Sushi time!

By Nighty on 27 June 2009

Sometimes, the only available course of action is heading to the store to buy some fresh fish, cook rice and make sushi. Lucky for me, I've never been in such a desperate situation, but when the time comes, I shall be prepared!

So this friend of mine just finished her exams, and wanted to crash for the weekend over at my place for the usual: good beer, a decent conversation and a weird movie or two. For some reason, exams tend to bring out the culturally interested part of a student's personality. I've noticed this multiple times back in the days when I still dwelled the campus: for some reason those cult comic books, weird or just hilairously bad movies, ancient cult TV shows (think The Prisoner), books downloaded off the Internet or borrowed from the library or a friend, and even the newspaper (of all things!) seem much more appealing than your actual study material.

So after her final exams, right before her thesis presentation, how to up the ante for the last time she ever got so culture-deprived (or so she thought; wait till she enters the workforce), and make the weekend even more interesting than it usually is already? Well, I just learned to make sushi from a friend, and as the old saying goes: there's no culture like foreign culture. Hey, between the time that I thought up the saying and the time I post it, it will be ancient by Internet standards, ok? :p

Well, anyway. Except for telling you that on my way to work on Friday my laptop bag with my work laptop and some personal belongings, including the not so cheap laptop bag, got stolen, I'm not going to bore anyone with a recap of how great the weekend leading up to the sushi making was. Let's just keep it at "there were ups and downs".

Sushi making itself is deceivingly easy though. You basically need to boil some rice wrong so that it sticks, cut up some dead bits of fish, and combine those two in a neat and appealing package. You start by boiling the rice. Add a little more water, and boil the rice with the lid on on a slow fire. In the meantime, get started on the fish and the vegetables (cucumber, carrot, chives; others may work as well). The important thing about the fish is that it needs to be fresh from the day's catch. The store where I go gets the fish fresh from the day, and packages and sells it the same day. A day fresh fish is a fish that wouldn't smell if you poked a hole in the plastic foil and sniffed at it. Heck, it doesn't even smell when you take the foil off at home and sniff at the fish itself. That's the key ingredient to sushi: you can't make it with yesterday's fish. Another thing to keep in mind is that you need to spread your rice thin on the nori sheet: you're only using half a sheet and you need to be able to roll it up and make the nori cover the entire exterior. You can see in the pictures attached that I fumbled a bit on one sushi roll in that department.

There's enough videos on how to make sushi rolls or sushi on YouTube, the same appears to be true about the sashimi, so I'll skip the howto since there's a lot better material available online already. I'm just going to leave you with some pictures. They're all clickable to full size.

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