I love sushi!
Okay, I know.... a LOT of people say that. You might be confused since I live in small-town-America and not in a trendy urban area. But as a previous exchange student, Japanese major and having worked and lived in Japan for a total of 4 years, I have developed a strong affection for all shapes and forms of sushi.
I feel like it is my duty to point out that "sushi" does not mean raw fish. Sushi refers to the vinegared rice. It comes in many different shapes and forms, but the roll is a common sight. When I serve sushi to my family it usually is in "Temaki" form, or a simple hand roll. They don't take any special skill and are easy to offer, "serve yourself" to a hungry crowd.
Essentially, you grab a small sheet of nori, fill with sushi rice and your favorite items, then roll like an ice cream cone. Simple, fast, devour!
But, rolled sushi is an art.
I make it from time to time, and I even have a few tips that Japanese friends have shared. But it can be time-consuming. I like to eat it fresh, and can never seem to make it fast enough to satisfy my family.
And then the SushiQuik came into my life...
First you will need all the usual suspects to create your sushi roll...
I like to have sliced avocado, immitation crab roll, cucumber, blanched carrot sticks, sheets of nori and sushi rice.
And the key to perfect sushi rice? Well, good sticky rice is necessary and so is rice vinegar, to be added after the rice cooks. Then spread it out in a thin layer so it can cool down quickly.
The best part of the SushiQuik kit is that it takes all the guesswork out of making sushi at home.
For example, to get started you lay down a sheet of nori (seaweed). Then top it with the green frame. Spread the nori with a thin, even layer of cooled rice.
When you lift off the green frame, there are perfect margins around the whole sheet of nori.
Then start to add the toppings to the bottom 1/3 of the sheet.
Start by putting a little water along the top and bottom edge to hold the roll together. The white mat makes rolling really easy. Just start at the bottom and roll the first half closed.
Press firmly to pack in the rice. Then move the mat back and finish rolling the sushi roll together.
All the instructions are also included with the SushiQuik, so while you are getting the hang of the process, there are great instructions to guide you.
See? A beautiful roll. Don't worry, the edges will be trimmed off. There always seems to be someone hanging around the kitchen willing to relieve me of these little "odd" ends.
And one of my favorites parts of the kit is this green slicing guide. Just dip your knife in cold water, dry and cut at the next mark. All the sushi will come out uniform.
Uniform slices always makes your sushi look more polished.
And the more California Rolls I made, the faster I became. In fact, I think I could make an entire tray to take to a party in no time. Now that would impress my friends.
I am still not a sushi master, and I am still impressed with the amount of skill that goes into creating those perfect restaurant rolls, but at least I can easily get my sushi fix at home with this new kit.
What do you think? Could you tackle homemade sushi now?