Good morning! Today I woke up to find another five/six inches of snow of the ground. That puts us just about two feet in the last 48 hours. Luckily, I’m happily tip-tapping my way across the keyboard as I type up this post from the comforts of the train – passing by the freeway that is at a complete standstill. Now, if only this train had a dining car – or even just a coffee stand at one of the stations. Dreams…
It was so busy over the holidays that I didn’t really get to touch base on our day-to-day activities and this is one of those things that I really wanted to share. So even though this little sushi party took place nearly a month ago I wasn’t about to forget about it. This is a great “date night in” option and it is also really fun to do with a group. And it’s cheaper than you might think; we spent just under $100 (including beers and snacks) and had 8 people that were able to eat till we were all completely stuffed and we still had leftovers!
So, wanna know how you can make sushi at home?
Sushi Making Party
Books and Tools
The first book is great for recipes, including sauces and side dishes as well as some unique and interesting roll ideas. The second book I’ve shown is great for the traditions of sushi – preparation, technique and even etiquette for eating – this book is choice for someone who is starting with little experience because it shows the very basics of sushi preparation, even how to fillet your own fish (which might come in handy if sashimi grade seafood is hard to come by in your hometown).
Shown here, I have a knife specifically for sashimi – you do not have to have one of these specifically but a sharp, thin blade knife is pretty essential. You will also want a rolling mat – the one I’ve shown happens to be the set that Nick and I have at home – however, pretty much any variety will suffice and you can find these fairly cheap. Actually, when we had this sushi party, we grabbed the wrong thing and ended up with bamboo placemats rather than rolling mats. It all worked just as well and the point is, you don’t have to get any fancy equipment.
In Washington, you can easily find all of the things you’ll need (including groceries) at either Uwajimaya or H Mart. In Utah, you can find fish at Caputo’s in SLC or try one of the Asian Markets in Sandy.
The first part of making sushi is making sushi rice.
My Super Easy Sushi Rice
- 1 1/2 Cup Rice
- 1 3/4 Cup Water
- 2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Sugar
- Rinse rice, combine all ingredients in rice cooker – cook as usual.
- Alternatively, you can prepare on the stovetop by bringing water, vinegar and sugar to a boil and then adding the rice. Cover and reduce heat to low for about thirty minutes until rice is fluffed but sticky.
There are lots of sushi rice recipes available online that are a lot more complicated. In fact, many sushi restaurants have a “secret recipe” that is unique to their sushi. I say, try something easy, play around with the sushi rolls and find something that works for you – you may like more sugar and less vinegar, etc.
While your rice is cooking, prepare your veggies and fish. Thin slices work best. Remember you will be rolling this all up and the goal is neat and tidy rolls, not a bulging burrito of a sushi roll.
For the rolls, get your mat in front of you and lay the nori out widthwise and shiny-side down. Spread a thin layer of rice of the nori, leaving about 1/4 inch gap which you will need in order to “seal” your roll.
About 1/4 inch into the rice covered portion, lay out your fillings – your tuna, avocado, etc – then roll, using the mat to keep things tight as you roll away from your body.
Dip your fingers in rice vinegar and seal the end of your roll by wetting the portion of nori that is not rice-covered and attaching it to the the rest of the roll. Lay the completed roll seam-side-down and slice with a wet knife. Keeping the knife wet and clean between cuts will ensure that you get a nice, clean slice and you don’t smash up your roll in the process.
Top the slices with roe, or roll in sesame seeds, or drizzle with sauce as desired.
You can really do just about anything that you can come up with! My suggestion is to buy a few key ingredients that you like and then play around with the combinations.
One of my favorite rolls from this party was a “mini roll” I decided to make with a broken piece of nori. Using a half sheet and lining with rice just as before, I made a thin line of salmon and roe as well as a thin line of wasabi paste – then rolled tight. I liked this because there was a lot less rice and the spice came through quite nicely.
Again, you can do anything. One of our favorite sushi places has a secret menu that is full of wild and crazy combinations like lobster and steak (the surf and turf roll), grilled bell peppers, one even has basil and cherry tomatoes! We’ve had a few of these sushi parties over the years and we’ve tried all kinds of things as well – mango, spinach, tomatoes.
What will you make?!