Surfing around yesterday, I happened to find Joan’s Foodalogue and her fantastic Culinary Tour 2011 group. The group travels around the world making dishes popular to the country or region. How fun and adventurous is that? Very!
The group was currently set to arrive in Japan. When I think about Japan, I think of sushi rolls and cherry blossoms. I haven’t been so decided to travel virtually.
I have always wanted to make sushi rolls. But, I have a secret. I can’t make perfect rice. No matter how many times I try and no matter the method, I just end up with a pot of gooey gum. Maybe it is the altitude in Denver…maybe it is my constant peeking into the rice pot but it just never turns out. So, sushi rolls were banished from my kitchen.
But…this group is adventurous, creative and the food looked amazing so I am facing my rice and sushi roll fears to take the trip with the Culinary Tour group! Yes, I am!
Enjoy the scenery along the way.
Spicy Tuna Roll:
2 cups sushi rice (prepared – see below)
2 sheets nori
1/4 pound sushi grade yellow fin tuna (diced and mixed with spicy mayo)
1/2 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced thinly
1/4 English cucumber, peeled and cut into small match sticks
2 tablespoons may (your choice, I used low-fat olive oil mayo)
2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Combine until well mixed.
2 cups rice (use Japanese short-grained white rice, also called japonica rice or sushi rice. Japanese rice has the correct amount of starch needed to make the rice glossy and sticky, not mushy or dry. You can find this style of rice at most well-stocked grocery stores or Asian markets)
1/4 cup Japanese rice vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
Preparing the Vinegar Mix:
Heat the vinegar, sugar and salt in a sauce pan on the stove over medium heat until the sugar and salt is dissolved into the vinegar. Do not boil the mixture. Leave sitting off heat until needed. You can make this portion before or while the rice is cooking.
Preparing the Rice:
Rinse the rice in cold water. This will take several minutes and several changes of water. Rinse the rice until the final change of water runs almost clear and there is no debris present. You can leave the rice to soak in the water for 15 minutes, or let sit drained in the strainer for up to an hour.
Cooking the Sushi Rice:
Steam the rinsed rice in an equal amount of water (i.e.: 2 cups of rice and 2 cups of water) in the 2-quart pot on the stove top following the package’s directions or by bringing to a boil, then cooking over very low heat until the water is evaporated and you are left with lovely sticky rice. You may use rice cooker instead of the pot and stove.
Use very low heat after the initial boil and keep the lid on at all times.
Once the rice has finished cooking, it can be left off heat in the pot with the lid on for up to 15 minutes.
Seasoning the Sushi Rice:
When the rice has finished cooking, add the vinegar seasoning mix to the rice. Turn the rice out of the pot and into a non-reactive glass or wooden bowl. The traditional method uses a wooden container or Sushi Hangiri Temaki Set. Cool down the rice and add the seasoning at the same time. Use a tool like a shamoji in a gentle chopping motion to spread out the grains of rice and ensure the seasoning covers every grain. Some people use a hand-held fan to help in the cooling process.
Guess what? I had great sushi rice. I did. Yeah!
Ready to fill and roll? Yes, finally!
I admit, it was a long process. Washing and drying the rice. Cooking and cooling the rice. Seasoning and fanning (yes, fanning) the rice and then finally rolling but it was so fresh and delicious that I do think it will be a weekend event going forward. The options for filling are really endless! My sushi roll days are just beginning.
Linked to Wanderlust and Lipstick