So June 18 is apparently “International Sushi Day,” and I will use any excuse I can to eat some sushi.
Quick story, Rourke used to watch me eat sushi in disgust. I would beg him and beg him to just try it. A California roll, please? It’s just rice and veggies. Until, he got a new boss. And, when the new boss came in town to work with Rourke, he insisted on sushi for lunch. Rourke not wanting to rock the boat with his new boss, said “Sure!” He took him to one of my favorite sushi places. Well, the boss didn’t just order California rolls, NOOOO….He ordered THE BOAT!! If you are unfamiliar with “the boat,” it is a large wooden boat loaded with every kind of sushi imaginable, sashimi, included. (Sashimi is just raw fish, sometimes with rice under it). Rourke was like “Sam, I Am” and well, he tried it, and LOVED IT!! Yay! Thank you boss. Now Rourke loves sashimi and sushi of all kinds.
To make traditional sushi, you must start with sushi rice, which is short-grain and sticky! And, you will need nori.
Bring 1 1/4 cup of water to boil and add 1 cup rice, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cover and reduce to simmer for 25 minutes.Next you will need a sushi roller. My friends gave me this one a few years back for my birthday, and I love it!!I keep a small dish of water nearby to work with the rice. I also use a silicone utensil to press the rice down on the roller.The first roll I am making is a California roll.Have your veggies cut in match-stick size. I am using carrot, cucumber, celery and avocado. I will wait and cut the avocado until just before ready to prevent browning.Press your rice over the bottom of roller.Cut your nori to fit your roller and place on top of rice.Place your veggies down the middle or right-hand edge. My roller has an arrow pointing toward the sushi. The technique is tricky but with practice gets easier. You actually roll away from you, while at the same time, are pulling the whole roller toward you. You keep doing this until the roll is completely rolled up like a cinnamon roll.You will need a very sharp knife to cut you roll into medallions.
The next roll I am making is a rainbow roll. It has sushi-grade salmon and avocado. It is one of my favorites!You can buy sushi-grade fish at Whole Foods in the seafood department. Our local Whole Foods has a special freezer with all things dedicated to sushi.Press your rice down again onto roller.Cut and place your nori down.Place avocado and salmon slices down the middle or far-right. FYI…it is easier to have your salmon slightly frozen to slice thinly. It will be thawed out by the time you finish your roll and slice it. Roll the same way, Rolling away from you while pulling roller towards you until it is completely rolled up.Place more avocado and salmon slices on top.Sprinkle with black sesame seeds. I think they make it prettier. Slice and serve immediately.
I served with a special mayo and soy sauce. You can also serve with wasabi and pickled ginger, too.To make the mayo, mix about a tablespoon of gochujang with about 3 tablespoons of mayo. Adjust to your liking. For more spicy-kick, add more gochujang.With more and more practice, I aim to be the black belt of sushi makers. But, for now, Rourke and I are enjoying the basics!Bon appetite!