Valentine’s Day has completely lost its way. Fancy gifts, expensive dinners, chocolate overload … it’s all a bit out of control. My grandparents were married on February 14, back when it was a day about love, not presents. So in the spirit of what this holiday was meant to be, Chris and I try to pick an activity every year that brings us a little bit closer together. This year, we made homemade sushi! If you’re a perfectionist and need a clean kitchen at all times, this may not be the thing for you. We tried this a few years ago and I found sushi rice in the nooks and crannies of the kitchen for weeks. This time around I think we did a bit better. Keep scrolling and I’ll walk you through how to make homemade sushi.
the ingredients: first, you absolutely must find the freshest fish around. more specifically, ask for “sushi grade.” in most cases this means salmon and tuna. if you live in Philly, stop by John Yi’s in Reading Terminal Market. you’ll also need: inside fixin’s, like avocado and cucumber, a tin of dry wasabi, dried seaweed, sushi rice, rice vinegar, sugar, vegetable oil, salt and a bamboo mat (cover it in plastic wrap so your rice doesn’t stick to it — we’ll get to this later).
pay attention to this part because the first time around our rice was so disgusting we ended up plucking out the fish and eating it without. the rice vinegar mixture is meant to help your rice stick together, but beware, too much and you’ll barely taste the rice itself. follow this recipe for how to cook your rice. consider adding even less vinegar than it calls for though. we used a little over a 1/4 cup this time and it worked perfectly + tasted good.
step 1: lay your seaweed on a cutting board and cover one side with rice. make sure the rice sticks together and covers it corner-to-corner. (tip: keep your fingers wet so the rice won’t stick to you.)
step 2: if you want the rice on the outside of the roll, flip your roll over onto the bamboo mat so the rice is on the bottom, then place your insides at one end.
step 3: you may want to go to YouTube for this step (here’s a good video). it’s easier to watch than to explain. essentially you’re going to use the bamboo mat to roll it as tight as possible. my husband is way better at this than i am so don’t panic if it’s not perfect. it’s his goal in life to best me in the kitchen.
step 4: slice your roll using a wet knife. i’m not kidding, dip the knife in water before every slice or else all the rice will stick to it.
and voila! we tend to prefer sashimi or fish over rice without all the insides, so if you’re into that I suggest putting a glob of wasabi between the rice and fish for an extra kick.
a little edamame, of course.
for the wasabi, just take the powder you bought (it comes in a small tin, pictured up top) and mix it with water until you make a paste. and for a real authentic sushi date, sake is a must.
it was Valentine’s Day after all.