July 3, 2007
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Sushi Party Planning Making sushi is a great activity for a party. Buy a variety of sushi fillings and prepare enough rice so that everyone at your party can make their own sushi roll. Then try everyone’s creations and vote on the favorite roll at the party.
Step 1: Supply shopping Most larger grocery stores will probably have many of the ingredients and supplies you need to make sushi, like nori, which is dried, edible seaweed. But if you can’t find everything on the shopping list, search for a local ethnic food store, Japanese market or international cuisine shop. You can even find many of the ingredients you’ll need online, just do a search for “sushi ingredients.”
You’ll also need a sushi mat to make sushi. This is a small mat comprised of thin strips of bamboo that is used to roll your ingredients together. You can find one, along with chopsticks (essential for the sushi experience), at most kitchen supply stores, or purchase it on the Internet.
Step 2: Sushi-grade? Grocers call fish that’s suitable to eat raw “sushi-grade,” though it’s not an official government rating. Sushi-grade fish is not only fresh, but it also has the right amount of fat and a good texture and firmness. Tell the person selling you the fish that you plan on making sushi and you should get some good quality fish.
Most fresh fish that you’ll buy in a grocery store or fish market is safe. Obviously, eating raw fish is something you should do carefully. Don’t use raw fresh-water fish, which is more likely to carry bacteria. If it’s commercially frozen, thaw it slowly in your refrigerator.
With this easy recipe, we encourage you to use whatever fish or vegetable you like to create your own sushi rolls. Tuna is a popular ingredient, but try using smoked salmon or imitation crabmeat if you’re concerned about using raw fish.
Step 3: Fresh Fillings Almost any vegetable will work in sushi, but cucumbers, carrots and radish sprouts are popular. Avocados, though not a vegetable, also make a great sushi ingredient.
Step 4: Prepare the Rice Get Japanese or sushi rice and not American rice. American rice has a different shape and texture that doesn’t work well in sushi.
Rinse sushi rice in a fine strainer, until the rinse water runs clear. Then, cook sushi rice according to package directions.
In a small bowl, combine vinegar, sugar and 1 teaspoon soy sauce. Transfer rice to a wide nonmetal bowl (preferably wood, ceramic, or glass) and sprinkle with vinegar mixture, tossing gently with a large spoon to combine. Cool rice, tossing occasionally, about 15 minutes.
Step 5: A Little Heat Wasabi is a spicy condiment often served with sushi. You can either find it as a powder or as a pre-made paste. If you buy wasabi powder, stir it together with 1 teaspoon water to form a stiff paste. Let stand at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
Step 6: Rolling Sushi Place 1 sheet of nori, with the shiny side down, on the sushi mat, with a long edge of the sheet nearest you. Gently press about ¾ cup of rice onto the nori, leaving a 1 ¾ inch border on the side farthest from you.
Arrange your ingredients in even strips horizontally across rice, starting 1 inch from the side nearest you. Beginning with the edge nearest you, roll the mat over so that the upper and lower edges of rice meet. Then squeeze gently but firmly along the length of the partially rolled up mat. The nori border will still be flat on mat. Open the mat and roll the log out to seal the rest of the nori border.
Step 7: Bite Sized Pieces Move the roll, seam side down, onto a cutting board, and cut the log crosswise into 6 pieces with a wet, thin-bladed knife. Serve with wasabi paste, soy sauce and pickled ginger.
Clean-Up Use Dawn ® dish liquid to hand wash your knives, sushi mat and chopsticks.
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