Monday, April 16, 2012

Novice Sushi Maker

Since being taken over by an unborn human that has demanding taste in food, I have regularly craved rice and vegetables.  Normally vegetarian stir-fry is good enough but in the last couple weeks, I have been craving sushi-not the raw fish kind, just california and vegetarian rolls.  I don't know how this escaped my knowledge, but there are several sushi restaurants in town.  I didn't know this though until after we went to Hamburg, where I requested that we eat at a restaurant with sushi.  Having sushi once seemed to make the craving worse!  So the night of our second ultrasound, where we learned we were having, well, let's just say we were celebrating so we went to Bar Sushi in downtown Kolding for dinner.  It was great, but really really expensive. (not that that was surprising- most dining-out meals are expensive here)  In Destin, we went to a place where one roll cost between $6-8 dollars.  Here, one vegetarian roll was 80 DKK- USD equivalent of $14.  I won't go into more of the prices but will just say that I was inspired to make my own sushi since I was still craving it but not prepared to shell out $30 for 2 rolls. 

I easily found all the necessary supplies in the Asian aisle at the grocery store.  I'm not sure how much the mat, nori, etc set me back but I would guess it was probably the equivalent of 1 additional meal for myself at Bar Sushi.  I watched several videos before deciding to use this website as my instruction.  I also documented my attempt at sushi-making through a few pictures so I will include those in this post for humor more than information. 

I started by rinsing the sushi rice (not sure what kind of rice this is but it says 'Sushi Rice' on the bag so I will stick with that) for about 10 minutes.  This may have been overkill but I can say that after soaking and boiling the rice, it was sticky--which is believe is fairly important factor in sushi-making. 

While the rice was cooling, I wrapped my mat in cling-wrap because I was going to be making 'inside-out' rolls and it was recommended to do this in order to keep the rice from sticking to the mat. 

After the rice cooled, I divided my sheet of Nori in half and put the shiny down on the mat (so the rough side was facing me)

This would be the rough side of the Nori
I dipped my hands in water (to prevent the rice from sticking) and then formed a ball of rice and placed it in the center of sheet.

I dipped my hands in the water again and attempted to spread the rice out to the edges of the sheet.  In retrospect, I think I did not spread the rice thin enough because my sushi rolls seemed very rice-y and were difficult to roll--maybe because of the excessive rice. 

I flipped the sheet over so the rice was facing down and begin adding my filling.  I did make and use my own spicy mayo--though I don't know that it was terribly necessary since I end up putting a lot of wasabi and ginger on my rolls--but it did taste good on the few rolls that I ate without wasabi. 

The next picture would be of the attempted roll but I had my hands full trying to shove the cucumber, avocado and carrot into a tiny cylinder... Something wasn't quite right with my final product. Sauce and vegetables were squirting out the sizes, the nori sheet was visible at the seem, as well as some additional escaped avocado.  It was pretty ugly.

But, I wasn't going to give up so I ended up making 4 rolls in total for the practice, and because I had bowl full of rice.  My final roll looked like slightly improved..though I'm pretty sure I've never seen a green stain on the rice in a restaurant.

The final step was cutting the them.  One of Ed's friends told him that he puts his sushi in a freezer for a bit to harden them up before cutting. I tried that but was probably too impatient because they were not very firm when I did cut them.  They certainly aren't winning any beauty contest anytime soon.  I suppose I could have trimmed the loose carrot when I was slicing them.

Looking down reveals a few more flaws...too much rice,  seriously misshapen rolls,  (though this partially from when I sliced them--it was sort of like slicing a warm loaf of bread-no matter how gently and quickly you attempt to saw through the top crust, it seems that the rest of the loaf manages to be crushed in the process)  oh and how about the guy in the upper right hand corner- his filling seems to be spilling out of the top of his friend to the left.


And with the wasabi and ginger.  Those could be twin names to someone into quirky baby names now that I see them together in print :)  

So, for my first time, I think I did alright. They were edible, tasted good, were semi-healthy (I don't think mayo screams healthy which is why I added that semi to the front of healthy :) and didn't cost more than going out to dinner.  I'm going to call this attempt at sushi-making a success!


  1. I was/am the same way! Went to Hamburg, had some veggie sushi, and the more I ate, the more I crave it. In fact, I've craved fruit and veg more than anything else this pregnancy!

    Congrats on your little bean!

  2. They look wonderful!! Makes me wish I was there to enjoy.

  3. They look wonderful!! Makes me wish I was there to enjoy.