Last Friday, MMA sprung his Lent intent on me last minute. No beer and no meat on Fridays until Easter.
I might have balked a little bit...I can't remember. Shopping was done for the week and did not include the bare necessities to make a proper meatless happy hour.
But I love how Superstar rises to a challenge. (And on reevaluation, decides to use her domestic powers of influence for good and not evil.)
Sushi came to mind. Hello, Chirashi. Just gimme a bowl of perfectly sticky rice topped with an assortment of sashimi, maybe a little pink ginger flower on the side. That's my kind of sacrifice!
Alas, we live in a suburb that is home to nineteen Mexican restaurants in spitting distance, but no safe-to-eat-raw-fish. And I wasn't about to drive 20 miles to Central Market with a feverish preschooler last Friday.
So I thought I'd surprise MMA with with (more doable) shrimp and California rolls. I've been doing test batches of sushi rice lately and decided to take my newly-honed skills to the next level and build something.
I give you, Superstar Sushi Rice
(This size batch makes enough for 4 nice-size rolls)
1 cup sushi (short grain) rice
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/8 cup sugar
1 and 1/3 cups water
First, rinse the sushi rice until the water runs clear. Then drain the rice in a colander for 30 minutes to an hour. Next, add the water, sugar and rice to a pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once it boils, turn it way down and simmer, covered, for 14 minutes. No peeking. After that, remove it from the heat, put a towel under the lid and let it sit for more 20 minutes. This helps it reach the proper stickiness. After 20 minutes, transfer it to a bowl and fold in the vinegar.
I made our California rolls while the rice was warm and I found the nori to be easy to handle that way. There are lots of rolling techniques online, but there is nothing difficult about it. You just spread the rice, line up your fillings, roll it up and enjoy. I have two minor tips: I wrapped my bamboo mat in plastic wrap to keep it clean (but I think you can easily make do without a mat.) And, a little bowl of water to wet your hands keeps the rice from sticking to you.
My fillings included shrimp, crab (actually it was "krab" but like I said) avocado, julienne carrots and cucumber, and of course, wasabi. Oh, I also toasted up sesame seeds to sprinkle on top. My rolls were so big and fat, two were a meal! (And MMA now finally realizes the extent to which he married up.)
My mind is bubbling over with promise of so many combinations. Like Panko fried calamari and sweet potato. Or veggie rolls with plum sauce. Or spicy fried tofu, cucumber and green onion. What about a Greek inspired roll with humus and olives? I'm still thinking locally available ingredients, mind you.
I should have attempted rolls much sooner. The most complicated thing was getting the rice right and now you have my test-kitchen method. Happy Friday!
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