Daily Archive: January 3, 2013

Please help my pathetic rolls

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That thing up there.  That’s home-made sushi.

Yeah.  I know.  [The fact that I had to explain what a food photo is…speaks volumes…right?]

I’m really not sure what I’m worse at – rolling or slicing.  But it was bad guys.  Really bad.  I welcome all comments that can assist in future sushi making.  Clearly skimming the pamphlet that came with the sushi mat (back when I got it four years ago) wasn’t enough.

For filling ingredients we went kinda untraditional.

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This was a tofu spread that I made with extra firm tofu, tahini, and soy sauce.

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I also scooped out avocado and pulverized some carrots.

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I was going to shred the carrots, but after a few swipes on the cheese grater I decided that was going to take a lifetime.  The next (practical) option would have been the food processor with it’s shredding blade, but the idea of cleaning it for such a wimpy use turned me off.  So I tried using the magic bullet.  Hence the pulverizing.  My bullet’s blades are as dull as my New Year’s Eve plans.

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And since those three fillings seemed a little lame, we decided to spring for some crab.  Whole Foods didn’t have anything fresh so we randomly chose Blue Star’s lump meat.  I have no idea what makes crab meat good or how a person should go about selecting it.  This package was one of two options and it looked better.  It was marginally more expensive, so maybe that means it was superior in quality (??).  Whatever.  It tasted fine.  We only used half of it because we had the tofu too.

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The things about nori sheets is that I think maybe you’re supposed to toast them before using them?  I’m iffy on this and (clearly) didn’t bother doing any research.  Feel free to chime in if you’re Japanese or at all knowledgeable about sushi making.

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Probably the biggest issue was the fact that we used brown rice instead of sushi rice.  I figured this was going to be a problem, but I didn’t care enough to get sushi rice.  I made it in the rice cooker and added ~1/4 cup extra water in an effort to alter the stickiness of it (which didn’t work at all).  The rice cooker is pretty much the best appliance ever, so trying to outsmart it was a dumb idea all around.  After it was done I mixed it with brown rice vinegar (because that’s how real sushi rice is made).

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Assembly time!

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Nori sheet (shiny side down), rice (with an inch of free room at the top), carrots and avocado…

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With crab for one roll and tofu for the other.

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I rolled one, then Kyle rolled one.

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Don’t they look more like a burrito that sushi?  Probably would have been easier to eat that way too.  Amateurs.  Complete amateurs.

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They were fat, loose, and messy.  Not good traits, whether you’re sushi or human.  But cutting them proved to be an even bigger disaster – they basically turned into a sloppy pile.

Because I was starving (and impatient to boot), I suggested we share these rolls before going back for round two.  Chopsticks weren’t in the cards.  This was a fork, spoon and knife kind of sushi dinner.

The next round of rolls never happened…

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Eff the stupid nori.  How about we just make sushi bowls instead?

To get the seaweed flavor, I sprinkled some aji nori furikake on top.

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Maybe we’ll try again some time.  After you all leave me tips on what I can do to improve my sushi making.  Suggestions for stuffing ingredients are welcomed too.

UPDATE: I just watched this video and it turns out I wasn’t using the mat correctly at all (which I figured after reading all the tips below).  Thanks readers!!!  Keep leaving your tips because I’m learning so much from them all :)