Part 1: Making proper sushi rice – you will wash, rinse, drain, soak, cook, dress, and cool short grain rice until each grain is sticky enough to hold toppings or bind ingredients. Then you will use the cooked rice to form three types of sushi:
Part 2: Dragon sushi roll – an avocado covered inside-out rice roll with a tasty surprise filling
Part 3: Decorative sushi – a nori-coated rice roll which reveals a decorative pattern when cut
Part 4: Nigiri sushi – hand-shaped rice rolls with toppings
Of course, before we could start the challenge, we needed to gather our supplies. Turns out we needed to pick up quite a few things.
- Rice vinegar (for some reason, I thought I didn't have any on hand. Turns out I ended up buying an extra... typical!)
- Sushi rice (no, you can't be all creative and use Arborio... I don't care HOW Italian you are)
- Seaweed: Kombu (kelp) and toasted nori sheets (turns out I had some Kombu from the last time I made miso soup... but I really did need the nori)
- A sushi rolling mat (you don't absolutely need one, but it makes you feel very cool and official -- and we did find it made the process of rolling much easier)
- Sushi meats: We found unagi (barbequed eel) in the frozen section at our local Asian grocer; we also found sashimi grade tuna and salmon at Grasch Foods in Brookfield
- Sushi veg: cucumbers, red carrots, beauty heart radishes, shiitake mushrooms, sweet potato, avocado
- Miscellaneous items: black sesame seeds, lumpfish roe, wasabi powder (46% true wasabi), and sushi ginger
One look at the rice told us that all the work was well worth the effort -- the grains were perfectly cooked -- sticky-yet-separated -- and they had a gorgeous sheen. The rice also had great flavor. The flavor of the vinegar was present, but not pronounced... we were ready to roll!
Off to the fun part!! First, we tackled the dragon/caterpillar roll.
In retrospect, we maybe should have started with something a bit more straightforward... But, despite some initial challenges with the sticky rice, and a few exclamations while arranging the roll on the plate, I think he turned out to be pretty cute.
And finally, we put together a few lovely nigiri sushi -- salmon, tuna, and mixed vegetable.
And then, spicy tuna maki. We made our spicy tuna with chopped tuna, mayo, and rooster sauce and embellished the roll with a bit of scallion.
Why -- eating the sushi, of course!
Interested in trying it out for yourself?
Sushi - instructions for sushi rice and rolls
The November 2009 Daring Cooks challenge was brought to you by Audax of Audax Artifex and Rose of The Bite Me Kitchen. They chose sushi as the challenge.
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