Recipes from Sushi, by Ryuichi Yoshii, Bridid Treloar and Hideo Dekura, and The Sushi Chef Cookbook, by the Baycliff Sushi Chef Company.
For Christmas my mom got J and I this great sushi making set, and my sister got us a really pretty sushi dish set. So of course I had to use them as soon as possible!

My sister and I decided to try them out a few days after Christmas. We decided on Nigiri, since it’s pretty easy, and then we did the Basic California roll, using different types of fish.

I vastly over-estimated how much fish you actually need to make sushi, but it all turned out so good!

We decided on some crab, jumbo shrimp, a tuna fillet and sea bass fillet. I bought the shrimp, tuna and sea bass at Mitchell’s Fish Market, in Homestead, and I just got the crab at Giant Eagle – already shelled and in a can. 🙂

Overall putting the rolls together is pretty easy. When it comes time to roll is when it gets difficult. Our first few were not very pretty (they were falling apart, not really staying rolled), but we started to figure it out toward the end.

There are a lot of instructions to follow, making it look more difficult than it actually is.

We made about 15 Nigiri rolls and, I believe, 5 or 6 full ‘California’ rolls – cutting each into about 6-8 pieces – this made more than enough for my sister, J and I to have a full meal.

The first thing that you want to do is to cook and prep the rice.

Cooking the Rice
Ingredients:
1 1/2 c uncooked short grain Japanese sushi rice
1 1/2 c water
1 T mirin or sake (we didn’t have this so we skipped it)

Directions:
First you need to wash the rice by placing it in a bowl that would hold at least twice that amount.

Add water to the bowl, and stir the rice briskly for about 10 seconds, then carefully drain away all of the milky water. Repeat this process until the water runs clear.

Transfer rice to a fine-mesh sieve to drain, then set aside for 30 minutes.

Place all ingredients into the electric slow cooker and allow rice to soak for 20-30 minutes, then switch on the cooker.

Note: if you don’t have an electric cooker, use a saucepan. After soaking, bring rice to a boil and boil for 1-2 minutes, then cover it tightly. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10-20 minutes more, until cooked and tender. Turn off the heat and allow it to steam for 20 minutes before removing the lid.

Note: do not refrigerate cooked rice. It will not keep until the next day- as it reduces the stickiness and making it difficult to shape properly.

Prepping the Rice
Ingredients:
4 T rice vinegar
2 T sugar
1 t salt
Your cooked rice

Directions:
Prepare the sushi rice vinegar by combing the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved.

Remove from heat and cool, placing the saucepan into a cold water bath to speed the process, and keep vinegar from distilling.

Wipe the inside of a wooden bowl with a damp cloth to moisten slightly. If you don’t have a wooden bowl, use a non-metallic bowl.

Moisten a rice paddle (or wooden spoon) with water. Then transfer teh cooked rice, while still hot, to the bowl.

Slowly pour the vinegar mixture evenly over the rice, a little at a time, and mix using quick cutting strokes (not stirring) of the paddle to separate grains and spread rice out.

At the same time, fan the rice using a small cooling fan set at low, which will give a glossy look to the rice. Continue until lukewarm – this should take about 10 minutes. (I didn’t have a small fan – but I turned the ceiling fan on high while I stirred.)

Spread a damp cloth over the rice to keep moist and cover the bowl until ready to use.

Nigiri
Ingredients:
Sushi Rice
Raw Fish – we used the shrimp, tuna and sea bass – cut tuna and sea bass into strips
Wasabi paste

Tezu Vinegar Water:
1 c water
2 T rice vinegar
1 t salt
(You will need this water for all sushi preparation)

Directions:
Combine the Tezu ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.

To shape the rice, moisten your hands in the Tezu (this will prevent the rice from sticking to your hands), then take 2 tablespoons of the rice and shape into an oval, pressing gently to form a small log.

Pick up a slice of your fish topping and dab on a little wasabi.

Press the fish, wasabi side down, onto the rice roll. Mold the fish gently around the rice.

To prep the shrimp:
Wash under running water and discard the heads. Insert a bamboo skewer or long toothpick into the shell of the underside of each shrimp, from head to tail, running along the appendages without touching the flesh.

Bring a pot of salted water (use enough salt to make it taste like sea water) to boil and add shrimp. Do not cover. Cook for about 3-5 minutes until cooked through.

Immediately plunge the shrimp into iced water – giving them a good color and stopping the flesh from shrinking. When cooled, removed from water and drain in a colander.

Gently remove the skewer and peel, leaving tails intact. (We took the tails off.)

Make a butterfly cut by laying each shrimp on a flat surface and cutting along the belly, head to tail, with the knife going about 1/2 way in. Open the shrimp and flatten it gently, remove the vein and rinse with mildly salted water. Use these for Nigiri.

For rolls, cut shrimp completely in half.

“California” Rolls (I put this in quotes because I used the basic recipe, but added raw fish to some of the rolls)
Ingredients:
Fish of choice – we used crab, shrimp, tuna and sea bass – cut the tuna and sea bass into thin strips
Avocado
Japanese cucumber or pickling cucumber
Sushi rice
Nori sheets
Wasabi paste

You will also need the Tezu water and bamboo rolling mat.

Directions:
Prepare the ingredients by peeling, seeding and quartering the cucumber lenthwise, then cut into julienne strips.

Peel and cut thin slices of the avocado.

Toast the nori shiny side down over a high flame, then cut each sheet in half lengthwise (4 x 7.5″).

The rolling mat should be in front of you so that it can be rolled away from you.

Place one half sheet of nori on the mat, shiny side down, running lengthwise from left to right.

Dip your hands in the Tezu and scoop a large ball of rice, covering the surface of the nori. Keep about 3/4″ at the top of the nori clear. Spread the rice as evenly as possible.

Run a strek of wasabi from left to right down the middle of the rice, lengthwise. Lay the slices of avocado, cucumber and fish of choice over the wasabi streak.
To roll the nori, apply pressure with your fingertips to the sushi fillings, then begin to roll the bamboo mat away from you. Once the ends join they should stick together. Open the mat and roll it once more over the sushi roll, to make sure the roll is tight and together.

Place the roll on a cutting board, seam side down. Dip the tip of the knife into the Tezu, then slice the roll into about 6-8 rolls.
Serve with wasabi, ginger and soy sauce.

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