It all started with a rice cooker.
Steve has wanted a rice cooker for some time now, because he likes to eat rice all the time. I wanted a rice cooker to make sushi, because I read somewhere that you really need a rice cooker to make proper sushi rice. But the thought of making sushi was not enough to push me over the edge to buy a new kitchen gadget, especially when we don't have any extra room for kitchen gadgets.
Then we added a new family member who also likes to eat rice all the time. The rice balance in the house has shifted.
So out went the electric skillet (we have a strict one in-one out policy) and in came the rice cooker. When I found out that it could steam vegetables as well, I felt better about giving it shelf space in the kitchen.
Over the weekend, we purchased a few basic sushi supplies, all for less than $10. We got bamboo mats and rice paddles and some beginner chop sticks for the little guy (all from World Market and Bed Bath and Beyond).
We cooked the rice earlier in the day so that it would have a chance to cool off. Once the rice was cooked, I mixed it with a mixture of 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar, 3 Tbsp. sugar, and 1 1/2 tsp. salt.
I cut all of our ingredients into matchstick-like pieces and that seemed to work out well. We used cooked shrimp, smoked salmon, cream cheese, avocado, carrots, and cucumber.
He also discovered a real love for nori and ate several huge sushi burritos of nori filled with rice and shrimp while we worked. I know he has a developed palate, but even I was shocked that he was eating seaweed.
Making the rolls was a little challenging and we've determined to need to watch a sushi chef sometime soon to get some pointers. Our rolls all ended up being a bit too fat- it's hard to know how much you need to put in each one.
Cutting them was also tricky, but I figured out that if you wet the knife between each cut it helped a lot. We rolled some in sesame seeds before cutting.
It all sounds kind of involved, but it really only took us an hour and when we were done, we had a huge platter of fresh sushi! Even though some of the pieces were falling apart, it tasted amazing. I think that sushi night may be a weekly event now.
Today is rainy and my sidekick and I are knocking out a bunch of household chores and working on some new flannel scarves for fall!