V-Day Sushi for Two

12 Feb

Dustin came up to Montreal this past weekend, and as is quickly becoming the ritual, Friday is stay-in and cook dinner night. When we first began dating, I was a bit apprehensive over being with someone who enjoys cooking as much as I do as I’ve never been one who is good at sharing kitchen duties. Ask Tess, I take over pretty damn quickly when no one’s looking.  However, we’ve quickly established that while I am pretty good at coming up with creative dishes and flavor pairings, working in kitchens for the past 10+ years has given him the skills. His prep work is far quicker and prettier than mine.  So we’ve figured out a system that works: I tell him what to do, and he listens 😉

I was particularly excited for this Friday as he was going to teach me how to make sushi!  I’ve always wanted to learn how to make sushi but was always more than a little intimidated. So when Dustin proposed we make some on Friday, I was more than happy to give it a shot.

Obviously there are a few tools and key ingredients needed in order to make sushi successfully:

– A rolling mat

– A very sharp knife

– Nori sheets

– Sticky rice

When making the rice, I would recommend you’d use a rice-cooker if you have one.  I don’t and definitely found the texture to be slightly “off”.  Still worked, but I’m sure a rice-cooker would do a far better job.  Earlier today, I was looking through one of my cookbooks and an adapted sushi recipe recommended adding 1 tbsp of rice wine vinegar to your cooked rice.  I’d recommend giving that a shot as we felt the rice was lacking something.

We used 1 cup of dry rice and found that this would have been more than enough for 3 rolls. If you’re unsure of what type of rice to buy, we used Calrose Medium Grain rice.

For the stuffing we used some of mine and Dustin’s favorite flavors: sweet potato and avocado.

We paired the sweet potato with jalapeno for one roll and then we did a vegetarian spin on the California roll with carrot, avocado, cucumber and red bell pepper.

The process:

Step 1: Prep the veggies into the appropriate shapes. Dustin julienned the carrots, sweet potato, bell pepper and jalapeno but left the avocado and cucumber a bit thicker.   We also steamed the sweet potato and jalapeno for 2 minutes after they’d been julienned.

Step 2- layout your rolling mat flat on an even surface and place on sheet of nori on top

Step 3- take ½ to ¾ of a cup of sticky rice and spread it evenly over the nori, be sure to press it in firmly and get it into the corners.  Make it as even as possible.
Tip: keep your hands wet as this will make it much easier

You now have 2 options: you can leave it like this and have the nori on the outside, or flip it over to have the rice on the outside.  We did one of each.

Step 4- take your ingredients and place them evenly over the bottom fifth of your nori sheet- make sure they are evenly distributed so each piece of the roll will have the same ingredients.

sweet potato and jalapeno
Veggie California Roll

Now comes the fun part.

Step 5- firmly take the rolling mat and lift it up and roll the bottom of the nori tightly over.

Keeping a tight grip, curl your fingers around the mat pulling the roll in tighter, but at the same time allow the end of the mat to push out.

Keep rolling and pulling, forcing the mat to form the nori into a complete roll.  Once done take the mat and wrap it firmly around the roll to seal the edge

Dustin’s Roll
My roll! Not bad for a first timer 😉

If you’ve done the reverse roll with the rice on the outside, sprinkle with sesame seeds.  I did this by scattering the seeds over my cutting board and rolling the roll over top to coat them.

Step 6- take your sharp knife and slice into individual pieces.  You may need to rinse your knife a few times as you do this.

Serve with Soy sauce (REDUCED SODIUM) and wasabi.

If you and your significant other are looking for a fun way to spend Valentine’s day together, I would recommend giving this a shot.

I wouldn’t recommend you take a page out of Samantha’s book a la Sex and the City, though.




4 Responses to “V-Day Sushi for Two”

  1. Laura February 13, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    I have to try this!! and LOL at the Sex in the City comment 😉 who seriously does that.. I would have given it 2 mins before I ate it all!

    • Tess and Jess February 13, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

      (Jess)- Oh the sushi was pretty much gone within 2 minutes 😉

  2. Britt February 13, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    Hey Jess – I’m a friend of Tess’ 🙂 Wondering where I can buy a rolling mat? Also, can you get the Nori sheets at Loblaws? I’d love to give making homemade sushi a try! Thanks!

    • Tess and Jess February 13, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

      Hey Britt- The mat is Dustin’s, he said he got his from a specialty kitchen store- so maybe try going to a Stokes? The Nori (and rice) he bought at the Metro. Any grocery store with a good seafood section or those have the sushi sections should carry these items. Good luck with your sushi adventure. Let me know how it goes 🙂

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