Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Do-able Sushi. I promise.

I've only liked sushi since I've been in my 30s.  But now, NOW I am madly and passionately in love with it, if that's possible. Well, I am and so are our beloved offspring. If you have ever gone out for sushi with four hungry boys, you are looking to lay down A LOT of cashola. Once in a while, that's okay. But we like to eat it more than once in a blue moon.
 Before now, I have always perceived it to be WAY too big of an undertaking to even attempt to make it.  This post is meant to entice you and give you an ingredient list because I am sure that you can make it too!

Rice. Whichever color you choose, brown or white, it MUST be short or medium grain. A long grain or basmati won't be sticky enough. There are packages of white sushi rice available.

Me, being the whole grain girl that I am, I like to only eat brown rice. The first time I made sushi I bought a medium grain Asian rice that was pretty good.  Then I found this organic rice at my local Shurfine and bought it after I stilled my fluttering heart! Shurfine, incidentally, also sells long grain organic brown rice at a good price.

Now, of course, buying organic rice is more expensive, but I look at it this way; if I were to go to a Sushi restaurant, I will, at a minimum, be paying $4 per hand roll. "My way" is about 35 cents per roll. Not bad right? Break it down people.

Another essential is a mat. I picked one up at my local Giant Food Store for $2.29 and it came with a cute little bamboo rice paddle.

I covered the bamboo mat with a ziploc bag so the rice doesn't stick to the bamboo. It worked like a charm and I can wipe it off or throw it away. The bamboo mats are reusable so it's a one time investment.

Since we are eating vegetarian for lunch, basically just veggies and carbs (no protein), I made my sushi with just veggies. This is another occasion where you can use what you like; Avocado, whitefish, tuna, you name it! (Incidentally, I've lost 10 pounds just by combining my foods differently, dejunking, and cutting sugar, in 16 days! No exercising, unless you count shoveling. I started exercising this morning or else the ski trip in two weeks is going to be awfully painful! Hold me to it will you?)

So I have raw zucchini, english cucumber, and organic carrots all jullienned. I also used a few spears of leftover steamed asparagus and some chopped up, cooked mushrooms.

Next on the list is "Sushinori" which is specifically for making sushi. Dry roasted seaweed sheets. There are 10 in a pack so it's enough to make 20 handrolls or 10 Makirolls (big ones).

You will also need a bit of mayo. I like to use Organic Mayo from Trader Joe's. Try to use a mayo without too much sugar and added uh...junk.  There aren't a lot of "healthy" mayos out there, not that it's considered healthy or anything, but everything in moderation I say.

We, L2 (my 11 year old foodie son) and I, decided to use a spicy mayo sauce on all of our rolls just to spice up the slightly boring vegetables. We mixed in some ground Red Cayenne pepper with the mayo. You could use chili paste or chopped chilis, or hot sauce if you really wanted to, whatever you have.  I put it in one of my handy dandy plastic squeeze bottles.

Two other items I don't have pictures of are Soy Sauce and Rice Vinegar.  Our family recently went "off" all wheat products (crazy no?) and so we use Tamari, which happens to be sold at our local Redner's and Giant food stores AND it's organic.  Tamari is wheat-free and tastes just like regular soy sauce. Rice vinegar is a must for the sushi rice. You will find it in the Asian food aisle of most food stores, right near the sushinori sheets and bamboo mat kits.  I also was excited to find Brown Rice Vinegar at Giant, in keeping with my wholegrain "theme."  You will also need some kind of sweetener to make the rice. I used a bit of agave nectar.

Now, go out and get those ingredients! Or, just wait for the next couple of "how-to posts" till you are drooling on your keyboard and your motherboard fries. Oh wait, then you won't have a computer to look at the pictures. Well, be sure to cover the keyboard with a towel okay?  I"ll give you no more than half a year till you decide to make sushi on your own. Deal? I think that's how long it took me. 

Hungrily promising to excercise tomorrow,
The Lunch Lady

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