5.17.2010

Sushi 101

Hey, You! I've missed you. Life has just been catching up to me lately, and ever since I turned 28 a week ago I seriously feel OLD. Now don't get me wrong, with age comes maturity and experience and that AARP card I've been anxiously checking my mailbox for, but I also feel tired and run-down and emotional. Kind of like a big, old, hot mess of a girl.

Regardless, I still manage to find time to do things like color coordinate my closet, conduct International business, pluck my eyebrows into the perfect arch and make sushi by hand. Such is my life. Welcome to my blog. I'm not denying it's exhausting.

Speaking of which, Meatless Monday isn't going anywhere. My friends over at the weekly feat to stamp out meat have once again selected my recipe to be featured on their blog! So hooray! Check it out!

This Saturday, I took myself on a hot date. First, I bought myself flowers:


And invested in a really nice bottle of Merlot:


Then I decided it was time for a really special meal. So I whipped up some sushi faster than you can say "Erin-has-yet-to-do-her-Chinese-homework-for-the-week-because-she-made-a-Japanese-meal-instead."

Like many of my Meatless Monday meals, I used what I had on hand. And yes, I really did have all of this stuff in my pantry. But if you're not culinarily psychotic like myself and don't have sticky rice, nori sheets or rice wine vinegar on hand, your local Asian section at the grocery store is the place to look.

Fresh and Fruity Sushi
Serves 1 (double, triple or quadruple the recipe to suit your needs)

Ingredients

1 Sheet of toasted Nori Seaweed
1 C. Cooked Sushi Rice
2 Tbs. Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Small Carrot, julienned
1/2 Cucumber, seeds removed and julienned
1/2 Avocado, sliced into thin strips
1 Large Strawberry, sliced

Tamari, Nama Shoyu or Soy Sauce for dipping
Pickled Ginger and Wasabi, optional for garnish

Instructions

Cook your sushi rice. I took 1 1/2 C. short grain sticky sushi rice and 2 C. water, brought it to a boil, reduced heat to low and simmered covered for 20 minutes. Then, FLUFF WITH FORK, and add 2 Tbs. Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar. Set aside for now.


Julienne and slice all ingredients.


Place a bamboo sushi mat on a cutting board and top with a sheet of nori.


With WET hands, spread the sushi rice thinly across 7/8 of the nori. Leave about a 1" space where you won't put any rice.


Add your ingredients in the middle of the nori sheet.


Take the edge of the bamboo mat, and start rolling it up. THE TIGHTER THE BETTER. Really squeeze that sucker.


Then with damp hands, wet the edge of nori where there isn't any rice. Use this to finish rolling up the sushi, and seal the sushi log.


Wet your knife under running water.


Slice the sushi into bite-sized pieces.


Place on a plate and add your optional garnishes. I ate mine along with some store-bought seaweed salad. (The ginger was store-bought too, my local Whole Foods sells it right next to their prepared sushi.)


Serve and enjoy!


So what do you think? Are you going to make sushi? Have you ever made it before? The first time I made sushi I really went all out. Of course, I was making it for The Boyfriend, and I always go all out for him. (Insert winking/smiling emoticon here.) I spent almost $200 at several Japanese markets in town and at Santa Monica Seafood, buying the freshest fish, shrimp, seasonings, sauces, condiments, etc. When all was said and done, I was tired, and we had enough sushi for 40 people. I'd only do this grand scale sushi making again for a party; in fact I've been suggesting to him for a while that we invite some friends and I'll throw a fun sushi-making party. I think it would be a blast. (Who says that? "It will be a blast?" What is this, 1992?)

And while I'm at it, let me ask you: Do you have any advice to cope with stress? How do you handle the daily grind?

I've been trying to manage it all by getting enough sleep, taking copious amounts of vitamins and listening to some meditation apps on my Ipod Touch. I've also found a renewed interest in the gym. You know the Red, White and Blue Body Challenge is ON! So far, 13 of you are joining me in my kick-butt until the 4th of July challenge. Thanks for tagging along! It helps to know you are right there with me!

Later this week I'll share my new favorite go-to meals that are low-calorie and energy-packed for busy girls like ourselves. (And guys...too, if you're reading this! We don't discriminate in L.A.!)

Happy Monday!!!


13 comments :

  1. i have never made sushi..the rice intimidates me a bit b/c i know sushi rice is kind of an art...thanks for the tutorial

    2 buck chuck. i used to be BFFs with him. in all his various flavors :)

    and the stress...just add more 2 buck chuck to your world :)

    xo

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  2. How about you make me sushi and I make you pancakes? How fun would a slumber party be? Don't forget your Princess pjs!

    MP

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  3. gorgeous and impressive sushi, m'dear! sounds like your stress-release techniques are good - i also make sure i'm journaling so i have a healthy outlet for everything going on in my mind!

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  4. I'm soooo impressed with your sticky rice. It looks delicious and the sushi looks fantastic!! It's been a while since I've made sushi but I think these pictures are making me crave sushi sometime this week. I hope you had a great weekend Erin!!

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  5. I love making sushi! I really like the idea of putting strawberries in it. I make a mean spicy tempeh sushi roll. Cody sometimes has to help, like when I decide to do an inside-out roll. This is what we call food engineering. Love you, ol' lady! ;) I'll be joining you and the big 2-8 this weekend!

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  6. Lovely sushi! I'd of never thought to put a strawberry in there! I've never made sushi partly because I'm the only one in the house that enjoys it....

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  7. Wow those pictures are awesome. That is a lot of Sushi! I've never made it before and I'm pretty sure after seeing all this that I would mess it up if I tried :)

    As far as coping with stress. If all else fails for me, a girly movie! Maybe a shopping spree or a good talk with my mom or a friend helps me. Maybe even a really good clean fest with the best corny girl music blaring through my house that I can find. Who doesn't feel good after that. Force yourself to smile and laugh. The next thing you know, your actually feeling slightly better.
    This won't obviously help with you getting more rest and feeling rejuvenated but it should make you happier. Maybe?

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  8. yum! i've made my own sushi once before but it seems so daunting to do again because i never have any of those ingredients on hand. yours looks super delicious though!!! i will happily attend your next sushi partayy :)

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  9. Thanks for sharing this Erin! Awesome!!!! I'll try this soon...just need my cooking mojo back! :)

    xoxo

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  10. I've never successfully rolled sushi, but yours looks lovely! I love the strawberry addition.

    I go for a short run... or veg out in front of the TV. The latter isn't necessarily the most productive de-stresser, but it makes me feel better!

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Thanks for your comments! Hope you stop by again soon! XO!