Stacking Functions Garden

DIY sushi

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No raw fish required: making sushi at home is EASY.  Really, you can’t go wrong. And it happens to be a great food for toddlers.  Here’s what you need to make sushi for 2-3 people:

– Sushi rice, 1 1/2 c.
– Nori/Toasted seaweed sheets, 1 package
– Rice vinegar, 2-3 T. (or to taste) + Sugar, 1-2 T. (or to taste) — OR 2-3 T. sushi vinegar

– Sushi fixin’s cut into approx. matchstick size: avocado, cucumber, tofu, cheese, red bell pepper (raw or roasted), or whatever you like and/or have on hand.  Crab meat and cooked shrimp are delicious.  Or if you happen to live near a good seafood store (such as Coastal Seafoods), you could pick up some sashimi-grade raw tuna.

1. Cook the rice in about 2.5-3 c. water:

Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and leave it covered until all the water is absorbed, about 10 min.

2. Remove from heat and put into a bowl.  Let it stand and cool off for at least 10-15 minutes. Add the rice vinegar + sugar or the sushi vinegar and fold it in.  Don’t over-stir because you want to maintain the stickiness of the rice.  (At this point you could also fold in 2-3 T. sesame seeds.)

3. Next, spread a good generous spoonful of rice onto the sheet of toasted Nori.  There is a rough side and shiny, smooth side.  Spread your rice on the rough side.  Add your fixin’s.  The fewer you use, the easier it will be to roll.

4. Then roll it up.  No special equipment required.

5. Here is the one place Adam and I differ.  I like to seal up the end of the sheet with a couple drops of rice vinegar.  Adam just sets it aside and lets it rest on the opening, and it seals itself in a few minutes.

6. Slice up the sushi rolls into bite-size pieces.

7.  Serve with dipping sauce:  a small amount of wasabi paste mixed with soy sauce (amounts totally subjective).

Chopsticks are optional, but they sure are fun.  We usually keep our sushi simple: today we had avocado and colby cheese rolls.  I like to buy the sushi rice, nori, and rice vinegar at an Asian market because it is much cheaper than at the co-op.  If you live in Minneapolis, United Noodle is a great one.

One note of caution: if you are serving sushi to toddlers, please cut each piece of sushi in half or maybe even in thirds, or they may choke on the Nori.

Update, 5 May 2010: Mark Bittman has even more great ideas for making sushi your own.  (Love him.)

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