Sushi!

Guys, I’m in love. Looooove I tell you! I’m so excited to be able to make sushi at home. Eating sushi is so great. Eating sushi in your own home that you prepared yourself with friends and family around your table is even better.

We had friends over last week for a sushi dinner and mid-way through my meal prep I had a “what the heck was I thinking?” moment, because I had only tried to make sushi once before. But…sometimes you just have to let go and have fun with things, you know? Roll with the sushi, so to speak.IMG_3259

Here was my menu:

egg rolls (frozen, I just had to bake)
egg drop soup
Asian noodle salad (put together that morning)
Asian cucumber, edemame salad (my friend brought this and it was wonderful)

tuna sashimi
sushi:
tuna, cucumber
tuna, asparagus, avocado
crab, asparagus
smoked salmon, avocado
avocado, asparagus, cucumber

And of course, fortune cookies 😉

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Making sushi is by far the most fun I’ve ever had preparing a meal. I loved it. I loved creating combinations of sushi; I loved learning a new kitchen skill; I loved that it’s not your typical meal to share together with friends. Sushi dinners have a way of making dinner into a relaxed, communal experience. IMG_3263

I’m by no means a sushi expert, but here are some tips I’ve learned from my experience:

– buy authentic ingredients. I used regular basmati rice the first time I made sushi and it worked, but paled in comparison to the rice I made last time with short grain “sushi” rice. It was so much sticker and made rolling easier. I used this recipe for my sticky rice and, let me tell you, it was crazy sticky! This recipe (which called for 2 C uncooked rice) yielded enough rice for 5 rolls and 8 pieces of sashimi.

-watch a few youtube videos before you get started. I couldn’t really tell you which one method was the most helpful because I watched a handful and took all the helpful tips they each offered.

-don’t use raw tuna if it’s not sushi grade. Should be a no-brainer, but I thought I’d mention it anyway. I bought my tuna from our local grocery store that has a reputable fish market with a “fish guy” who is incredibly knowledgable and who I go to for all my fish related questions. The crab and salmon were purchased fully cooked.

-watch a few videos on how to properly cut tuna, too. It was a bit of an art form. One direction caused the fish to smoosh under my knife, while the other direction allowed me to cut through like butter.

-don’t worry if you don’t have sushi equipment. I didn’t! All you need is the sushi ingredients, a sharp knife, and (maybe) plastic wrap, and that’s only if you want to do an inside out roll!

-take your rice to the very edge of three sides (not the top). This ensures that each slice of sushi is full. Leaving the top edge rice-free simply aides rolling.

-have fun with it! Like I said, making sushi is the most fun I’ve had in the kitchen for a long time. So find a few recipes you think sound good, watch a few youtube tutorials like this one, and go for it!

-most people will tell you to pair Asian food – especially sushi – with white wine, but I don’t drink white wine. I’ve read that you can also pair Pinot Noir. At our dinner, our friends brought a Pinot Noir from Run Riot and it was absolutely perfect with the sushi. It wasn’t too overpowering and brought out the creamy sweetness of the rice while letting the flavors of the fish and veggies shine bright. I highly recommend the pairing!IMG_3268

The final step – Enjoy!

Have you tried to make sushi before? What are some of your favorite kinds of sushi and/or sashimi? Next time I might try and experiment with a few sushi sauce recipes. My favorite combination this time was the tuna, asparagus, avocado roll. So delicious!

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