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Sushi.

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Hi.  I had an adventure last night.  Adventures on weeknights are the best, aren’t they?  It’s like a mini-weekend.  A really mini weekend that doesn’t involve sleeping in or breakfast in bed.  But still.

So, last night I went to Whole Foods with a dear friend.  So far this sounds like your average weeknight, right?  Picking up some kefir, a bag of pita chips, lots of random kinds of expensive water.  But this wasn’t a regular old shopping trip.  We went to Whole Foods to take a SUSHI making class.

Whole Foods SushiWhole Foods offers a variety of classes, and the great thing about this one in particular?  All proceeds (only $15!) went towards Whole Planet Foundation — a private, nonprofit organization that provides grants for microenterprise loan programs, training and other financial services to the self-employed poor.  So we could feel super savvy by making sushi, AND super charitable all at the same time.

On all of the tables were little packets for us to take home after class — complete with pictures!  Perfect for me, since I’m sort of a visual/hands-on learner.  I’m going to share the the recipe for sushi rice and one of the rolls we made last night.  The fun thing about making your own sushi (besides that it’s a lot easier than you’d think) is that you can completely customize ingredients for to match your tastes.

Sushi Rice
{Courtesy of Whole Foods}

1 cup sushi rice
1-1/4 cups filtered water
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
Dash sea salt
Dash sugar

1.  Soak rice in tap water for 20 minutes — this will remove the starchy residue that has come off of the rice during the packaging and shipping process.  Thoroughly rinse rice under running water until the water runs clear.  Pour off the water to leave just the rice.

2. Combine rice and filtered water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

3. Cover and simmer on low for about 20 minutes.  Taste a bit of rice to make sure it is done, then remove it from the heat and let sit for 10-15 minutes with the lid on.

4. Pour the rice into a large plastic, glass, or other non-metal bowl.  It’s important not to use metal because the vinegar will react to the metal and give the rice a metallic taste.  Add rice vinegar, salt and sugar.

5.  Stir and fold the rice repeatedly to help coat each grain of rice.  The rice will be sticky, but each individual piece of rice should get a coating of vinegar and will become shiny.    Do this until it cools down enough to handle comfortably.

To make a classic California Roll, you’ll need:

A bamboo sushi mat (pictured above)
Plastic Cling Wrap
A bowl of water

Ingredients:

Avocado, thinly sliced
Cucumber, thinly sliced
Crab meat (imitation or lump)
1/2 sheet of toasted Nori (Seaweed paper)
Sushi rice
Toasted sesame seeds

1. Wrap bamboo mat with the plastic wrap so it’s fully and securely covered.

2. Place seaweed on your mat.  Dip your hands in the bowl of water to keep the rice from sticking to them (it will be VERY sticky).  Do this  as often as you need while you work with the rice.

3.  Put a small amount of rice (about a palm full) on the seaweed and spread gently and evenly across the paper.  Repeat until the seaweed sheet is covered completely with rice.  You don’t want this to be too thick, but you also want all parts of the seaweed to be covered.

4. Flip the seaweed paper over so that the rice is now facing the mat — you’ll start piling the ingredients on the green part closest to you as shown below.  Try to keep the ingredients on top of one another along one line.

4. Now roll your sushi as shown in the instructional picture above!  You don’t want your mat to get rolled INTO your sushi, so you’ll have to do a bit of adjusting as you go.  And make sure you give it a firm squeeze to get the sushi rice stuck together.  Something that I found helpful — sort of hold the ingredients in place as you start to roll it.

This may be easier to do in a class where you can get really hands on, but don’t be afraid to try it!    We also made a roll created by our instructor, which had strawberries, mango, green onion, jalapeno, Latin Lemonaise (so yummy!), avocado, and sashimi grade tuna.

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I would completely recommend trying out a class at your local Whole Foods — and I know I’m sounding like an ad here, but they did not pay me for my opinion!  We had a ton of fun, got to make 4 sushi rolls (and could have made more, but we got tired of having sticky-rice hands) and sample two different types of sake.    Hope you enjoyed this little sushi post — and have some fun little adventures of your own this week!

xo Jaime

2 thoughts on “Sushi.

  1. Jaime, I think we should make this during the summer if Insook comes to town. She would be very impressed with us!! Well you that is, as I can’t cook whatsoever!!!!

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