Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Eel and California Sushi Rolls

Sushi rolls are so good, but I can't justify the price I pay in Manhattan to enjoy them.

My father works at a Japanese restaurant in the kitchen. He watched and learned to make sushi and taught it to us. Now, my family has been making it for some time now, but I usually just watched and ate :). This time, it was our turn to try to make it. I think it came out pretty well for our first time.

Sushi refers to the rice and not the fish. There is a lot of prep work involved in making it, but it's so worth it.

I don't have exact quantities of some ingredients because I bought ingredients in bulk and didn't count how many I used. This will be scaled down from the amount I made. If you don't have eel, you can make just california rolls or whatever rolls you like.

2 cups sushi rice (uncooked)
2 1/2 cups water
2 tbsp sushi seasoning
1 cucumber cut into strips lengthwise
1 package frozen prepared eel, defrosted
10 (approx.) frozen imitation crab meat, defrosted
2 avocados sliced
5 sheets (approx.) packaged seaweed (nori), square sheets cut in half
sesame seeds (optional)

Prep materials:
bowl of cold water (to prevent sticking to the hands)
bamboo sushi mat
saran wrap
sharp knife
rice cooker
cutting board (preferably plastic, the rice will stick to wood)

1. Wash the rice until water runs clear. Add 2 1/2 cups of cold water (or as directed by the packaging) to the pot and cook in rice cooker. Once done, scoop rice into a large mixing bowl. Mix with sushi seasoning while hot. Cover with damp paper towel and let cool for 10-15 min. Wrap the bamboo mat with saran wrap.
2. Prepare: cucumbers, eel, crab meat, nori, and avocados. Cut a cucumber in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Cut the cucumber into thin strips. Defrost the eel and crab meat in the microwave. Slice the eel into strips. Shred the crab meat by hand into pieces. Cut an avocado in half, remove pit and skin. Slice avocados into approx. 1/2 inch wide strips. Placed all ingredients into separate bowls/plates. Cut the nori sheets in half (they are about 8 inch squares when purchased).
3. Dip you hands in the cold water and shake off the excess. Place nori on the bamboo mat. Place about a palm sized oval wad of rice and spread on 1 side of the nori. Flip over and place desired ingredients on the side without rice. Leave about an 3/4 to an inch of space on each side. Using the bamboo mat, roll sushi up and use the rice to seal up. Use the bamboo mat to shape the sushi on top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Dip the knife into the water and cut sushi roll into 6 equal pieces starting from the middle. Repeat until all ingredients are used up.

Tada! Sushi! We ate a few that didn't look too great while we were making it. Once you make it, you will want to make some more. It's much more satisfying to make it yourself.

Once you get the hang of it, you can make any roll you want. ie: Boston rolls (lettuce, cooked shrimp, mayo)

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