi production, I made a nice side for the meal. I bought eggplant, baby bok choy, and shitake mushroom, which I chopped and sliced along with some ginger and garlic.
One of the hardest parts of making sushi is making the sticky rice. I started by washing the rice until the water became clear after running over the rice (this removes the starch). I then added the rice to water and brought to a boil, then I simmered for 20 minutes until the rice was soft and the liquid was absorbed. While the rice was cooking, I mixed vinegar, sugar, oil, and salt, heated until it was mixed and set it aside to cool. Once the rice was cool enough to handle, I mixed the vinegar mixture in and stirred until the rice was very sticky. You can see the recipe here.
For the rest of the sushi, I used cucumber, avocado, panko, spicy mayo (sriracha chili sauce, mayonnaise and honey), seaweed, and salmon. I bought the salmon from Whole Foods, and it was not sushi grade. I had originally planned on cooking it a little before putting it in the sushi, but I ended up using it raw. Next time I will either cook it or freeze it overnight before using to kill any potential bacteria. We fortunately didn't get sick at all from the fish, but when making sushi, this is definitely something to keep in mind. I cut the salmon up and mixed it with the spicy mayo, sliced the cucumber and avocado.
To construct the sushi, I spread the rice over the seaweed and shook some sesame seeds on top. I then covered it with plastic wrap and flipped it on the sushi roller.
I then added my ingredients, some panko for crunch, and rolled it up as tight as possible. I then used the roller to tighten the roll.
Once the roll was tightly wound, I cut the roll into 8 pieces and removed the plastic wrap.
I added some more spicy mayo and some reduced soy sauce and served. The sushi was good, but for all of the effort and the cost of buying the materials, it wasn't a very efficient meal. The effort I had to put in made me appreciate the art of sushi making and the skill of sushi chefs. Everything tasted good, but at the end of the day, going out would have been a lot easier. The experience was definitely new and exciting, and I'm happy I gave it a try.