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Monday, May 08, 2006

Maki Zushi

This weekend the supplies I ordered for sushi-making finally arrived. I swear within a half hour of us opening the package, we were on our way out the door to the Japanese Market.

I realize I don't speak or read any Japanese (although I wish I did), so I was admittedly a little nervous going into the store. I was very grateful for some of the english labels (not everything had labels) and some of the items were at least recognizable for me. (My concern over the labels comes from the fact I am severely allergic to shellfish and any oils from shellfish- I have to be so careful what I eat sometimes, especially when it comes to sushi).

It was also a Saturday afternoon so the place was packed, which made me feel awkward lingering over products when other people were trying to get to them.

I have to say this was a very fun field trip. It was so neat seeing all of the cool products, they had japanese music on, and a television showing Japanese programming. They had a big movie section, and a nice selection of sushi-grade fish. I picked up some beautiful tuna (which was $30 for a pound) and some salmon. I thought I would keep my first sushi experience simple, and plus I am not even sure making shellfish rolls for my friends would be a good idea or a bad idea. Also, I saw the a population so diverse in the store like I have never seen in San Diego, which I appreciated.

Everyone I spoke to in the store seemed very nice and friendly, even accomodating when I had to speak to them in English. It made me want to learn some basic Japanese so next time I can speak to them in their own language and not feel like such a dork.

I did pick up 12 pounds of sushi rice, so I'm set for a while. Next time I would like to pick up some Shiitake mushrooms and make a nice vegetable roll. I also should have picked up some japanese cucumber, but didn't think of it. When I go back, I need to bring in the japanese terms for some of the food I was looking for but couldn't find.

At home, I had been soaking the sushi rice I already had in stock. I don't have a rice cooker and managed to do a decent job making the rice on my stovetop. A good rice cooker will cost over $100 most of the time, and I wasn't sure I was ready to invest in one. Next time I need to remember to add some Sake to the rice. I did remember the "dashi kombu", which is dried seaweed. My teacher instructed us to add a 3-inch square of dashi kombu to the 4 cups of uncooked rice, but the absence of sake was noticeable in the final product.

I made "Tekka Maki", which is a tuna roll, and I also made Philadelphia Rolls, which are my daughter's favorite. Lessons learned from this experience: cut the tuna slices in half, put less wasabi inside the rolls, and add less cream cheese to the Philadelphia Roll, which was also missing something- was it cucumber? I had a great time making the sushi, which remarkably came together quite nicely. I only spent about $15 on the fish, and look how much it made! We got 2 meals out of all of this sushi. While you are making the sushi, it is key to have a bowl of vinegar water so you can dampen your hands and dampen your knife as you slice the rolls.

Here are the photos... it was delicious!

Tekka Maki

Philadelphia Roll

Shawn enjoying his bounty


Blogger K said...

Amazing! Really inspiring me to go eat sushi (I'll work my way up to making it)

1:11 PM


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