Why I Love Sushi Enough to Publish a Blog About It

So in my last few posts I have talked about my favorite sushi recipes and how to make them. If you haven’t checked those out yet and are interested in doing so, I recommend checking them out.  I’ve got sushi recipes with crab meat, gari, and other delicious varieties you don’t want to miss out on. But that’s not the point of this post today.

I actually wanted to make this post a little different and talk a little more about why I love sushi enough to actually publish recipes for it.

Ever since I was a kid I have loved sushi. It never what mattered what kind, all that mattered is that I got to have some every once in a while. The older I get, the more I seem to develop a love for it, which has puzzled my friends a family beyond reason. They always wonder how someone can love a food of that texture that much but oh well, it’s totally their loss and not mine. :)

When I get down and out, sushi always seems to make me feel better. For some reason it always seems to brighten my day. Since I have such a passion for sushi, I believe more and more each day that it’s meant to be my calling in life- whether it’s to make great recipes or open a restaurant of my own and create jobs for people. So yeah my craving may be weird but it’s going to lead me somewhere in life someday.

In the meantime, pursuing my passion for sushi is the best I can do, and there just so happen to be a few people in my life that don’t find it weird enough and actually condone it, haha. My boyfriend, Jason, just so happens to also be a sushi extraordinaire and loves to frequent sushi restaurants in towns all around us. He loves it so much as well that trying out sushi recipes has become one of our favorite things to do together. To celebrate our 3rd anniversary, Jason actually rented a limousine and had them take us to 3 different sushi restaurants to try out tons of different types of sushi. It definitely sounds crazy and I was definitely full by the end of the night, but I was so grateful to have such an amazing boyfriend. I was just surprised that the chauffeur was patient enough to wait for us while we ate at 3 restaurants! This all may be a little off topic but it just drives my reasons home even deeper on why I love sushi so very much.

I know it was a little long winded but hey, I guess that’s why I’m just so darn passionate about it.

 

This entry was posted in Random.

My Favorite Dish, Gari: What It is Exactly and How to Prepare It

Gari is an unknown variety of Japanese food however, it’s one of my favorite dishes in the world! In fact, I love it so much that I decided to create a post around what it is exactly and how you make it. Of course you can find Gari at a local Japanese restaurant but making it isn’t that difficult and is a great idea for changing up your dinner routine.

Japanese gari is usually used as a condiment for sushi. You usually eat the gari in between each type of sushi to ‘cleanse’ the other sushi taste out of the mouth. It is not necessary, but essential to the look of the serving sushi. It is also used as a cooking tool to cover up the smell of the fish being prepared. It is also good for nausea.
Gari is thinly sliced ginger that has been marinated in vinegar and sugar. When making gari, you want to use younger ginger. It has a natural sweetness to it as well as being more tender. It usually comes out a pink color even though ginger is yellowish on the inside. If the ginger is not young, the yellow look will remain. There are some ginger that are artificially colored pink for sushi usage.

How to Make Gari

Makes about a cup and a half.

Ingredients
10 ounces og young ginger
1 1/2 TBS of kosher salt
6 TBS sugar (as well as a separate 1 1/2 TBS of sugar)
9 TBS of unseasoned rice vinegar (Japanese)
2 squares of dried kombu (or kelp) that should be about the size of your thumb

Preparing the Gari
Grab a spoon and begin to scrape off the excess paper like bits from the ginger. To cut the ginger, get a sharp knife or a mandolin. Cut the ginger into very thin slices almost see through.
Get a bowl and add the ginger, sugar (only the 1 1/2 TBS), and salt and begin to toss them together. Let them sit for 30 minutes.
While that is sitting aside, fill a saucepan with water half way. A small pan will do. At this point get a strainer and 2 empty jars (1/2 liter) ready. Get another sauce pan out and combine the remaining ingredients in it and set it to the side.
Keep an eye on the ginger and make sure to start the water on the stove about 10 minutes before the ginger is finished mellowing. When the ginger finishes, place it in the pot of boiling water and stir it while blanching it for about 20 seconds. This reduces the harshness a little further.
You then want to drain it with a strainer (preferably mesh) and make sure not to rinse it. Shake the water off for a bit as well. When you are done, place the ginger in the jars.
At this point began to boil the other pan with ingredients. Make sure to stir it well so the sugar dissolves. When it is fully stirred and at a good temperature, pour it in the glass jars with the ginger. Make sure the ginger is submerged in the liquid.
Let the jar sit uncovered to cool off for a bit. When it is done cooling off, place the cap tightly on the jar and stick it in the refrigerator.
Depending on the type of ginger you used, it can take 1 to 3 days to become ready. You will have to taste and see though.

The good thing about gari is that it can be stored for months! That is right, months. You can have some ready for the next time you make sushi! I know I do sometimes.

4 Sushi Recipes With Crab Meat That You Will LOVE

Crab meat recipes are always good even if you are not a fan of seafood. I love crab meat sushi. I have been on a crab frenzy here lately with my sushi. I have tried several recipes online to see which ones are the best and easiest to make.
I have collected four crab meat sushi recipes for the newbies to try out there. They are easy to make and really good. I would say that the crab and mango roll is probably the hardest, but the tastiest.

Crab and Mango Roll

The actual recipe takes about 30 minutes
Produces 24 Slices

What do you need?
1 pound crab meat (drained and dried)
1/4 cup of mayonnaise
4 TS of lemon juice
4 TS of light brown sugar
4 toasted nori sheets
1/4 cup of black sesame seeds
1 mango (cut into thin slices and peeled)
1 avocado (cut into thin slices and peeled)
1/2 red bell pepper (cut into thin slices and cored)
5 cups of sushi rice
– 2 cups of short grained sushi rice
– 1/4 cup of seasoned rice vinegar
– 2 1/2 cups of water

Making the rice for this recipe is not that hard. Get a saucepan and place it over the oven on high heat. Proceed to put the water and rice in the pan and mix it until it is boiled. Let it simmer for about 25 minutes. At this point, add the vinegar over the rice and mix it in with a fork. Then transfer the rice over to a parchment sheet and allow the rice to cool.
Once the rice is complete, it is time to make your sushi. Get your bamboo sushi mat and tools.
Start by mixing the crab meat, lemon juice, mayonnaise, and brown sugar in a medium sized bowl.
Prepare the sushi mat by placing a plastic wrap over it. Make sure to wet your fingers at this point and then place only 1 1/4 cup of rice evenly over the mat. Then place the nori sheet on top of the rice evenly. Make sure the rice is laid flat rectangular so the nori sheet fits properly.
Place 1/4 of the crab meet onto one side of the sheet in a row. Then add 1/4 avocado slices, 1/4 red pepper, and 1/4 mango slices in a row.
Roll the rice and nori mat, starting from the side with the ingredients. While rolling, remove the plastic sheet. When the roll is finished, sprinkle on the sesame seeds and let it sit for a few minutes.
Get a sharp knife and make sure it is wet. Cut the roll into 6 slices. Repeat this until all ingredients are used.
It is best to serve this sushi with soy sauce or ginger in my opinion, but others use wasabe as well.

Cream Cheese and Crab Roll

The actual recipe takes about 20 minutes
Produces 12 Slices

What do you need?
2 TBS rice vinegar
1 cup of white rice
1 TS of salt
1 TS of minced ginger
1 cucumber (sliced into thin pieces)
1 package of imitation crab meat (leg style)
2 toasted nori sheets
cream cheese

Cooking this rice is slightly different. Boil 2 cups of water in a saucepan. add the ginger and rice into the pan. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes so the rice cooks. Then add the rice vinegar and salt and mix it well. Place the rice on parchment paper and let it cool for a bit.
Place the nori wraps on the bamboo mat. Wet your fingers and spread the rice evenly on the nori sheets. Leave a little space on the sides though to roll it easier.
Place the crab meat one end of the nori sheet about an inch from the bottom. I usually use about 2 to 3 pieces. Place 2 to 3 pieces of cucumber slices in a row next to the crab meat.
Begin rolling the sushi at the end where the ingredients lay. Make sure to wet your hands a little again before doing this.
Get your sharp knife and make sure it is a little wet. Slice the roll of sushi in to 6 slices after you let it sit for a bit.

Crab and Egg Roll

The actual recipe takes about 20 minutes
Produces 12 Slices

What do you need?
4 cups of plain cooked rice
2 Egg
6 imitation crab meat slices
2 noir sheets
Umami seasoning
1/4 TS of soy sauce
Mayonnaise (optional)

Get a frying pan and break your egg. Add in the soy sauce and some umami seasoning (as much as you like) and then mix the three ingredients.
Place the nori sheets on the mat and spread 2 cups of rice over the sheet evenly. One one side place 3 slices of crab meat in a row and then add about half of the egg onto the sheet as well.
Roll the sushi starting from the side where the ingredients lay the most. You can add mayonnaise before you seal your roll if you like. Let it sit for a few minutes.
Cut the roll into 6 slices with a wet knife and then serve.

Crab and Cucumber Roll

The actual recipe takes about 30 minutes
Produces 6 Slices

What do you need?
1 nori sheet
1 package of imitation crab meat (leg style)
1 cucumber (sliced into thin pieces)
1/2 of sushi rice

Place the nori sheet on the bamboo mat and add 1/2 cup of rice onto the sheet and spread it evenly.
Add the cucumber slices and crab meat slices in a row starting on one side.
Roll the sushi starting from the side with the ingredients.
Let it sit for a little bit before you cut it with a sharp and wet knife. I like to cut it into 6 pieces. You can repeat this recipe until you eat your fill.

The Real Scoop on Sushi

When I tell people that I love to eat sushi, they usually think it is disgusting to eat raw fish. What some people do not know, well those who do not eat sushi, is that most sushi is not made with raw fish. Whether the sushi is cooked or prepared only slightly, there are only a handful of raw sushi styles.
Sushi is made of several other ingredients besides just the fish. In most sushi recipes, you will find that they call for vegetables, rice, sometimes fruits, and sometimes even other meats. Not all ingredients are used at once though. There is this one sushi I have been meaning to try that has strawberries on top. Sounds so good. Most sushi is usually served with wasabi, ginger, or soy sauce. I like to use teriyaki sauce myself. It actually tastes really good.
Each sushi has the same preparation for the rice. The rice is usually a short grained Japanese rice. It is basically used since it has a stickiness quality to it when cooked a certain way. I usually mix the rice with either rice vinegar or sake, but you can also use sugar, kombu, or salt. You can even use them all if you want. If you decide to add Nori, seaweed wraps, then it adds a more salty flavor.
There are several different types of sushi, which I am sure I will write about at some point in more detail. The types of sushi include chirashizushi, oshizushi, makizushi, nigirizushi, inarizushi, and narezushi. Well those are the traditional types of sushi. There are also the western styles such as uramaki and makizushi.
You must be careful eating sushi though, especially if you are eating a roll that has raw fish. The quality and freshness check of raw fish for sushi is more strict than the cooked fish to be eaten.The sushi chefs must go through a process that allows them to recognize the firmness, color, freedom of parasites, and the smell of the raw fish. Most of these things are not usually looked at when preparing fish that is cooked. It is probably safer to eat sushi then!

3 Different Ways to Roll Sushi

Sushi is an amazing dish to eat, especially if it is done right! Since I have been experimenting with making sushi, I have found that it is a very visual food. It is not so much about making the sushi, but presenting it as well.
There are of course several ways to roll sushi. I have found that each one is hard to do, but it gets easier as you get the hang of it. Most American do not make it the proper way though. I guess we just get in a hurry to eat the food!
There are several items you need to complete your quest for sushi. The most obvious are the food products. You should select a type of fish (or other meat or none at all) and at least two different types of vegetables to place in the sushi roll. You should cut them so that they are long and thin enough to fit into the roll properly. You will also need Japanese sushi rice along with seaweed nori wraps. Other foods you can put in your sushi include (but not limited) rice vinegar, salt, sugar, sesame seeds, and other flavoring types of food.
You also need tools to create the sushi. You can buy rolling molds that help out beginners, but I prefer to keep it the natural way and do it solo. You will need a bamboo mat, a very sharp knife (most prefer Sashimi knife), a bowl for mixing the rice and other flavors, a spatula, a rice fork, plastic wrap and any other cooking tools you find useful. Of course you do not have to have these tools, but I found it easier to make the sushi this way.
There are basically three major ways you can roll your sushi: maki style, uramaki style, and hand rolling the sushi (that’s a hard one!). I would say that making the maki sushi was the easiest for me when I first started. Most prefer to start that way. Make sure you wrap your bamboo mat with the plastic wrap before you start. This makes it easier to roll and also make sure the rice does not stick in some instances.

Making Maki Sushi Rolls
When making maki sushi, you want to place the rough side of the nori facing up on the bamboo mat.
You then want to take the rice you have prepared and smooth it over the nori roll without squishing the rice as much as possible. Make sure to not put the rice on the very edge of the wrap. It is also best to keep your hands wet, so that the rice does not stick to you as much.
Get all of your ingredients lined up separately on the rice starting from edge of the rice. Make sure you have enough space between each item lined up.
To fold the nori, and roll the sushi, you want to make sure you have your thumb firmly on the mat so it does not move. Start rolling the side of the nori wrap that has the first ingredient. Be careful and make sure the rice sticks properly. Tuck the wrap into the roll and began rolling. As I rolled, I took the mat out from under the sushi to roll it easier.
Keep the roll tight! You do not want any rice or other foods to fall out of the sushi. Plus when you cut it, if it is not tightly rolled, the ingredients and the roll itself will fall apart. Make sure there is a little breathing room as well. Seal the roll with the other end of the nori wrap. Then give it time to sit for a little bit before you decide to cut it. It makes it less likely to tear when you cut the roll.
After some time has passed by, take your sushi and cut the roll into however many sections you want. I usually cut it into eight sections so I feel like I have more sushi to eat. The knife that you use should be really sharp and wet. You will have to wet the knife a few different times. If you do not, the rice will stick to the knife and tear the roll. This ruins your sushi! So make sure to wet that knife.

Making Uramaki Sushi Rolls
Just like the maki sushi roll, you want to place the nori wrap with the rough side facing up. You then want to roll the rice onto the Nori wrap as you did with the maki roll.
When making a uramki roll, you will need to get some plastic wrap. Make sure you have enough to cover the entire Nori wrap. Place it on top of the rice, and then flip the wrap to where the plastic wrap is touching the mat now. The rice should be on the bottom and the nori on top.
Place your ingredients in a line starting from the near edge of the wrap. Make sure to leave a little bit of room in between each piece.
Here comes the hard part, rolling the uramaki sushi. This is probably my favorite type of sushi, but is it difficult to make sometimes. To roll the sushi, take the edge of the mat that has the side of the wrap with the ingredients. Fold the mat and the plastic wrap over until the rice is touching the nori wrap and has stuck to it as well.
As you roll the sushi over with the mat, begin to take the plastic wrap off of the of the rice. This is hard to do! Not only do you have to do that, but you need to make sure that the roll is tight enough.
This is a sushi type that is easy to put toppings onto. Since the rice is on the outside of the roll, the toppings stick easier to the roll. I usually top these with sesame seeds or avocado. You can also top it with fish if you made a vegetable roll.
You need to then cut the roll with the sushi knife. Make sure to keep the knife wet. With these rolls, I prefer to cut them into thin pieces, sometimes making ten slices! This does make the rice fall off a little, but I usually soak them in teriyaki sauce and eat them with a spoon when I make ten!

Making Hand Sushi Rolls
Making sushi rolls by hand takes some talent! You need some good hand-eye coordination to get this done right. First you need to place the nori wrap in the palm of your hand. Make sure you are cradling your hand and the nori. Also make sure to have one end of the wrap in your hand and the other extended from your fingers.
Get a ball of rice and place it on the wrap right on top of the palm of your hand. Then spread the rice, but only on bottom third of the wrap. I use about a 1/2 cup of rice when making these rolls.
You stick your ingredients in the rice, but only after you make an indention right in the middle of the rice. Make sure you do not stuff the ingredients into the rice. This will cause problems later when you start to roll it up.
You then want to began rolling your wrap by starting with the end of the wrap that contains the rice and ingredients. You simply roll the wrap tightly and create a cone. I like to place to rice into the small part of the cone so it sticks easier as well.
I usually do not cut my hand rolled sushi. Since it is in a cone shape, it would be harder to cut it and the ingredients do not reach all the way to the bottom. If you choose to cut it, make sure you use a wet sushi knife like always.