Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sushi: Guest Recipe! from my momma

     Colleen has been busy this week interning on a fabulous film being shot here in
Savannah, so your’s truly has volunteered (begged) to be guest blogger extraordinaire.
I feel quite honored as this blog is the bomb.
     As a new vegetarian, I have begun to find food a bit repetitive (rice + beans + corn =
mexican, rice + beans + edamame/bok choy = oriental, rice + peas (smaller beans) +
spinach = Indian) so Colleen purchased a new veggie cookbook for me with gorgeous
pictures that I would equate to food porn. Shannon (the famed hippy sister of previous
blog) and I realized that very few Sushi restaurants in Franklin have good vegetarian
sushi, so we embarked on a quest to make the perfect sushi roll. Even though I am
considered a decent cook, a food so beautiful intimidated the hell out of me. After a
few modifications, and several rolls, this is our recipe, and our tips. Enjoy!

  • 4 cups of cooked Japanese rice (sticky can be white or brown, follow directions on package for cooking)
  • nori sheets (basically seaweed paper)*
  • rice vinegar
  • mirin (Japanese cooking wine)
  • soy sauce or nama shoyu
  • shitaki mushrooms (they must be shitaki) 2 cups loose
  • 2 Tbls sesame seeds, toasted (sometimes you can find them toasted, but we will tell you how)
  • Vegetables of your choice (carrots, cucumbers, advocadoes, bean sprouts)
  • Sushi rolling mats (they look like little bamboo placemats and can be picked up for a few dollars wherever they sell the sheets of nori
  • Cream cheese if you are not vegan, cut into bricks 1/3 by 1/3 by 4 inches.

AND if you want Tempura Fried rolls
  • Tempura mix
  • Deep Fryer
  • Vegetable Oil

  1. The key to pretty and tasty sushi is cutting the vegetables to matchsticks. Theyshould be 1/4 in in heighth and width. They can be 2 or 3 inches long.
  2. Put between 2TBLS and 6 TBLS rice vinegar in your rice after it is cooked and still with a wooden spoon (do not “mush” it). This depends on your taste, so start with alittle and add more if you like.
  3. Chop your mushrooms up fine, about the size of peas. You should have about 1 cup.
  4. Toast your sesame seeds. Put them in a pie plate or cookie sheet and slide them under the broiler in your oven. Shake gently and check frequently, about every 30 seconds. When they are light brown remove.
  5.  Add your sesame seeds to the mushrooms. Add 1 TBLS Mirin and 1 TBLS soy sauce and mix. Even if you think you don’t like mushrooms, you will like this. And it really adds a nice texture and exotic flavor to the roll.

  1. Roll out your sushi mat so the wide edge is closest to you and the shorter edges are on the side. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on top.
  2. Place a seaweed sheet on the mat with the shiny side down.
  3. Spread about 1 cup of sticky rice on the sheet, leaving 1/2 inch on the long side farthest from you and 1/2 inch on the long side closest to you bare. You will have to wet your hands to pat the rice down evenly and firmly.
  4. Spread 1/4 cup of those chopped mushrooms on the rice. YUM.
  5. Lay veggies in a strip in the middle (side to side, not front to back) of the square. It should be about 1/2 inch to 1 inch wide. Do not overfill. If you want, also put in a slender brick of cream cheese.
  6.  Begin to roll sushi away from you, folding over close bare long side of sheet to begin and then pressing with mat, continually rolling up sheet tightly while using mat to press and maintain cylindrical shape of roll. DO NOT ROLL THE MAT OR PLASTIC INTO THE SUSHI.
  7. Seal the roll by pressing firmly into the bare end and let the roll rest for several minutes.
  8. Cut the roll with a very very sharp knife very slowly to maintain shape.

  1. Prepare tempura mix. We found it easiest to make batter in a loaf pan because it was long and thus easy to dip the roll. Really use ice water. Let water sit with ice for several minutes then add to dry mix and stir. Gently. Do not over-mix. There will still be lumps.
  2. Put vegetable oil (not olive, not canola, not crisco) into deep fryer to the correct depth and let heat to between 375 and 400 degrees.
  3. Put uncut roll in batter. We used our hands and kitchen tongs. Cover ends. Retrieve and scrape off excess batter. We liked ours best when the tempura coating was very thin.
  4. Gently put the entire roll into the fryer. Let fry for about 3 to 4 minutes or until it is very light brown. If your roll is not submerged, be sure to use tongs to turn it.
  5. Remove with a slotted spatula or tongs. Place on paper towels.
  6.  Let cool a minute or two then cut.
  7. The cream cheese melts beautifully in these rolls. We restricted the veggies to mushrooms and carrots.


*We got all of our ingredients at Whole Foods, including the mats, but Publix probably
has them