Sunday, December 31, 2006

Why I won't be quitting my job to become a sushi chef...

About four years or so ago I won a basket in a raffle at the work holiday party - turns out it was an international foods basket put together by *my* department (there was one for each dept), and *I* actually did most of the work in coming up with the idea, gathering the stuff, collecting money, etc. Hell - it was a great basket - out of 100+ people who COULD have won it, I was ecstatic. Kelly, coworker in my dept, also got some stuff for the basket, including a 5-in-1 sushi kit - with it you can make round, square, rectangular, heart-shaped, forgot - another shape of sushi. Cool! Only it was LOTS of pieces and parts and aside from swiping the non-stick super sharp knife from it, I never used it. In fact, it sat in my office at work all this time, occasionally getting questions from visitors.

With Sharon and I eating all the sushi these days, I decided it was time to give this puppy a try. It seemed like the shapes it would make were a little larger than the standard sushi rolls, but that wasn't a big deal. I decided I wanted to start with California Rolls - those are how my brother introduced me to sushi, and they seemed the safest (I'm not rolling my own raw fish!). FINDING all the components resulted in stops in THREE grocery stores (forgot a list, had other things we were picking up, then they didn't have something, etc)

Finally got my stuff together, and made up some rice. I was surprised at how much rice vinegar and sugar you're supposed to add to the cooked rice - I think it's too much. I added more rice to dull down the vinegar flavor (and *I like vinegar*!), which I think helped.

What shape to start with. Simple round? They looked huge, and heck, I should theoretically be able to do that by hand. Fine - heart shaped - so I could make them for my sweetie (the inside joke here is that Brett'll NEVER touch sushi of any sort). What a lovely thing to present him on Valentine's Day - LOL

My avocado was overripe (the first two I bought at the second store were way underripe). The cucumber - a shrinkwrapped "english hot house" style (which we usually get for salads - was surprisingly bitter. Things were not working in my favor. ANNNNNND I hadn't been able to find strips of the artificial crab meat - so I just put together some lump crab meat instead. Fine. They still tasted ok. But man, they're HUGE! BIG hearts! And I put too much rice in (there were no specific amounts listed - I guessed. So these were plump sushi rolls. They really don't LOOK bad (in the pictures - but you can't see where the nori tore on a couple because they were so full). The avocado just sort of squished and didn't hold it's shape - not an major deal for home consumption I guess.

Anyhow - here you can see my attempt - and why I won't be quiting my job as a web designer/developer/programmer to make sushi for the rich and famous.

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Peter said...

Did you intentionally make them look like little love hearts?

Still, I'm impressed you went to such lengths. You're a more daring man than I!

the ginger tabby said...

Looks pretty good to me, Jeph!