Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Rollin' it My Way

This month's Washoku Warriors Challenge was sushi rice with the option of then using it for Rolled Sushi Two Ways, Five-Coloured Foods with Sushi Rice (chirashi sushi), or Sushi Pillows (inari zushi), and then the added option of Clear Ocean Broth with Herbs and Lemon Peel.

U was on hand to help me out - he's quite excited about the whole "cooking challenge" and really enjoy's checking out all the photographs on La Fuji Mama's round-up.

This time around we started with the broth - which while a bit finicky was simple enough to make. I must admit that neither of us were very taken with it and I strongly doubt it'll appear again in our kitchen.

We also made sushi rice - my first time from scratch (I usually use the instant powder packets). Again, relatively straightforward once you get the hang of it - providing you have two sets of arms to pour vinegar, fan, stir, and hold the bowl all at the same time of course!

What to do with the rice was an easy decision for both of us. I've made both chirashi and rolled sushi before, with the latter being my favourite. It is fun - because you get to do what your parents always told you not to - play with your food! And of course since you are the one making it you decide what to put in. My dad and I used to have roll-your-own sushi dinner parties - a big hit (especially when one friend brought her home-smoked salmon... wow)! In university the student union I was involved with ran "Make-your-own-Sushi Lunches" every other month or so. It was fun and a great fundraiser (I pitied the History Student Union who had to rely on bake sales - the East Asian Studies Student Union ALWAYS had the best food!)

So, rolled it was... but... well, that was where we parted ways with Andoh. I had told U that the recipe for rolled sushi called for eel, and although he loves eel he decided he didn't want it cold. So we went looking at the grocery store - on empty stomachs... ALWAYS DANGEROUS! Here is what we came home with:

(clockwise from bottom front: scallops, avocado, red snapper, salmon, tuna belly with green onions, tuna, squid, and cucumber)

Since we were splurging on ingredients we figured we should go the whole way, and bought fresh wasabi instead of powdered or prepared paste. U scraped off some of the knobbly skin and grated it - filling the kitchen with a wonderfully fragrant aroma. The flavour too is incredible - spicy, yes, but with so many other flavours too. Fresh wasabi can be expensive, but it really is so much better than the other choices... mmmm! (and a mite more photogenic to boot!)

With all the choices we got a little adventurous - here I'm combining tuna and cucumber with a shiso leaf and salted plum paste - giving the roll a great tart kick.

in addition to that roll, here's also a salmon and cucumber/avocado roll, and one of my attempts at an inside-out roll - with tuna belly and green onion (my ALL-TIME favourite) and avocado.

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