Sushi! It’s About the Rice.

When I talk to people about sushi a common response is: Eww, I don’t eat raw fish!

First of all, sushi is not raw fish. It is the vinegared rice. Along with the vinegar, a small amount of sugar and salt is added to cooked rice.

Sushi may be made with raw fish but also can be made without meat or with cooked seafood as long as it uses vinegared rice.

In some countries, the terms sashimi and sushi may be used interchangeably, but this is incorrect. Sashimi, is usually thinly sliced very high grade fresh raw meat or seafood.

Sushi wrappers are made from dried seaweed sheets called nori. There are other wrappers made from soy, vegetables and some fruits. This provides an array of colors. Wrappers can be used for an inside wrap with a sushi rice outer casing.

The most common way it is served uses nori as an outer wrap. This dark sea green surrounds the rice in a tight wrap so it can be cut into bite sized pieces.

Sushi chefs go through years of training and apprenticeships to become a certified sushi chef. They learn all species of fish and the subtleness of their flavors. The best way to slice the meats that are used and the basic chemistry of the sauces they make. Even the technique used to when sharpening their knives. Sushi knives are flat on one side of the blades edge and scalpel sharp.

However, making sushi at home is a fun way to incorporate art and taste into one. With the help of molds and shaping devices almost anyone can make a passable sushi plate.

Recipe for sushi rice.

1 cup cooked basmati or sushi rice

2 tablespoons of rice vinegar (or 3-4 tablespoons of sushi vinegar)

1 tablespoon of sugar

¼ teaspoon of salt

While the rice is warm, room temperature is okay. Just don’t use cold rice. When working with the sticky rice (It has to be sticky or it will not stick together and you will have a mess) make sure you work with wet hands to prevent the rice from sticking to your palms.

Pack the rice into a mold on the bottom and the sides leaving a center space for your filling of choice. Imitation crab meat cucumber and avocado are good choices for beginners. Don’t over pack! It’s tempting but leave room for the rest of the rice to cover the filling.

Next press the rice into the mold firmly so that the rice is tightly compacted.

Turn out the compacted rice onto the nori or other wrappers and fold or roll until each end overlaps. Wet the edge and refrigerate to firm it up. When cutting use a very sharp knife and make sure to wet it for each cut. Plate your creation in and artistic presentation.

Sauces used with sushi

Soy sauce, wasabi paste, chili paste, ginger paste

Make your own;

2/3 cup of mayonnaise

2 tablespoons of Siracha sauce I use Sambal

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon of sesame oil

Don’t give up if the first few tries aren’t perfect. You get better with practice. I still occasionally make a mess of things and I have made sushi numerous times.

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