Last year on Christmas I gave Greg a sushi making kit- it was something I put together for him with all of the sushi making essentials and we have been making sushi ever since. Well, he has been making sushi and I have been the sous chef. We decided to show off our skills and invited a few folks over to partake in a sushi party. Greg has two friends that live in Japan right now and one happened to be in town with his Japanese girlfriend (as in, lived in Japan her whole life and only in the states visiting right now kind of Japanese!!). The pressure was on! In preperation for this event, I contacted Melanie at the Whole Foods in Silver Spring to let her know we’d be stopping by the store to pick up some ingredients. She graciously met with us and was so generous! Thank you Melanie! We picked up some beautiful looking seafood, produce, and some odds and ends and headed home to begin making the sushi.
One thing I have struggled with as the sous chef is making the rice. Obviously, this is an essential element to the sushi, but man, I just can’t get it right! Our Japanese guests highly suggested using a rice cooker, which I have but did not use. I will definitely try that next time. For this go round, however, I made it on the stove top and used this:
I followed the directions to a tee. First rinsing it and cooking it exactly how the container’s directions suggested.
It looked pretty good and I was encouraged! It was a teeny bit crunchy still though- wtf?!
According to our Japanese guests, any short grain rice will do and you don’t have to purchase “sushi” rice. So American, right? They made a great analogy to their experience eating bread at Italian restaurants in Japan. It’s bread, it tastes like bread, but it’s not as good as “real” Italian bread. That’s pretty much how this rice was for them- standard rice, but not GOOD rice. Next time, I may try to buy Japanese rice… eek!
While the rice was cooking we prepared the fixings, fish, and other fillers.
I purchased this wasabi and pickled ginger at Whole Foods.
It’s powdered wasabi so in order to make it you combine equal parts powder and water to form the paste.
I made a lot!
I pulled out the shiso leaves because I never had them before. Pretty lame, I know.
We purchase three types of fish (tuna, snapper, and salmon) and some shrimp (for shrimp tempura rolls). The quality of the fish was excellent- look how pretty!
The (heart shaped) tuna!
The snapper ( I believe of the red variety).
The salmon (so gorgeous!).
We tempura battered and fried the shrimp.
Everything needed to be cut down to size for the rolls. We sliced up the fish and also the cucumber and avocado that would go in many of the rolls.
So, now on to the fun, yet most difficult part. We used these nori sheets:
We added rice wine vinegar to the rice.
and the sushi rolling began…
This was a spicy salmon roll.
Uh, yeah! That’s a sushi roll on a Steelers plate.
Next, the making of the shrimp tempura roll.
The whole rolling process went on for nearly 2 hours- I kid you not! It takes a lot of time and hard work, but just look at these results! MMMMM….
The “everything roll” (above)- all three types of fish, cucumber and avocado and a crazy assortment below.
I could not get the camera in focus for these close-ups because I am clueless when it comes to cameras, but I wanted you to see the shrimp tempura roll (front) and the salmon roll behind it.
Below, another out of focus shot (grr!) of the tuna rolls.
There were so many combinations of rolls and we also made some nigiri.
All in all, TONS of sushi!
Everyone happily ate and we almost finished it all! We had about 8 pieces leftover, which is not bad at all! We also got the chance to open some Saki that had been given to us for Christmas, by none other than one of our guests tonight! I have never been into Saki, but this one was really good! It was served cold and did not taste like rubbing alcohol, which is always a plus :]
For dessert, we served tiramisu. Wait, what? That’s not Japanese. Yeah, I know, but I had most of the ingredients and everyone loves it. I followed my own recipe and it came out great! I actually made it two days in advance this time, which worked really well. Everyone scarfed it down, so I take that as a success!