Need I say more?
Sushi is the best. Spending $100 on a sushi dinner for 2 is not. Spending $20 on ingredients for all-you-can-eat rolls totally is.
The beautiful thing about sushi is that you can fill them and top them with absolutely anything. I have a great recipe for avocado and mango sushi made with quinoa that I’ll get around to posting one day. Today, I’m providing a few classic recipes, but please experiment with what you like.
Make sure any fish you eat raw is sushi-grade fish. It is usually labeled as such, and the fish monger at your local grocery store is a good person to ask if you’re unsure. I’ve had the best luck finding sushi-grade fish in the frozen section at international markets.
Let’s talk for a minute about this fantastic nori. Nori is toasted seaweed paper most commonly used for wrapping sushi. It is made from red seaweed, but when it dries it turns a blackish-green color. Nori is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and iodine. Regular consumption of nori was linked to lower rates of breast cancer in a British Journal of Nutrition study, possibly due to its high antioxidant content. Additionally, a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reviewed the results of over 100 research studies and found that the proteins in seaweed might be more biologically active than the proteins in milk.
Sushi might just save the world (joking).
|From left to right: not-so-rainbow roll, tempura shrimp roll, spicy mix roll|
- 1 1/2 cups sushi rice
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8-9 half sheets nori (toasted seaweed) paper
- 1/2 pound sushi-grade tuna
- Crab meat or imitation krab sticks (3-5)
- 5 tempura shrimp
- 1 avocado
- 1/2 large cucumber
- 3 tablespoons mayonaise
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sriracha
- 1 teaspoon wasabi paste
- Soy sauce, for dipping
- Optional but delicious fillings/toppings: Green onions, mango, eel
- Place the rice in a strainer and rinse under running water for 1-2 minutes to remove the starch. At first, the water running down the drain will look cloudy, but as the starch is removed, it will appear more clear. Continue rinsing until minimal starch remains.
- Dump the rinsed rice into a small saucepan and add the water. Bring to a boil, stirring every minute or so. Once the rice is boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover with a tight-fitting lid. After 15 minutes, remove the rice from the heat and allow it to sit, lid on, for an additional 10 minutes. No peeking until it's done!
- In a small saucepan, combine the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat just until the sugar and salt have dissolved.
- Transfer the cooked rice to a bowl and add the rice vinegar mixture. Use a wooden spoon to fold the seasoned vinegar into the rice. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and allow to cool a bit while you prep your other ingredients.
- Slice your sushi tuna against the grain into 1/4 inch thick slices
- Cook and extract meat from crab legs, or, if using imitation krab, tear the sticks in half lengthwise. This makes for a better ratio of fillings.
- Batter and fry tempura shrimp or bake frozen shrimp
- Slice the cucumber into matchsticks
- To make sriracha mayo, combine 2 tablespoons mayonnaise with 1 1/2 tablespoons sriracha. You can use more or less depending on how spicy you want it. To make wasabi mayo, combine 1 tablespoon mayonnaise with 1 teaspoon wasabi paste. Again, you can add more or less depending on desired potency.
- Get a bowl of water ready for wetting your hands and your knife to keep rice from sticking
- Place a sheet of nori paper on a cutting board. With wet hands, grab a big handful of cooked rice (about 1 cup) and place it on the middle of the nori paper. Use your fingers to spread the rice gently and evenly over the nori paper. Grab a little more rice if you need to fill in bare spots. Flip the nori sheet over so the rice is face down on the bamboo mat.
- See variations of fillings below. Place your desired fillings down the center of the nori paper (see photos above). Now it's time to roll: gently lift the end of the nori paper closest to you and fold it over the top of your fillings. Hold the fillings in while you push the roll away from your body to close it. Place your bamboo mat over the top of the roll and press near the base of the roll to seal it.
- Now let's get fancy with the toppings on the outside of the roll. Lay your desired toppings (fish or avocado slices are typically used) across the top of the roll. Cover the roll with a sheet of saran wrap and place your bamboo mat on top. Gently press along the base of the roll to seal the toppings onto the rice. Remove the bamboo mat and slice the roll with a wet knife with the saran wrap still on the roll. I find it easiest to cut the roll in half, then quarters, then eighths for even pieces. Place the bamboo mat over the roll one more time and press near the base to clean up any bits knocked loose by the slicing. Remove the mat and the saran wrap and plate the roll.
- Once your rolls are assembled and plated, drizzle with sauces and serve with soy sauce spiked with a dab of wasabi.
- Not-so-rainbow roll (Inside=Cucumber, avocado, imitation crab; Outside=Tuna [to make a true rainbow roll, use tuna, salmon, and yellowtail]; Drizzle=Wasabi mayo)
- Tempura shrimp roll (Inside=Cucumber, avocado, tempura shrimp; Outside=I left mine bare but avocado slices would be delicious; Drizzle=Sriracha mayo)
- Spicy mix roll (Inside=Cucumber, avocado, imitation crab; Outside=2 tablespoons minced tuna & 1/2 stick of shredded krab mixed with 1 tablespoon sriracha mayo; Drizzle=Wasabi mayo)
- SR Clients: 1 roll = Level 2-3 (75-100%) entrée; 2 rolls = complete Level 3 (100%) meal.