Dev and I have made sushi once before, about 3 years ago. We enjoyed it, but it is a bit labor intensive, and now that we've moved to a place where I can get decent sushi more often; I don't feel the need to do it at home.
We decided tonight was the night to get things rolling (ha!- rolling, get it?). I mixed up all the fillings this morning, so all I would have to do this evening was cook the rice.
I made some crab salad with lump crabmeat, a little bit of mayo, some scallions, ginger and lemongrass paste, a dash of salt and some fresh cilantro. I made basically the same salad with some chopped, poached shrimp. I had a few shrimp that I poached on skewers, so they'd be more user friendly to use in a roll. I cut an English cucumber into thin strips, and mixed some diced roasted chicken with teriyaki sauce.
The roll in the pic at the beginning of the post is a teriyaki chicken roll with scallions and a cilantro leaf garnish. I also made a gunken-type roll with the crab salad. I made maki rolls with the shrimp salad, and another with poached shrimp and cucumber.
Here's a shot of Dev stirring the sushi vinegar... It was basically rice wine vinegar, sugar, salt and sake- but I didn't have any sake, so I used mirin (seasoned Japanese cooking wine). I love how this mixture makes the sushi rice stickier, and gives it a sweet/sour flavor. After the vinegar mixture cools, you pour it on the cooked sushi rice and cut it in. This serves two purposes- it coats all the rice with the vinegar mixture and it cools the rice down. You are supposed to keep fanning the rice until it cools down to room temperature. Our rice was overcooked. I made it in my rice steamer, so I guess next time I'll either decrease the amount of water I use, or just make it on the stovetop where I can keep an eye on it! Here's a shot of Dev fanning the rice...
As I said before, our rice was way overdone, which made it pasty and way too sticky. It pretty much ruined this batch of sushi, but the fillings were all yummie, and will be snacked on for lunch over the next 2 days.
If I'm going to get serious about making sushi, I have to get this rice thing figured out. I followed the instructions on the bag of rice, which called for more liquid than the sushi book I bought. I think I'll go with the book next time.
If you like sushi, I encourage you to try to make it at home. I don't think I'd do it every weekend, but for special occasions, or when you have a group of friends coming over, it's definitely worth it! You could have the rice ready and put out lots of different filling options, then everyone could make their own rolls.
If you have advice about how to improve my batting average with sushi rice, please leave a comment!