Monday, December 5, 2011

SUSHi!! Part 1

I love sushi. It is sensual. I love the taste of seaweed and wasabi. I love the texture of raw fish. I think it is beautiful to look at and a treat to eat. It feels healthy and light. It is one of the only foods that I experience intense cravings for. Because of that, I make it often. If you also love sushi but are daunted by making it yourself, I hope to embolden you to get rolling! Making sushi rolls is as easy as making burritos once you get the hang of it.

It can also be super budget friendly. Like much Japanese cuisine, it features rice.  The rice is the canvas for your creativity. It is a great way to use up that last carrot, the ripe avocado, that half a cucumber from last night's salad, etc. It is easy to turn a few random veggies into an eye and palate pleasing presentation.

So, where to begin? You will need a few things to get started. Once these items have been procured, making sushi is a breeze. If you live almost anywhere but Quincy, you should be able to find these items in your area. There is an Asian market in Cotati, Ca that I stop at every time I visit my parents. That is where I pick up wasabi powder, nori (the sheets of seaweed for rolling), rice vinegar, extra rolling mats for friends, etc.

1) A rolling mat
A bamboo rolling mat costs a couple bucks. Here is one on bamboo mat
2) Nori sheets
A package of 50 costs me $7 at my Asian market. Make sure you get full-sheets not half-sheets.
3) Rice vinegar
Either seasoned or not. You can find this at most grocery stores.
4) Sushi rice
Sushi rice is typically a short-grained white rice. This does work the best to create the sticky consistency for spreading on the nori but I have used all different rices successfully in a pinch. Short-grained brown rice works well but its flavor can eclipse some of the more subtle fish flavors. It is a great healthy option for veggie rolls though.
5) Wasabi
A Japanese spicy hot horshradish sold in paste and powder form. I always buy the powder. 
6) Sesame oil
This is not necessary to make sushi but I love it drizzled in every roll I make.

Well, since I accidentally hit "post" at this point, I think I am going to make the sushi tutorial into two separate posts, part 1 and 2. Look for part 2 tomorrow. Here is a mouth watering photo to keep your interest.

Spicy shrimp, seared ahi, asparagus,
cucumber, and avocado roll


  1. Well Karen, I've been enjoying your beautiful, interesting and highly readable postings. Of course we so much loved the story of the bread bowl. Coincidentally, we had been looking for a big bread bowl for Evan, since he has become a baker and cook and loves kitchen equipment of quality. We actually looked for the same unit you have but couldn't locate one. I also looked in all the local second-hand and antique stores in the area and found nothing. We finally decided on a 14" bowl from England (Mason Cash is the pottery).
    The day after we ordered it, your post came up and we were taken aback by the the sentiment and the photos as well as the coincidence. After Evan opened his package on Christmas morning we had him read your blog which he really loved. I hope he communicates that to you directly. Anyway, last night in our local paper was an article on how to make your own sushi so of course I read your version.
    It made me want to sushi up, so I plan to round up the tools and ingredients to do so soon. This is a great blog. Well done.