InterExchange Cooks Sushi!
We first became interested in sushi making after reading the book Hiromi’s Hands. The book tells the true story of a young girl who learned sushi making from her father and became one of the first female sushi chefs in NYC.
Sushi is an ancient way of preserving food and was introduced into Japan sometime in the 8th Century. Traditional training to make sushi in Japan can take years, but we were excited to try making a more “entry level” sushi roll. These rolls are called maki in Japan. We set out to make an avocado maki. Although avocado isn’t native to Japan and may not be considered authentic, it is delicious and very popular in NYC sushi restaurants.
In fact, the popularity of sushi has spread far and wide. You should be able to find many of the following ingredients at your local grocery store. (if you can’t find the nori, or seaweed, you can consider using these alternatives to wrap your sushi.
- 1 cup white rice
- 5 tablespoons vinegar
- 1/3 tablespoon sugar
- 1/3 teaspoon salt
- 1 whole avocado
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 2 pieces nori seaweed (see here for alternatives)
- Bamboo mat (for rolling)
We learned that since sushi has so few ingredients, the technique and quality of ingredients was very important.
First we cooked the rice, which according to recipes should be a shorter type of rice than we might be used to. We cooked the rice in a pot according to the directions on the side of the bag and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Then we made the rice, vinegar, salt, and sugar mixture that gives sushi its name and its great taste.
Once we added the mixture to our cooked rice, we were ready to begin the assembly process.
An important tool for making maki rolls is a bamboo mat, called a makisu. We layed out a piece of seaweed, which is also called nori, to act as the blanket for our rice and avocado roll.
We spread our slightly warm, seasoned rice over most of the nori, but left some space on the top to ensure a tight roll.
We quartered and peeled our ripe avocados and sliced them into even strips and laid them across our rice.
The rolling was easier than we thought, and the makisu really helped to keep the roll even.
Once we had our roll ready, we used a very sharp knife to slice it into equal pieces. We presented our dish by turning each slice on its side, so that we could see the avocado filling. A little soy sauce on the side and we were ready to eat.
This dish has become a staple in our home and we always have ingredients on hand to prepare it any time.
Stay tuned for more in our InterExchange Cooks series! And, in the meantime, be sure to follow us on Instagram!
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