Monday, March 06, 2006

How to host your own sushi party

Today's post is the most recipe-oriented post I have ever done. This recipe sheet was part of the Menu for Hope sushi kit. I've hosted a number of sushi parties over the years, and it's a lot of fun. It can get messy, but who doesn't love audience-participation these days? Supplement the party with beauty competitions for the best looking work, best tasting or most original combination of ingredients, fastest rolling times, and you've got an active bunch of dinner guests for sure!

INGREDIENTS:

Sushi vinegar for 3 cups of rice
1/3 cups vinegar (preferably rice vinegar, but anything not sweet will do)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
3 cups of rice per 3 ~ 4 people
2 lbs total various fish per 3 ~ 4 people
Anything else that you might want to roll - cheese, vegetables, etc, etc
Seaweed sheets
Wasabi
Soy sauce
Sesame seeds (optional & not-traditional)

RICE PREP:


1. Cook rice according to package (I'm no help here, since I just use my rice cooker!).
2. Per 3 cups of rice, make sushi by heating 1/3 cup vinegar, 2 tsp sugar, 1 tsp salt until all crystals dissolve.
3. When rice is done, dump rice out onto a deep and large casserole dish/brownie pan (or anything that you can spread the rice out on - bowls will not do).
4. With a wet shamoji or spatula, spread the rice with a cutting motion so that it's not one big mound, using care not to mash the rice. The key here is to use a cutting motion with the shamoji.
5. Pour sushi vinegar all over the rice and mix with a cutting motion. While mixing, FAN vigorously. Fanning makes the rice shiny and less wet as the vinegar coats the grains. Continue motion, approximately 5 min.
6. Clump rice into one side and cover with a wet paper towel.

MAKI SUSHI ROLLING:


Maki sushi refers to the rolled sushi pieces. The standard Japanese sushi roll has the seaweed on the outside. These are the easiest ones to make! Keep a bowl of water hand to dip your hands or your shamoji.

1. Use a piece of seaweed about 8 inches by 3.5 inches.
2. Dip your shamoji or hands in water and place approximately a 1/4 cup of cooked rice.
3. Spread rice over the seaweed using your hands or the shamoji. Sprinkle sesame seeds if desired all over the rice.
4. Put goodies to be rolled inside, 1/3 of the way on the seaweed closer to you.
5. Fold the seaweed away from you slightly, cover the seaweed piece not touching the rice, and press the mat by closing your hands into a light fist around the mat to adjust the shape.
6. Open the mat and repeat process after rolling the seaweed a little bit further. The edge of the mat will always be at the rolling edge of the seaweed sheet, right next to where the rice makes contact with the rolling edge.
7. Remove the mat when you have rolled all the way.
8. Slice if needed and enjoy!

*To make an inside-out roll, wrap the sushi mat with saran wrap first and follow steps 1 - 3. Flip the seaweed sheet over on the sushi mat so that the rice is touching the saran wrap. Follow steps 4-8.

NIGIRI SUSHI:


Nigiri sushi is the poster child of sushi. With pieces of fish (or other goodies) on top and elliptical balls on rice on the bottom, these are easy to make if you remember to keep your hands moist without being wet. If your hands are too dry, the rice will stick all over your hands and if you hands are too wet, the rice will crumble as you try to shape it.

1. With moist hands, take approximately 3 tbs of rice.
2. Shape into an elliptical ball.
3. Slather on some wasabi to the bottom side of whatever you were going to place on top.
4. Place the top piece.
5. Cup your left hand to hold the bottom of the rice and use your index and middle fingers on the right hand to make the top and bottom pieces firmly fit together. Use caution here, since if you press to firmly, you'll have a mushy ball of rice.
6. If desired, give the sushi a thin seaweed belt going vertically to unite the top piece with the bottom piece.

GUNKAN SUSHI:


Gunkan, which literally translates to 'battle ship', is the method used to make sushi out of loose, crumbly, or soft pieces of ingredients that are not fit to be nigiri sushi. Traditional examples are fish roe and sea urchin, but I found goat cheese to be a very enjoyable gunkan sushi in the past. Boiled crab is also excellent as a gunkan topping.

1. Follow steps 1 and 2 of nigiri sushi.
2. Cut a piece of seaweed sheet to be 1/4 taller than your rice ball and just long enough to overlap ever so slightly when wrapped around the sushi.
3. Wrap rice with seaweed.
4. Load the empty top compartment with whatever ingredients and enjoy!

SOME FUN INGREDIENTS:


Zuke ('marinated') tuna:

Mix 1/8 cup soy sauce and 1/8 cup sake. Marinate 0.5 lbs fresh sashimi-grade tuna for 10 min. Use in rolls.

Spicy tuna:
Marinate fresh sashimi-grade tuna in any hot sauce for ~2 hrs. Use in rolls.

Spicy cream cheese:
Mash up a few hot peppers into cream cheese. Serve rolled with cucumbers or asparagus.

SOME MORE REFERENCES
Japanesefood.about.com
My fusion sushi

PS:

I was planning on having one for a long time now to supplement this entry with pictures, but alas, I have been too busy... Maybe I will update this page as I find time...

1 comment:

The Papa Bear said...

Since rice is integral in all of the recipes, it is imperative that one has a _GOOD_ fanner. I've paid my dues, fanning my bottom off in the many sushi parties that the Baby Bear had held, and no one complained about the rice, so I can forward my opinion with a little bit of "authority". (lol)