Monday, June 28, 2010

[Sushi] Rollin With my Homies

I simply adore planning things-parties, events, outings etc. and Naveen and I are diligently at work crossing things off of our Summer of Food Bucket List. What would we follow Haute Oats with? Brown Rice Sushi seemed appropriate! Although I have made sushi several times at home, this would be my first solo adventure, without the guidance of my mother and our dear Japanese friend who is my sushi guru.

Since I am not of a Japanese heritage, I did a basic google search for how to properly prepare the rice. This left me with 1. 2 billion different recipes with slightly different nuances in rice making 2. gems of wisdom like- " Don’t overcook or undercook your rice." Gee-thanks! So I decided to go with my homeboys-Alton Brown and Mark Bittman-two hip white dudes who love their food!

If Alton says it's true it must be! We used his recipe (copied below) to make the "perfect sushi rice"- with one (small) change-we also tried brown rice. I know, sushi purists everywhere are tsktsking me, but a. I had never experimented outside the traditional white rice sushi making, and we all know how much I love new things! and b. brown rice is just so much more nutritious than white rice!! White rice is produced by removing the outer layers of brown rice. Those discarded layers contain nutrients (such as magnesium and insoluble fiber) that have been shown to guard against diabetes, and heart disease. Because brown rice has so much more fiber, vitamins, minerals and protein you get a lot more nutritional bang for your (calorie) buck than with white rice. (since I am a people pleaser we served both white and brown, and both were well received)

Sushi Rice:
  • 2 cups Rice (brown or white short grain sushi rice)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2T seasoned rice vinegar (available in asian markets everywhere)
**note the great ratios! 1:1:1 so you can make as much or as little as you need!!**

Rinse sushi rice well, and then bring to a boil with top on (glass lids will be your new best friend). Reduce to a low setting, and continue to cook fro 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered with a cloth for at least 10 minutes. Mix in rice vinegar, and fold in like you would egg whites. Key point-mix the vinegar and rice in a Non-metallic bowl-This was a common theme-don't want the acidity of the vinegar reacting with the metal!

So I gathered up a crew of young foodies and we got a rollin'!

With Nori sheets galore, limited rolling mats, and bowls of water handy (fingers get sticky fast!), we tried to assemble edible rolls that didn't instantly turn into sushi salad, mostly without fail.

Bittman was also a source of inspiration-his minimalist article prompted some great vegetable combination. Here's what we threw into the mix:
  • avocado
  • mango
  • tofu (both marinated in soy sauce and plain)
  • burdock root
  • pickled radish
  • carrot
  • radish
  • scallions
  • mint
  • shiso
  • cucumber

and of course, wasabi and pickled ginger on the side.

you have no idea how much I wanted to buy this 2.2 LB bag of wasabi. I (thankfully) decided it was thoroughly impractical.

roll it up
Then we enjoyed our rolls, sampled others. Now our rolls pale in comparison to Luxirare's but hey-i think we did pretty good! Plus, Sake Mojitos make everything ok

Sake Mojito
  • 1 bottle sake
  • fresh mint
  • juice of ~ 3-4 limes
  • Stevia to Taste
Pour sake and lime juice into pitcher. add mint, and muddle. Add stevia until desired sweetness is reached. Enjoy!

Take-Out Message:
  • brown rice works!
  • size doesn't matter. big or small, compact or falling apart- we love them all
  • if all else fails, make a sushi salad!
  • Shiso makes everything better
  • Don't be afraid of pickled radish or burdock root-the unexpected is often the most delightful
  • mango is delicious
  • asian markets are very fun to explore
Thank you to my lovely friends who came and indulge in our experiments!

and especially to katie enzer-for letting us invade her kitchen!!

I do love theme dining occasions-have you had any fun dinner parties lately? Any ideas for me?


KC said...

I've been wanting to try to make sushi for a while, but I haven't had the courage. As far as themed dinner parties, I recommend Comfort Foods, Secret Family Recipes, Going Nuts (foods that have nuts), Tailgating Party (whether there's an event or not) and a Recession Party (cheap recipes). I am part of a group that has a monthly cooking theme, and those have been some of our favorites.

Stephanie Horton said...

I applaud your adventurous side! I've always wanted to learn how to make sushi. My friend Donna's parents have been holding annual sushi parties for about 18 years now (maybe longer). Her dad used to be a sushi chef. They pile in over a hundred people into their house and send homemade sushi and bottles of saki rolling through the crowd of party-goers. It's quite the experience. Happens the first Saturday of November each year. You're coming this year! Loving your new blog set-up. Looks great! xo

Lori said...

Oh, that looks like fun. I still have yet to make my own sushi. The sushi we had in Brazil always had mango in it. Definitely one of my favorites. Love the new blog design!

Jess said...

Yum! Maybe I'll try that tonight. After a heated discussion in our office about brown rice, it's not as fiber-filled as one might think. You're still getting the benefit of vit/mins but 1 cup cooked brown rice has b/t 3-4 grams fiber. Not as good as I would have thought, but better than 0. We just have to jam pack our sushi w/ fiber-filled veggies!!