When I was doing my regular weekly grocery shop on Tuesday, I had a flash of brilliance. Why not try to make sushi myself? It would be cheaper, possibly healthier, and I wouldn’t have to feel guilty about all of those styrofoam takeout containers that normally come with my sushi. What’s not to love?
Now, I have fallen victim to my own brilliant ideas before, so before I dove in headfirst I took to Twitter to ask my friends. Several of them confirmed that preparing homemade sushi was surprisingly easy. Buoyed by their reassurance, and all stocked-up with ingredients, on Thursday evening I Googled how to make sushi rice and got started. Here’s how it went:
1. I cooked the rice, being careful to rinse it thoroughly and following the instructions as well as I could. While the rice cooked, I also heated the rice vinegar, sugar and salt together. As often happens to me, I tried really hard not to let it boil as instructed, but it might have boiled a little. Or a lot. I was doing my best here, people.
2. While the rice cooled, my daughter and I chopped the veggies. This part was easy. I rocked it.
3. Still waiting for the rice to cool, I mixed up the wasabi. It smelled wasabi-like. I was feeling confident. I should not have, because like they say, pride cometh before the fall.
4. I didn’t take many pictures of spreading out the sushi rice. This is because I was too busy swearing. They call it sticky rice for a reason. However, some cool water on my hands did help, and I mostly managed to get the rice laid out. When I tasted a few errant grains, it didn’t exactly taste exactly like I thought it should. It may have been slightly undercooked. However, at that point, there wasn’t much I could do about it, so I rolled with it. (Get it? Rolled with it. Sushi. Sushi rolls. I slay me.)
5. Rolling was the part I was most worried about, but it turned out not to be that bad. I had a vague memory of one of my university roommates making sushi, and I recalled that she had dabbed water on the edge of the nori to hold it together, and that worked well. The finished roll was fine. However, you can’t eat a finished roll.
6. Slicing the sushi was the hard part for me. It’s probably a sign I need a better knife, but I had a hard time cutting through the nori on the bottom, which made the rolls fall apart a little. Still, not bad for a first effort, I say.
7. Finally, it was time for the verdict. My children, who adore sushi, were excited. But upon taking his first taste, my son promptly spat it out. The canned crab I used tasted different than the crab we normally get from a sushi restaurant. The rice, like I said, was slightly undercooked, and my seasoning sauce wasn’t exactly the same as the sushi restaurant’s seasoning. Jacob skipped the sushi and ate all the leftover nori, which is one of his favourite treats. My daughter bravely ate a few pieces, because she wanted dessert and she knew she couldn’t have it if she hadn’t had any healthy food. And then, when my husband got home late, he announced that he’d had sushi for lunch. All in all, it was a bust.
Would I make sushi again? The answer is definitely a no. It wasn’t super-hard, but it wasn’t all that easy, either. It requires planning and prep work, and while I’m sure that I could get better at it, I’m not sure it’s worth it. The truth is that sushi is what we eat when we don’t feel like cooking, and the people who make it professionally are much better at it than I am. I think I’ll leave it to them, and use my leftover wasabi and rice vinegar in other recipes.
Have you ever made your own sushi? How did it go? Do you have any tips that I should use if I forget how annoyed I was to be composting all my sushi and dare to try it again? I’d love to hear!