Monday, July 19, 2010

Sushi with the word fun in it

wow wow wow.. I've been so busy that I realised I wrote a draft halfway and only to find it still Here after 2 weeks. Ok.. here's the uncompleted draft.. It was so long ago that after I read it I went " ohhh that's what happened a few weeks back" oh really??
Had a pretty packed weekend last week. Stuff like that happens when you try to squeeze so many activities and meet ups as possible with that short time frame you have left. Pathetic? maybe.. but I realise it's times like these that you learn how to treasure the people around you more and maximize the quality time you have together, whether long or short.

I started the week with my very first French lesson at Alliance Francaise. There were supposed to be 18 people in total but only 13-15 turned up. Age ranged from 16 and up. The first thing the tutor did was to go around greeting people in French. Apart from the Bonjour word in the long sentence, it was extremely funny seeing the shocked and clueless expressions the students gave in return. But nevertheless, we were all able to converse in simple French at the end of the class. Pronunciation is definitely a challenge heree with all that nasal sound & rrrr grrrr. Sometimes I use chinese han yu pin yin to pronounce words. Never knew mandarin could be so much of a help. It's particularly useful in learning Japanese too. Hhaa I'm secretly in love with the way Japanese people talk.  After hearing so much Jap at work everyday, I am motivated enough to dig out my sister's contemporary Japanese textbook and learn some phrases. Hopefully the language barrier will be broken soon enough and I'll be able to communicate with my teacher Chef Matsu San smoothhly.

Inspired by the Chef and people who keep asking me to make my own sushi, I decided to attempt making it again after many years. The last time I remembered making it was more than 5 years ago. My only recollection of the sushi was that it was HARD as rock when I took it outta the fridge. Haha ( I put it in the fridge overnight). So here it goes.

My experience with susshi this time round is not at all a pleasant one.. I wasted half the rice I cooked because of the gooey mess I made while handling the rice. The rice was cold when and it stuck on like adhesive glue onto my hands that I decided that the best solution was to wash them alll off. However, in the end, the portions were just nice for dinner...

Here are the ingredients you need to make your own basic sushi. Technique wise, I'll give the gist of it but it'd help if you learn it from someone more experience or go watch some youtube vids.

First off: you need

-sushi rice (short grain or japonica) Some say calrose rice could be used but I tried it and it's not close to sushi rice  at all...
-Sushi su  ( a mixture of rice vinegar, sugar and salt). I used this cuz it was easier..  Alternatively you could use your own rice vinegar and mix them with sugar and salt according to proportions.
-japanese cucumber
- unagi
-jap mayo
-or actually any ingredient you'll like to see in your sushi.. Everyone has different preferences ...
-and most importantly a sushi mat!

I did a couple of sushi that day. First off was the Dragon roll. Consisted of jap cucumber , mayo, unagi and avocado. I cooked 2 servings of rice. ( a measurement of 360ml of rice with 280ml of water). Important to rinse the rice well until water is clean and let soaked for 30 min and then drain. When the rice is cooked, you can embark on your adventure. but first mix the sushi su in the hot rice (to get that sweet taste). Here I did some estimation cuz I didn't know how much exactly to add but it's definately gotta be quite alot to get that sweeter taste... Anyway, I wouldn't say making sushi is easy neither would I say it is difficult but I'll rather use the word fun because it really is. That coming from someone who finds cheap thrills in playing with food is surely not wrong.

First cut out a rectangular seaweed and line it on your sushi mat. Place a handful of rice onto the seaweed and spread out till it covers it. Flip the seaweed over and place your ingredients that you want encase in that glorious sushi of yours and then roll. Can't show you the rolling technique. Best to youtube it..

and then place slices of cut avocado on the top and roll with sushi mat again.. 

Second: California Maki. My all time fav! Done the same way as the dragon roll just that I added crabmeat instead of unagi inside and coated them with a layer of tobiko! 

Tobiko's that awesome flying fish roe that burst into your mouth as you chew on them. I remember I was at the supermarket trying to find some of these. I asked the store assistant where I could get some of this but he looked at me with a puzzled look as if I was some alien from another planet. And then I explained again in simple english where could I get flying fish roe -the one used to coat california maki ( shaped like a small circlee) . At last, there was some response from him but guess where he brought me- to the fish ball section!! and then I saidd noo the one used to make SUSHI. It's orange in colour. Again he responded and brought me to another section- THE CUTTLEFISH BALL section.

Third: Kani sushi. Used to be a big fan of this when I was younger but then I've moved on to the kani mayo version because of the yummy mayo and this I felt had a little too much rice. Left( made by me) Right ( made by Shad) hahaa...
and 2 more:! 

Last but not least. a refreshing potato salad topped with spring onion to end the scrumptious dinner. 

Bleh with more good things to come, I'll definitely return to make sushi again. So what are you waiting for. Get your hands dirty and whip up your very own sushi.