Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Rollin' rollin' sushi

I would never consider myself a health nut (I basically eat whatever I want...) BUT I do like to cook healthy(ish) for myself. Recently I've found myself cooking with a lot less meat, using whole wheat whenever I can, trying to stay away from processed foods, etc. I've also found myself using more butter in my cooking, because dammit, I want my food to taste good! But I feel that as long as I'm staying away from unnatural foods (trans fats, etc) I'm being "healthy."

But one thing that's supposed to be quite healthy for you (that I don't do enough) is eating at least 2 servings of fish a week. I absolutely love fish, but for some reason I never really cook much with it at home. So I told myself I'd make a conscious attempt to incorporate more fish in my diet.

Last week I was perusing through Trader Joes when I saw it: sashimi grade tuna. It's usually a pretty pricey cut of fish, but at less than $15 a pound I had to get it! The fun part was then walking through the store trying to figure out what I was going to do with it.

I'll have you know that both meals I made with the fish: pan-seared tuna steak (to be posted soon...) and sushi (to be posted today) were amazing!

Going from this...


... to this...

...is a lot easier than it looks.

BTW- can I just say that one reason I love having this blog is that it forces me to make my food look purty. And lemme tell you, when your food looks this good it makes it so much more fun to eat!

Let's get started, shall we?

Disclaimer: I am not Japanese and will not pretend that I even understand anything close to the proper way to make sushi rice, cut fish, roll sushi, etc.  Now that we've gotten the legalities out of the way...

First thing you need is some sashimi grade tuna. This is close to two servings of fish. All of it went onto my plate (and subsequently into my tummy...)

For the little sashimi flower I just cut some of the fish in strips and arranged them oh-so-nicely.

The rest of the fish I chopped up for spicy tuna rolls. In goes some mayo and chili sauce. I used sriracha since that's all I had.

Add enough until you're happy with the flavor/spice level. It was actually a bit more red than this in person... SO HOT!

Then just using your sushi rice (see below) and nori, create your sushi roll.
 Here are my step-by-step directions:

1. Lay out the nori sheet (on top of a piece of plastic wrap, which is on top of a sushi rolling matt)

2. Spread nori with sushi rice. (hot tip: wet your fingers to prevent the rice from sticking all over your hands)

3. Lay another sheet of plastic wrap over the rice and flip the nori over. Remove the old plastic wrap. (Note: you do this if you want the rice on the outside of the roll. If you want the nori on the outside skip this step and continue onto step 4.)

4. Fill with goodies. (Here I have my spicy tuna and leftover broccoli/carrot slaw I bought for my other tuna dish). I'm sad I had no avocado. Spicy tuna + avocado = creamy deliciousness...

5. Take a pretty close-up picture of the pre-rolled roll. This step is optional, but highly recommended :)

6. Roll the sushi. I filled mine too much so its spicy tuna guts squirted out the sides. Fear not, I ate them anyways.

Slice (using a very sharp and moistened knife) and enjoy!

It's almost too beautiful to enjoy.

Note: I said almost.

So I won't be including any recipes today, because the recipe I used for sushi rice had so much liquid it ended up wet and not really sticking together. But from what little I've read it seemed like the "authentic" way of preparing the rice. However, I think my rice may have been too cool when I added the liquid so it may have been entirely my fault. I dunno. There's tons of recipes out there so I'd say just try one out. UPDATE from 2015: Here's a great recipe for sushi rice that is now my go to, on both proportion of sugar/salt to rice, as well as technique for preparing the rice.

Worst case scenario it turns out like my rolls and don't really hold together well.  Who cares- at that point just throw it all in a bowl, it'll still taste delicious!

FYI: sushi rice isn't just regular rice. It has rice vinegar + sugar + salt (or sometimes mirin) added to it, which gives it that nice sweet and tangy flavor that goes so well with the fish and nori. If you want some sushi tutorials, Pioneer Woman would be a good place to start.  YouTube is always a great place for visuals too.

And if you want to try something totally crazy, my friend Mara made her sushi using raw cauliflower instead of rice. I haven't tried it yet, but I think I may have to next time I buy some more fish for my weekly omega-3 fatty acid fix. 

Buen Provecho,
Jackie

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