Maki sushi is probably the most well known type of sushi in the U.S. It consists of a layer of nori surrounding a layer of rice surrounding the fillings in the middle, all rolled into a cylinder and then cut into several smaller slices. The most well known type of maki sushi is the California Roll.
I love to cook for others. Like, really, really love making sushi for other people.
In a perfect world, I’d be allowed to experiment and have as much freedom coming up with new rolls as I do here on Sushi Day. But this isn’t a perfect world, and not everyone will eat all the random rolls I put together (and, to be honest, not everything I attempt comes out well…). And I’m okay with that.
These days, there are a lot of things you have to take into account when making sushi for other people, like if you’re going to a potluck. While my Spicy Shrimp Inari is always a crowd pleaser, you know there are always a few picky eaters: “I don’t eat seafood… at all.” (Hence my Man Sushi… trust me, that’ll convince any meat eater that sushi’s actually delicious!)
Then there are those with allergies – gluten-free? Just stay away from tempura. (And bring some wheat-free tamari soy sauce… did you know that most normal soy sauce actually has wheat products in it?) Dairy-free? Okay, no rolls with cream-cheese.
And, of course, you have those with other dietary restrictions, like vegetarians and vegans. At the most recent potluck I went to, I knew we’d have a few vegetarian/vegan attendees. So in addition to the other sushi dishes that I brought, I decided to come up with a vegetarian roll.
Obviously, I was going to use primarily vegetables in the roll. I considered using tofu, but decided against it since I didn’t think there would be a quick, easy way to make tofu taste good in sushi. (I needed something that wouldn’t be too time-consuming, since I was making four dishes that morning for the potluck.) I also couldn’t resort to tempura-frying the veggies, since tempura isn’t vegan – the batter uses egg. For the same reason, no mayonnaise is allowed either.
But it had to be a delicious, somehow interesting roll. It just wouldn’t be right to make delicious rolls for my meat-eating friends, and then bring a boring, “blah” roll for my vegan friends. So I had to come up with something so good even the meat-eaters would love it.
“Asparagus… roasted. Obviously. I love roasted asparagus.”
“Onions… sauteed? Nah, I want a texture contrast. How about fried? Yeah, I’ll need to heat up oil to fry the Arctic Char and Cream Cheese Wontons, so I can just fry up a bunch of thinly-sliced onions before I start the wontons.”
“What else… what would go well with asparagus and onions? Hm. How about carrots? Yeah, carrots would be good. But I don’t want to just roast them. I’m already roasting the asparagus; another plain roasted vegetable would be boring. Oooh, what if I glaze them with a little maple syrup? That would add a nice sweetness that should round out the roll.”
So how did it turn out? According to my veg(etari)an (as well as my omnivorous) friends, this fish-less, meat-less roll was a grand success. So much so, that it has definitely earned a place in my regular potluck menu. ^_^
Question: What do you do when you’re tasked with making sushi for a group of friends, but one of your male friends has never eaten sushi and refuses to try raw fish?
Easy: MAN SUSHI. (Just imagine I’m saying that in a deep, “manly” voice.)
But what on earth is “Man Sushi”?
Well, what sort of food does your stereotypical man love? That’s an easy one: beef, and anything battered and fried. Of course.
All you have to do is put grilled beef teriyaki and tempura-fried vegetables in a sushi roll, (and throw in some spicy mayonnaise for good measure), and you’ll have a roll that your man will not only try, but will still be talking about a year later.
Lately we’ve been trying to get a little more creative with the things we make here. After I mixed the honey-rice vinegar marinade (inspired by the ingredients list from a package of gari), I tasted it and thought it tasted just like lemon tea with honey.
So what goes better with those flavors than… green tea! But once we tried it, the roll was good, but… missing something. What to add, to give it the oomph it needed?
A few days before I had tried the combination of cucumber slices dipped in shoyu. It’s a fantastic combination. Kind of like salt with cucumbers (I’ve eaten that as a snack… do you too?), except better. Turns out, that was exactly what this roll needed to make it just right.
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you… happy birthday dear Sushi Day, happy birthday to you!
Don’t worry, I won’t actually subject you to my singing. Promise. That would be cruel and unusual punishment, and I’m fairly certain you haven’t done anything to deserve such a fate.
Today’s Sushi Day’s fourth birthday! Can you believe it’s been four years already? I’d tell you to go back and revisit some of the very first posts I ever wrote… but some of those are rather embarrassing. And silly. So we’ll just stay right here today, okay?
This heart is for my little brother.
This heart is for my dad.
This heart is for all of my friends and family who are or have ever had to suffer through cancer.
I wish I could take all the hurt away.
(These hearts are also for Barbara Harris’ event, LiveSTRONG with a Taste of Yellow 2010 – Heart Series.)
- 6 sheets nori
- 3 cups sumeshi
- 1/2 small onion, sliced into half-rings
- 1 small yellow squash, sliced into long sticks
- cooking oil
- 1 cup flour
- 1 batch tempura batter
- 12 scallops
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tsp curry powder (or more, to taste)
- Cook sushi rice.
- Coat onion and squash in flour, then dip in tempura batter, making sure to cover it completely.
- Fry the tempura onion and squash in cooking oil until golden brown.
- Drain on paper towels, salt.
- Sear scallops in 1 tbsp cooking oil.
- Thinly slice scallops.
- Mix mayonnaise and curry powder.
- Roll the sushi, using the tempura onion, tempura squash, and seared scallops as fillings.
- Drizzle with curry mayonnaise.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. These values are only estimates based on the individual ingredients, and not meant to replace the advice of a medical professional.
Our third day in Japan, we decided to get out of Tokyo for a day, and head down to Kyoto. Which meant getting up early (which is really that much worse when you have jet lag and are exhausted from so much walking!) and catching the first Shinkensen (bullet train) to Kyoto. Luckily it left from Shinagawa Station (the station right next to our hotel) and we already reserved seats (free with the JR pass, but this way we had seats and could just relax and not worry about getting enough seats together.)
When we got to Kyoto, it was pouring rain. Pouring.
But gosh darn it, we’re not going to let a little rain keep us from seeing everything we wanted to see, now were we?
Nope. Of course not.
So we trekked through the rain to get to our first destination: Nijo Castle.
Tokyo, Japan: Meiji Shrine, Harajuku, Yoyogi Park, and Kaiten SushiPosted on May 4th, 2010 · 10 Comments »Maki Recipes
By the second day of our trip, this was quickly becoming a very common, and very welcome sight. You can get darn near anywhere in Tokyo, and even to quite a few other places in Japan, by using their very extensive public transportation system.
The trains, I love them. Oh, how I wish we had a transportation system like this in Los Angeles! How wonderful that would be.
Also, I’ve posted about sushi on my other blog, Fridgg, for this month’s Daring Cooks challenge. The recipe called for unagi… but unagi isn’t sustainable, and you know I couldn’t do that. So pop on over to Fridgg, and check out the recipe I created as a sustainable replacement!Continue Reading