Hooks for Cooks™

Sushi Solution

December 24th, 2010

zojirushiDo you ever crave something, but avoid the indulgence due to cost?

I sometimes do, but last week I decided to take charge. My teenage son had a cold and was craving some California rolls and wasabi. I was heading to Seattle’s Central Market. Will asked me to buy “two or three of those California roll containers from the sushi takeout department.”

When I got to Central I realized that each container was priced at nearly seven dollars and that I would be charged the 9.5% tax rate, so I purchased just one container for Will. I reasoned that $21 was a too pricey for a snack. Central Market also happens to have a great selection of Asian foods, so I restocked my supply of sushi rice, nori, wasabi, sesame seeds, and assorted veggies. I shifted into my vigilante mode and was determined to concoct my own California rolls that day as well.

At home, I immediately grabbed my trusty Zojirushi rice cooker, loaded it with a couple cups of sushi rice, and turned it on. When the rice was done, I seasoned it with a premade powdered vinegar mixture and spread it into a Pyrex pan to cool. I chopped some avocado and cucumber and located my sushi mat. I haven’t made a lot of California rolls in my life, but these came out remarkably well that day. I fiddled with the size and my cutting technique. I even made a few hand rolls thanks to the directions found on the back of the nori package. Will told me that my rolls were far better and tasted much fresher than the ones I had just purchased. Aha!

When my sushi session was over, I carefully stashed the extras in the fridge. The following day, I made something a little different. I didn’t have time for fiddling and rolling, so I spontaneously made a California stack in one of my tubular open ended molds. Working directly on a plate, I filled the bottom of the mold with rice and layered on diced avocado, cucumber, some cold smoked salmon, sesame seeds and a disk of nori. I served the wasabi and soy sauce on the side. My deconstructed stacked California roll looked gorgeous and tasted great when the mold was removed. Simple. Satisfying. Affordable.

–Melissa A. Trainer

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