This year, Kris and I had to have a slightly belated Valentine's Day. Rather than go out, we decided to stay home and do something we hadn't done since we first started dating, make our own sushi!
When we first met, Kris... didn't cook much. A big part of our relationship became cooking together, learning new skills, having a drink and enjoying each other's company.
There's nothing I love more than cooking with my main squeeze.
This is going to be less of a "recipe" post and more of a "things I learned while making sushi" post. I wouldn't even begin to think I was expert enough in this to tell you how, but my sushi turned out pretty good, and we had a great time preparing it!
Tackling sushi making as a skill is a lot of fun, and not quite as hard as you think. The key is using wood (bamboo) utensils, making sure your rice is cooked properly, and any raw fish you use is really fresh.
There's a lot of talk of "sushi grade fish"... This is largely a myth, the main thing is that you want the freshest fish possible. We opted to visit a butcher and seafood store so we could talk with the owner and guarantee freshness.
We decided that we'd make some California rolls, and some spicy salmon rolls. We picked up our seaweed wraps and sesame seeds for garnish, as well as imitation crab, cucumber, avocado and (of course) the salmon. Depending on what type of sushi you're making, you may want pickled ginger, tuna, eel, tempura bits.. It's really up to you and your taste buds!
Once you've got your ingredients, and your rice is cooked and cool enough to work with, cut up your filler ingredients in to long strips.
Then, prep your sushi rolling station, with bamboo sheets, seaweed, sesame seeds, ingredients and a bowl of water so you can keep your hands damp. If your hands dry out you'll just end up with rice all over your fingers, instead of on the seaweed.
Place your seaweed rough side up on the bamboo sheet, wet your hands and layer with a thin layer of rice. You'll need less rice than you think, just keep the layer nice and thin.
Once your rice is layered, add your ingredients (close to the bottom of the sheet) the width of your seaweed. Remember you want a tight roll so don't over do it.
A recommendation? Spicy Mayo! There's nothing I love more than spicy salmon sushi, so we couldn't do without it... Even though he was clearly less than pleased with us (check out that grump face!)...
Now that you've got your ingredients and your spicy mayo, roll from the bottom to the top, keeping the roll tight by using your bamboo sheet. Once it's fully rolled, wrap the bamboo sheet around it and squeeze tightly to seal.
Once your sushi rolls are all wrapped up, cut into sushi size pieces, and serve with wasabi, soy sauce, and some more spicy mayo.
Whether it's sushi, or some other type of food, I encourage you to try and cook something new! With your significant other, your friends or your family, there's something really wonderful about coming together to learn a new skill. Especially when the outcome is something delicious to be enjoyed.
As Kris likes to say "if it doesn't work out, it was still fun, and we can always order pizza".