Time – 2
Complexity – 4
Food – 6
Overall Success – 4 out of 10
I’ll be frank right up front… this was not one of my better meals.
It wasn’t bad, but I think Sushi will take some getting used to, both learning the best recipes and the actual preparation which is quite a bit more difficult and time consuming than this deceptively simple food suggests.
I’m beginning to understand why a real sushi master apprentices for many years! (if you live in LA you could fast track!)
Veggies (carrot, cucumber, avocado, bean sprouts, eggplant, be creative!)
Meat – optional (tuna, salmon, butterfish, crab, etc)
A variety of Japanese Sticky Rice
Pickled Ginger (optional)
1 Bamboo mat
1 Hot-off-the-Grinder SHARP knife (for the fish & cutting the rolls)
1 Bowl of water close at hand (the rice is STICKY!)
One thing I will say about Sushi is the time it takes to make… especially the first time you try tackling this dish. I spent close to 4 hours planning, preparing ingredients and rolling/cutting my sushi rolls! I will never again complain about wait times at AjiSai!
And before you even think about getting started preparing this meal, you’d better put a little thought about where you’re going to get your ingredients!
At the end of the day, I had to pick up my supplies from 3 different locations:
a local Grocery Store (zehrs)
an Asian Grocers
Depending on where you live you may be able to pick up everything at one location. For instance, a local grocery store (Zehrs on Bayfield st for any Barrie, Ontario readers) has a sushi bar so you can pick up pretty much everything I went to the Asian Grocers for. But the fish is a little trickier since you aren’t going to cook it. Some Grocery stores will carry sushi quality fish while others will refuse to sell you any fish at all if you even mention Sushi!
Generally I found that a lot of Grocery stores WILL sell sushi quality fish, but only on one (or two) specific days of the week (delivery days)
Instead of messing around I went straight to the best fishmonger in town, Johnny’s Fresh Fish & Seafood Market (516 Bryne Dr for Barrie readers), and picked up a fresh Atlantic Salmon Fillet and a Flash-Frozen Tuna Steak (see ingredients picture above)
The Best Roll
Cook your rice and gently fold in a little rice vinegar (to taste)
Prepare your wasabi (if you bought powdered)
Slice your fish THINLY
Chop your veggies into small sticks
After setting out everything you’re going to need, place some nori in the folds of a damp towel to make it more pliable; it doesn’t take long.
Place a sheet of nori on your bamboo mat, shiniest side down, and rub a few spoonfuls of rice across it. You won’t need very much and keep the rice away from all sides (quarter inch on the sides and a half inch or more on the top and bottom)
Rub a line of wasabi (to taste) across the rice and top with your preferred sushi vegetables, again making sure to keep away from the edges:
Now for the tricky part…
Rolling your Sushi
Figuring out how to do this well is a little tricky, but by the 5th or 6th roll I pretty much had it down to a science and started producing pretty good Sushi Rolls:
My best suggestion is to keep a lot of pressure on the roll and bamboo mat as you’re rolling. Other pointers:
Try to loosely fold the mat and nori over whatever filler you’ve used and then pull the filler back, squishing it into the roll
Small turns of the mat
Push down on the top of the roll every turn of the mat
Once you have your roll almost complete, wet the last piece of Nori to make it stick to the rest of the roll
Once you have your rolls, simply cut them up into bite-sized pieces (7 or 8 per roll usually) and serve with Wasabi, Soy Sauce, pickled ginger and wine, beer or of course, green tea (which is supposed to help with digestion).
I have seen Sushi served with either red or white, but don’t think you are being smart by serving Saki which generally isn’t served with sushi. Essentially the reason is because Saki is produced from rice and it’s believed that a rice wine cannot properly compliment a rice dinner, so stick to something else.
That’s about it.Â I did get approval from the boss so the meal couldn’t have been that bad…
This is a difficult, time-consuming meal to make. I will keep trying to improve my Sushi skills, but in the mean-time you should see me at the Sushi-bars in town on a regular basis. Actually, all this talk about Sushi is getting me hungry, and I just heard that the Monsoon Lounge downtown offers some decent Sushi…