Monday, August 3, 2009

Sushi: It's not all about raw fish!

This post is going to multi-task. It will show you how to make sushi (for the most part anyway) it will tell you that sushi isn't just about raw fish, and give you some ideas of what else to put in it, and it will also tell you about my recent sushi making party!

Lets start off with telling you that sushi is not all about raw fish, and give you some other filling ideas.

Many people think that sushi means raw fish, and that if no fish is involved, it is not sushi. This is not the case. The word sushi actually describes the vinegared rice that goes into making sushi. Raw fish however, is one of the most common ingredients to be a part of sushi.
So what should you put in your sushi if you're not adding in any fish? Simple. Vegetables. Sometimes some tofu or tempeh as well.

Here are some of the more common vegan fillings for your sushi:
Green onions
Tofu (baked, pan fried, deep fried, whatever you like)
Tempeh (I've never done it myself, but others have, and I think it sounds tasty.)
Sprouts (Alfalfa, clover, etc)
Sauteed mushrooms (Shitake is most common, but I like portobellos!)
Bell peppers
Broccoli (not very good in sushi rolls, but I like them in hand rolls)
Cooked yams
And probably some others that i haven't heard of, or am forgetting.
Really, you can put whatever you like in your sushi, it's up to you.

Now, on  to my sushi making party!

So, I decided that I should have a sushi making party. Unfortunately, I decided this the night before I was planning on having it, so I didn't expect many people to show up. Two people came, but I know at least two other people who would have liked to come, so maybe I'll do it again sometime soonish.
But anyway,  I set up the table with cutting boards and sushi mats, the rice, the fillings, and little sauce bowls, wasabi, pickled ginger, and low-sodium soy sauce.

Those are the fillings. There's broccoli, carrots, red peppers, avocado, sauteed and sliced portobello, green onions, cucumber, and tofu.
I was going to just buy this tofu, so I wouldn't have to heat up the house by cooking my own tofu, but it turned out that that tiny little thing costs more than a whole block of organic tofu. So I figured I'd make it myself. And I'm glad I did.
I cut my block of tofu into three thick slices, placed them on a towel, and pressed some of the water out. Then I coated them in cornstarch, and pan fried them until lightly golden (I did this to give it that nice outside skin you get from frying, without frying it) Then I marinated it in a mixture of this Teriyaki sauce, some low-sodium soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and I think maybe something else. I can't remember though. A few hours later (let it sit as long as you can though) I sliced it with a sharp knife, and i got something fairly similar to Pete's tofu.
Now let's learn how to make some sushi!

Take a bamboo mat, and wrap it completely in plastic wrap. Then place your seaweed (shiny side down) on your mat.

Thinly spread your rice on the seaweed. As thin as possible without having big gaps.

Then lay on your fillings. I think this one has green onions, carrots, cucumber and tofu.

Start to roll it over, just a little, then press it down with both hands.

pull the mat off, and roll a little more, and lightly press it.

Repeat until it's all rolled up. Try to roll it tight.

Tada! Cut it with a sharp knife. You may need it to be slightly wet.

Here's our sushi plate. We made a lot more, but most of it was eaten. Some of the sushi doesn't have seaweed, because one of the friends there doesn't like it. It's much harder to make without seaweed, so don't do that until you've got the hang of it.
There's also some hand rolls, and some inari.


starryeyed.kid said...

mmm i love inari. If I had the tofu packet thing the rice goes in, I'd be eating it all day, every day.

Your sushi is so round and colorful. Can't wait to buy a bamboo mat and try making my own.

Jamie said...

You can get inari wrappers in short cans at Asian markets. If you can't find them, ask someone who works there.

kelli said...

wow! everything looks amazing! your blog is making me hungry. =)