Sunday, January 13, 2008

Rollin' Our Own

Constant readers know that we loves us our sushi around here. So today we decided to roll our own for supper.

Thanks to Semi-Stepson and his partner, I'm the proud new owner of a sushi kit and serving vessels. And after buying a cute little apartment-sized rice steamer for Semi-Daughter-in-Law for Christmas, we found out that she doesn't really care for rice...which is what we were secretly hoping, because we thought the rice cooker was pretty swell. So I was armed for bear -- or more accurately, for krab-with-a-K, because California rolls are about the freshest and safest seafood sushi to attempt here in the landlocked Upper Midwest.

The good news is that sushi isn't as hard as it looks. The bad news is that it's not all that easy either, mostly because the short-grained rice is so sticky, and because there's a trick to not overfilling the I learned in my first attempt. But I kept at it, and the second roll came out fairly okay.

So, anyway, I made my rice in our new steamer; seasoned it with rice vinegar; let it cool to room temperature; spread it on a sheet of toasted nori up to about 2 inches from the far end; made a little furrow in the middle of the rice that I very lightly spread with a slight fingertip of wasabi; then placed some krab and thin sticks of avocado and cucumber along the middle; then, using my new sushi rolling mat, rolled the nori like a cake roll.

In the meantime I'd stirred up some homemade miso soup to go along -- we had a small amount of broth left over from making other soup, to which I added water, sliced green onion, a little bit of julienned carrot and Chinese cabbage, a few small cubes of tofu and, of course, a couple tablespoons of miso -- which is sort of like a solid, sweetish soy sauce, good for adding some depth and richness to vegetarian soups and stews, and also tasting good in things like glazes for poultry or fish, and even paired with peanut butter in a sandwich.

Fellow Traveler has a sake set that deserves to be used more than it is, so when we were in Cadillac yesterday we bought a bottle of Tozai Nigori "Snow Maiden" sake -- milky in color, and with a flowery, fruity taste that at least to me was reminiscent of a light Riesling. Slightly chilled, this was very, very good with our rolls.

If we're going to watch our fat and calories, we can at least have some fun doing it, and we had a lot of fun with this kitchen experiment tonight.

I'm looking forward to experimenting with my sushi kit again, and maybe even improvising a recipe that uses regional ingredients -- how about, for instance, a smoked whitefish roll with a little bit of wild rice incorporated into the sushi rice? Or something utilizing a pickled wild leek from regional foodie provisioners Food For Thought ? Hmmm.

Food-stylin' and photo courtesy of Fellow Traveler


Diane said...

sounds fun, and delicious!

Reverend Dona Quixote said...


Smoked salmon isn't bad in homemade sushi rolls either.