We strayed far from a traditional St. Patty’s Day meal. No cornbeef. No colcannon. No Guinness chocolate cake… although that’s definitely on my list. No green or otherwise beer. We had an evening at the sauna, and Irish meals after an evening of swimming and sweating, I do not crave. Sushi on the other hand, like spring rolls, is perfect. Having filled my luck quota this weekend with the coincidental green liner and napkin under the last round of cupcakes meant no tuna for us on Saturday. I literally was behind the man who bought the last tuna steak at our fish monger. The tuna I had imagined, during my twenty minute wait, spicing up with chili oil and mayo. The tuna I would place next to sweet mango and avocado. I guess I wasn’t the only one thinking tuna for St Patricks Day. I’ve honestly never made sushi without fresh tuna. We still enjoyed fresh salmon, smoked salmon, shrimp and tofu.
First off, I cook the sushi rice. Follow directions on the package including the washing of the rice until water runs clear. This helps clean off the extra starch. Ideally, I add sushi rice seasoning while it’s still warm… or rice vinegar and sugar with a dash of salt (or honey is ok). Here is a great site for sushi rice and more: La Fuji Mama
I’ll do this early in the day so I’m not pressured into fanning it cool. Although that is the proper method. I remember a sushi loving friend’s 40th birthday party in Paris. We were fanning her rice on her 2 ft porch in January hoping to get it cool enough to prepare rolls. It’s a bit like putting warm stuffing in a raw turkey. Perfect environment for unfriendly bacteria- warm rice and raw fish all snuggled up… granted this sushi wouldn’t be sitting around for long. But not a good party favor to send home with friends. We also shucked about five dozen oysters that evening… Another story.
Let’s continue. I prep all my veggies. I always prepare avocado and cucumber and either chives or scallions. Today I added blanched carrots, yellow peppers and sauteed tofu. Just get creative with what’s available in the crisper. I love sauteed shitakes too…. and sesame seeds. I briefly marinated the tofu in tamari and fried/sauteed it in a little olive oil and sesame oil with garlic powder.
I cut up the raw salmon,smoked salmon and shrimp. I’ve got everything ready to roll. Rice close by. A small finger bowl of water to keep your hands wet while working the rice onto the nori sheets. I prefer the bigger nori sheets and have never tried the 1/2 sheets.
First roll… not bad. Usually it takes one to get in the swing. Dampening the nori so it doesn’t break, but not so much it’s mush. Not too much rice. Bringing the rice right to the edge of the nori sheet. Not stuffing it too full- like a burrito you can’t close. Tucking up the first roll then wetting the edge like a cigarette (ahem) roll. Then a little roll within the bamboo to seal the deal.
Cut up and ready to eat. I usually eat the nori butts (pieces with bits sticking out) as I cut, but exercised a little restraint this session. I will keep uneaten rolls for one day wrapped up individually with plastic wrap. After that, it’s not so bueno.
So that’s a little healthy pause. You may see sushi again. We all love it and it’s fun. Tomorrow, it’s back to cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes for a school bake sale. I think from the Joy of Cooking but I can’t decide between a buttercream frosting or ganache. My work is never done…