First of all, a big thank you to my co-host of this episode (ha ha!) of Cooking With Nicki: East Asian Style, Collen Elias! I had so much fun making this dish with her, and at the end we were greeted by a few other friends and served them a sushi feast!
Making sushi requires a lot of time to prep the food. I made Chicken Teriyaki, Beef Teriyaki and California Rolls. While the beef required to be marinated for a few hours, the chicken did not. California was the easiest to do because the imitation crab meat did not require to be cooked. Also, you need to make sure that the sticky rice has a lot of time to cool down before you begin to make it. It works best if the veggies are cut very thin (the term most people use is “matchstick” to refer to stick-thin strips like a match).
Because these dishes are so versatile, I followed a recipe for the meats, but we decided to use any of the veggies that I had prepped for this.
Perhaps I should mention a few terms or tools first to familiarize you. A nori sheet is the seaweed sheet that makes up the “wrapper” of the sushi. All of the ingredients are placed on this sheet, and then it is rolled. “Regular” and “inside out” are two different methods of wrapping the sushi. Regular means that you place the rice on top of the nori, followed by the ingredients and then roll it. Inside out occurs when the rice is spread onto the nori, then the sheet is flipped over and the filling is added to the bare side of the sheet and rolled from there. The rice is on the outside of the roll, hence the name. The only really special tool required to make sushi is the bamboo mat. It is a mat that is twined together by string (there is a picture of it on the prep table).
This is the video tutorial I used to learn how to make “inside out” sushi.
They have a very helpful hint, which I refer to in my own video, to use saran wrap while making inside out sushi. The bamboo board should be wrapped tightly (you may need to wrap it over twice to secure it) simply so that the board does not get sticky or dirty. Since it was Collen’s board we used, I was glad to know that beforehand and not find out the hard… er umm…. sticky… way. After the roll is finished, this person wraps it with saran wrap before cutting it to make it easier and less sticky. I found it bothersome to peel off the saran wrap from each piece, but I understand how it was easier to cut with the wrap. However, I found another video (coincidentally while searching for the first video to add the link this post!) that just wipes the knife on a wet towel to prevent a sticky mess.
Speaking of this second video, I wish I had found it before I made the sushi. It was very helpful to watch as he makes a variety of different sushi rolls and explains each one in great detail. Also, I had wanted to make Philadelphia Rolls but was unable to because I could not buy the salmon for it. When I went to the store to get groceries the clerk at the meat counter said she felt uncomfortable advising me on buying salmon when the butcher was not there to explain which ones were sushi grade. Apparently you can’t buy a normal piece of salmon for this, and I did not know that. Next time I will plan in advance to go to an Asian meat store or call first. Also, it is interesting that this person splits his nori sheets in half. He stresses not to use too much rice, and uses only a handful per half sheet whereas the first video just spread it out without saying a quantity. There are two parts to the video, but after watching both you will be a pro at making sushi, or you know… think you are a pro.
Here is our prep. We used shredded carrots, a yellow pepper, pea sprouts, cucumber and avocado for veggies. There is also the crab from the California rolls.
This is the sticky rice. We followed the instructions from Collen’s recipe book to make two batches. The video uses a similar process, and I explain how I made it in my video.
This is our prep table. You need lots of space when making sushi because of all of the ingredients!
This is the cooked chicken for the Chicken Teriyaki rolls. It was easy to mix the marinate and didn’t take too long! Also, very yummy!
These are the rolls. First we have up-close photos of the California Rolls and Beef Teriyaki (Sorry 😦 I forgot to photograph the Chicken Teriyaki). Next are the pictures of the Sushi Feast! Because I made the Beef Teriyaki rolls the next day, it is only the first two kinds. Each “recipe” made 5-8 rolled sheets (depending on how much filling you used), and then we cut them into 6 pieces. Needless to say there was a lot of sushi left over, and I ended up giving quite a bit away! We even used chopsticks to eat the sushi, and had soya sauce for dipping. I could have bought ginger or wasabi, but I felt that it most likely would not be used or very little used, so I considered it an extra cost and left it on the store’s shelf.
As always, check out my video to see the whole process! This is where you will see my learning experience and watch me get pretty good at rolling the sushi, even the inside out rolls. At first we considered it daunting and harder, but it proved to be very simple! I would definitely make sushi at home again, and I think I will even include it during my final night to express my learning. I will invite friends over for supper and teach them how to make their own sushi, perhaps through reading this post and watching my videos!