The other day, I had the strongest craving for sushi. I am talking mouth-salivating-at-the-very-thought-of-sushi. So I decided I was going to eat some that very night. Normally, I call in an order to my favorite sushi shop. But that day, I also decided to make it myself. After all, I had the sushi mats lying forlornly in the back of one kitchen drawer – shouldn’t I use it at least ONCE?
And so here is the sushi I made, the only picture I have, taken from Martin’s iPhone:
I high-tailed it to Whole Foods and asked for some scallops and tuna. I started inquiring about freshness and it set off a regular ol’ firestorm of information about sushi-grade seafood that I had no idea. Interesting stuff. The man behind the counter said he was only legally allowed to acknowledge that the ahi-grade tuna could be safely eaten raw. After some hesitation, a lot of talk and listening to my stomach, I jumped off the diving board of life and got the scallops too.
I made two separate mixtures: spicy scallop and spicy tuna. Then I bought some masago (flying fish roe) and nori from the local Asian grocery store. I was in the game! The end zone was coming up! And the only thing standing between me and touchdown was the rice, which I always worried about as being a stressful process.
I couldn’t find sushi rice at either grocery store. I also had a feeling ‘sushi rice’ was just super-marked-up rice. So I read and researched and read some more and decided to cook some short-grain white rice I had. I made the rice, badly fanned while trying to mix the sugar/vinegar mixture and then let it cool over the course of the next fewhours.
Then I assembled the sushi: in each roll, I lined some spicy scallops, spicy tuna, avocado and a bit more masago. The panko crumbs tasted a bit stale, so it wasn’t as crunchy as I hoped. I’m going to have to try that again. The recipe / proportions I use below made about 6 rolls total. To make sure the rice didn’t dry out too much overnight for Martin’s lunch the next day, I made sure to put on a generous coating of masago on top of the rice and rolled it nori facing outward.
So how did the sushi go over? I loved the soft, slightly spicy taste. Martin said he thought it tasted just as good as something he’d find at a restaurant, which made me so happy, I think my face turned red. The rice wasn’t as soft as I would have liked, but otherwise pretty good. This roll pretty much combined all my favorite sushi-things (masago, scallops, spicy mayo). I definitely plan on making sushi again but next time, I want to find some unagi (barbecue eel) because that is also a favorite of mine. 🙂
Sushi Rice Mixture
2 cups sushi rice, uncooked
2 cups water
3 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. sugar
1 cup water
2 – 3 tbsp. rice vinegar
1. Combine water and rice. Prepare rice in rice cooker, if you are like me and have one. If not. just prepare rice however you normally would.
2. Mix rice vinegar, salt and sugar together until everything is blended.
3. When rice is finished cooking, wet a large bowl with water and wipe clean. Wet bowl again with water-vinegar mixture and wipe clean. Heap rice in center of bowl and let cool for 10 minutes.
4. While fanning, pour sugar-vinegar mixture on top of rice and mix until everything is absorbed. The liquid will look like too much and pool at the bottom, but keep mixing until all is absorbed. Cover with towel and let cool until at room temperature.
Spicy Scallops Mixture
1/2 lb. large fresh dry scallops
1 tbsp. mayonnaise
2 tbsp. masago
Sriracha hot sauce, to taste
1. Mix ingredients together.
Spicy Tuna Mixture
1/2 lb. fresh sushi-grade tuna
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onin
Masago (3 oz. should work for all of this)
1. Take a nori sheet and lay on top of a piece of plastic wrap. Cover 3/5 of sheet with rice. Spoon masago on top of rice and smooth with back of spoon to spread. Flip if rolling reverse.
2. Put thin lines of filling (spicy scallops, spicy tuna, avocado, more masago if desired) on top of riceless part of nori. Using hands, tightly roll and free sushi roll of plastic wrap as you go. Keep on if desired.
3. Compress with sushi mats.
4. Using knife dipped in water, carefully split into half, then half again and again. (I actually found eighths to be too big and probably cut mine into 10 or 12 pieces).
5. Serve with soy sauce.
Servings: 6 rolls