Sunday, 2 September 2012

I'm not exactly sure what it was that made me want to make sushi - it's not even one of my favorite foods. But I had the idea, so I went out and bought the necessary ingredients and made it. And it turned out delicious! I didn't really measure much when I made the sushi, so this blog is more about method than a recipe.

Avocado and Smoked Salmon Sushi
Short-grain brown rice (MUST be short grain)
Rice vinegar
Smoked Salmon

*Bamboo Mat* (not completely necessary, but it makes rolling the sushi a whole lot easier, and they're cheap, between $2 and $5)

Cook the rice according to the package directions. When it's done stir in the sugar and vinegar. For about 3 cups of rice, I used 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of vinegar.

Next, slice the avocado, cucumber, and smoked salmon into matchsticks. It may be hard to slice the avocado into matchsticks if it's very ripe, and the smoked salmon will probably not slice that easily. It's OK. As long as all the filling ingredients are in small thin pieces, you'll be OK.

After you've prepared the filling ingredients, cover the bamboo mat with plastic wrap. Place one sheet of nori on the plastic wrap. Scoop some rice onto the nori. The amount of rice you will need depends on how big your nori sheets are. If you fin that they are too big (bigger than your sushi mat), you can cut them in half. Pack the rice on the nori, much like you would press a cookie crumb crust into a pie pan. You want the rice layer to be solid, but not too thick. Cover the entire sheet of nori.

Next, lay our the filling ingredients in horizontal strips along the edge of nori that is nearest you. Then, it's time to roll the sushi. This part takes a little bit of skill, and I kind of fumbled my way through it. Basically, you want it to be like a sleeping bag - small and tight.( This article gives an excellent description on rolling sushi with pictures-the article says to leave a space of rice-free nori and put your filling in the middle of the nori. It doesn't really matter whether you put the filling in the middle or on the edge)

After your sushi is rolled, cut it into 1 1/2 inch pieces. (A very sharp knife is important here!) Serve with soy sauce.

You can fill your sushi with almost anything you want.
Some ideas:
Vegetables: carrots, asparagus, spinach, cucumber, mushrooms, zucchini, bell peppers
Fruit: Mango, apples, pineapple
Fish/Seafood*: salmon, tuna, eel, crab (imitation or real), squid, scallops
Cheese: cream cheese, provolone,
Other: peanuts/peanut butter, sesame seeds, wasabi,

*If you use raw fish/seafood, be sure to buy the kind that is specially prepared for sushi. This prevents contamination problems from eating raw fish. 

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