Tuesday, January 4, 2011
It's a Fish Party.
Debbie: Duke, let's go do some crimes.
Duke: Yeah, let's get sushi and not pay.
I love that scene in Repo Man. Or how about this one from The Breakfast Club:
John Bender: What's in there?
Claire Standish: Guess? Where's your lunch?
John Bender: You're wearing it.
Claire Standish: You're nauseating.
John Bender: [pointing to Claire's lunch] What's that?
Claire Standish: Sushi.
John Bender: Sushi??
Claire Standish: Rice, raw fish, and seaweed.
John Bender: You won't accept a guy's tongue in your mouth, and you're going to eat that?
Claire Standish: Can I eat?
John Bender: I don't know. Give it a try.
I remember the first time I ate sushi. I was a vegetarian so all I could eat was a cucumber roll and some pieces of tamago (Japanese Omelet). I remember liking it but I'll admit I was quite frightened by the damp slabs of raw fish flesh my counterparts were devouring. As time went by I started eating meat again and really got a taste for sushi. I still have a problem with certain Japanese textures (jelly and slimy are not my friends). I love a good spicy tuna roll and as far as nigiri sushi goes I really love salmon, tuna, eel, and cooked shrimp (ebi). Yeah yeah, not too adventurous but for someone with the gag reflex of a newborn kitten with a two pound hairball and strep throat I do what I can. I love fish there are just certain textures I can't do. I wouldn't last two seconds on Fear Factor.
K and I decided to have a little sushi party so I bought some beautiful sashimi grade tuna and salmon. We also got a few bottles of my favorite sparkling sake. Sushi rice is fairly simple. Wash some calrose/sticky rice until the water runs clear. When cooking rice the ratio is 1 cup rice to 1 1/4 cup of water. Let it sit in the water off the heat for 10 minutes. Turn on the rice cooker and let it cook or if you do it in a pot bring to a boil then turn it down to low heat and cook for 18 minutes. Let it sit for 10 minutes after cooking off the heat. To make it sushi rice cool the rice down in a sheet pan and gently stir in a little bit of rice wine vinegar, sugar, and salt (2 cups rice, 1 Tbsp vinegar, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp salt). The you can make rolls, or nigiri sushi. Buy some nori seaweed sheets, sesame seeds, and some wasabi. To start place a bowl of water next to you and dip your hands in it to keep the rice from sticking to them and everything else near you. On a sushi mat (order on online if you don't have a local Asian grocery) lay down a piece of toasted nori, spread a thin layer of rice to about 1 inch from the opposite edge, lay a strip of whatever you want on the side closest to you (ie: chopped up spicy tuna, cucumber strips, hot dogs, whatever), and tightly roll up into a little cigar. Slice with a sharp knife and eat. I like dipping them in soy sauce and wasabi and if that makes me a dumb American who doesn't do the traditional way things should be done I say this. I'm not Japanese so shut up. I'm pretty sure the authenticity police aren't going to lock me up and throw away the key for this tragic offense. Rules are for fools. It's not too hard to do once you figure a few things out. Make sure you drink some sake when rolling sushi as this definitely enhances how much fun you'll have. Also, make sure you wash your hands because nobody wants to eat a dirty tuna roll. I know I don't.