Sunday, April 20, 2008

Just call me "itamae"

...that's Japanese for chef or cook... at least that's what the internet told me.

Tonight I went to Jared and Liz's place and made sushi. That's right, MADE sushi. I'm a fan of sushi--and I'm sure there are plenty of you reading this that don't love it--and every now and then I crave it. Well, I wasn't really craving it, but Jared texted me during ward choir practice and invited me over. Of course I couldn't refuse.

I've never made sushi before and imagined it was a very difficult, very long, drawn out process. Turns out it's not so bad. I may even get a rice cooker now. I also learned that you put vinegar in the rice for sushi. Jared and Liz have these little bamboo mat thingers that help you roll the sushi. But I'm getting ahead of myself. First, here are the ingredients.

From the top left, there's carrots, some weird Japanese radish, avocado, cream cheese, barbecued eel, and salmon. We also had some barbecued chicken that Jared made the sauce for that was really good.

So the first thing you do is put down the bamboo mat, put some plastic wrap on it, then put down the sea weed stuff, then start mashing rice on that. The sea weed feels like paper and I was worried it would be crunch and gross, not like sushi you pay money for; but I was pleasantly surprised. Once it gets a little moist from the rice, it loses the crunchy completely. While you're mashing the rice onto the sea weed, you have to keep your hands pretty wet so you don't get sticky rice all over the place. I also learned that a pretty thin layer of rice is all ya need, or you end up with quite the fatty roll... Here are a few of the rolls we made.

This one is Liz's. She used the barbecued eel in hers. Really, it's tastier than it sounds and looks. I was skeptical too, but it is really good.

This is the one Jared made. He made one with the barbecued chicken with carrots, cream cheese, and avocado. It looks messy in this picture because he forgot to flip over the sea weed, so he was taking it all off to flip it and start over. He likes the rice on the outside. Actually, the one I made was the only one with the sea weed on the outside.

And here's me triumphantly displaying my very first sushi roll.

I thought it was a California roll, but apparently I don't know what a real California roll is. They've got salmon. Mine had crab, cream cheese, avocado, and just a few sesame seeds inside. Here's a better look at my sushi roll.

After I took pictures, Liz wanted one with her roll, too. So here it is!

When you've got the roll, you need to use a sharp knife and make sure you keep it wet when you cut the roll.

It was a little difficult for me, and my individual pieces came out a little thick, but it was still really tasty. I think I ate the ends off of everyone's sushi roll, in addition to the regular pieces I ate. It was really quite good.

Once we had all the sushi rolls made (I think we just had four), Jared made this tasty sauce with mayonnaise and hot sauce, and of course, we had soy sauce with wasabi in it. Liz pulled out Madaline's little table and we ate on the floor. By we, I mean me and Liz. Jared sat on the couch and Madline had one of her little chairs. Here's a picture of our tasty dinner.

Liz is going to love that I used this picture. :-)

It was REALLY good! Thanks for inviting me over, guys! Oh, and I tried to take some sort of artsy fartsy pictures, but true to Garrett form, they suck. But also true to form, I'm posting them anyway. Enjoy!

Can't wait to hear what you all think of sushi in general and maybe even what you think of this sushi!


Christy said...

I am a HUGE fan of rice cookers. One of the greatest inventions ever.

Jared said...

You did make a California Roll...sort of. A California Roll has crab meat, avacado, sesame seeds and the chili sauce I made (like you had), and also scallions, cucumber, radish sprouts and is often rolled in masago (smelt roe) which I haven't been brave enough to buy yet. Fun time. We will have to do it again when I get the sushi plates and bowls made.

Jentry said...

I am very impressed. I don't think I would trust myself with raw fish...

Beth said...

Garrett you are my hero! Way to roll those sushi rolls...I'm definately not a fan, but it's great to see other people doing new a fun unto our cheese and wine party. Anway's I just wanted to say go Garrett for always being up for doing fun and creative things. By the way I appreciate those artistic shots!

Tiffanie said...

seriously cool!

Katey said...

I can't even tell you how disgusting barbequed eel sounds to me. BLECH! Looks like you had lots of fun making these little vomit bites though! Sorry...I just can't help myself in expressed my dislike. Please forgive me ;)