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IN THE KITCHEN

Making Sushi
updated: Jan 25, 2014, 12:00 PM

By Rosie Sullivan

During my years spent in college, I lived in shitty little apartments with tiny, so-called, kitchens. So when I graduated and finally moved into a house that had actual counter space and working burners, I could not wait to cook better meals. I am by no means a chef but I do love (good) food. And I believe I can follow a recipe fairly well. I am trying to take advantage of my spacious kitchen that is full of all sorts of utensils and gadgets because it lends itself to attempts at more elaborate - although definitely not fancy - foods.

I am keen to try new things so recently, I made sushi. And it is SO much easier than I thought. Here's how I did it:

There was no specific recipe; I was just trying out things that sounded good together. I used frozen sushi grade tuna, green onions, carrot, cucumber, and avocado. Other necessary items: seaweed (nori), rice vinegar, sushi rice, and a sushi mat. These somewhat special items are found at any Asian market (I like the Nikka Japanese Market on Calle Real in Goleta) and are quite cheap.

As I quickly learned, having the rice right is crucial. Use short-grained “sticky” rice. On the back of most seaweed packages are instructions on how to prep sushi rice. I advise washing the rice several times until the starch stops coming out of it. Rice cooks much faster when you do this and requires less water in the pot or rice cooker.

Right after taking the rice out of the pot, add rice vinegar to it. (For 3 cups of rice, ½ cup vinegar) Let it cool down before handling! I failed to do this step.

Now we get rolling. Place a piece of nori rough side up on a sushi mat.

Your hands must be wet in order to work with the rice. Keep a bowl of water (with a little bit of extra rice vinegar in it) next to you as you work; the rice will stick to your fingers so rinse them off frequently. And they should be dry when working with the seaweed so keep a towel handy to dry off.

You begin by making a handful of rice into a ball. Then I put the rice ball in the middle of the sheet of seaweed and started spreading it as best I could. I tried to cover almost the entire sheet except for an inch margin on the top.

Now for the filling. Place a slice of fish on the edge as well as a few pre-cut slices of vegetables. Go wild!

This part is a bit tricky and difficult to describe. Using the edge closest to you, roll the mat over the fillings, making a rectangular hill. Move the mat forward, keeping it tight. I use the mat to pinch and roll it all into shape. It’s a bit trial and error…

Using a sharp knife, cut the sushi roll into pieces. Dip in soy sauce and enjoy.

This typically makes a lot of food so invite friends over and make a night of it!
Next up, inverted rolls.

Rosie is a member of the Dedicated Staff and is always on the lookout for new foods! Send in recipes or ideas to rosie@edhat.com.

 

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