Tuesday, May 18, 2010


We eat Japanese food at least twice a week in our home.  I love how it tastes and how it makes me feel.    So this may come as a surprise to most of you, but I've never made sushi at home.  I've made it on special occasions with my family, and I've eaten the "real thing" at some incredible places in Tokyo, but that's it.  I've never made it for my own family.  And really, sushi is a special occasion kind of thing, not an everyday food by any means, but I decided it was time.  Especially for my little girl to eat some!  Afterall, being a 1/4 Japanese, she's going to be asked her whole life if she likes sushi or not.  So she better know what it is.

Oh, and she does like it, by the way.

So just in case you didn't know this, sushi doesn't mean raw fish in Japanese.  It refers to the way the rice is prepared.  And sushi can have cooked fish, sometimes even egg on/in it.

We decided on the simple California Roll.  With short grain brown rice instead of white.  Not at all traditional, but I wasn't about to try nigirizushi since pretty much only trained sushi chefs make that, and some of the other ingredients that usually go in makizushi aren't so readily availabe here.  And I like avocado.  And I got a huge bag at Sam's this week for our fish tacos.

Brown Rice California Rolls
serves 2
For the rice:
1.5 C short grain (brown--optional) rice
1.5 C water
1/4 C rice vinegar
2 T sugar
1/2 t salt
  1. Wash rice until water runs clear.  Cook with water in a rice cooker.  (Or cook it on the stove top like most people;) )
  2.  In a small pot, put the vinegar, sugar, and salt.  Heat over medium heat and stir occasionally until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Once the rice is cooked, transfer to a large bowl (ideally a Japanese wooden bowl designed for sushi), and pour over the vinegar dressing over the rice.  Toss the rice with a flat wooden spoon or a rice paddle, with horizontal slashing strokes.
For the sushi: (depends on how much you want to put in)
vinegar rice
2 sheets toasted nori seaweed
1 egg, lightly beaten
crab meat (or imitation crab, which is what you'll usually get at a sushi place)
avocado, sliced thin
seedless cucmber, cut into thin, long strips
  1. Cook the egg on medium heat into a very thin "pancake", remove from pan and let cool.  Once cooled, cut the egg pancake into thin strips.  Cut the crab meat into thin, bite sized pieces.
  2. Using a bamboo sushi rolling mat, place the nori down with the shiny side up.
  3. In a thin layer, place some rice over the nori, leaving a 3/4 inch gap at the top and bottom.
  4. In a horizontal line, layer the ingredients.  Then, using the rolling mat, tightly roll up the nori around the rice and filling.  Using your finger, spread some water over the exposed nori and seal shut.
  5. Using a very sharp knife, slice the roll into 6~8 pieces.  It's easiest if the sushi is chilled a little bit.


Theresa said...

Ok. Normally I can just follow your recipes and imagine what you're asking to do because I've experience doing it before but this particular recipe I would love to see done in a food prep youtube video with you as the star! :) It sounds like such fun. and I wish I had bamboo mats and wooden bowls like you do. Seriously. I request a youtube food prep demo of this one starring your lovely self. :) You can have Blake or Jared take the video. :) or prop it up on the other side of the countertop somehow. The cut it for interest and time with a movie editor later. :) (Make sure to get varied shots showing you, what you're doing and closeups of what it looks like,.. lol. ok ok. I know I'm being demanding,..but I really think this would be awesome.

My 2nd request,.. do you have a crab meat alternative that would go well with this combination? I'm not sure how I feel about crab meat based on some history with it. :) Thanks!

Lillian said...

Sorry, Theresa, I was worried it might be hard to understand. It's kind of hard to explain things like this. But I'm not sure how I feel about being in a video on Youtube, so you should just look for a sushi making video by someone else. There's bound to be one. Or the Pioneer Woman has a couple of step by steps on her blog.

Kevin Phair said...

My brother got his bachelors in Japanese and is going back for his Masters. He has a lot of interest in the Japanese culture so for my mom's birthday in February the 3 of us kids embarked on making sushi and miso soup. What an experience! It is a lot of work, especially when you don't have a lot of the ingredients on hand (I don't eat japanese food too often) but, oh my goodness, I LOVE sushi so it was a DELICIOUS dinner! I think I ate my weight in sushi. Thanks for sharing this! My brother didn't explain things well so I'd never be able to do it without it being written... Who would've thought I would make homemade sushi before you?! ;) Hahaha

Theresa said...

it wouldn't be the same. :),.. that's ok. I figured you probably wouldn't want to do it. I actually understood the recipe really well I just don't know what you meant by horizontal slashing motion,.. mostly and it'd be fun to see it done.

did you have a crab meat substitute suggestion?

Lillian said...

Theresa, this is the recipe for a California Roll, but you can try different fillings for different kinds. You can even go as simple as just cucumber, which is really typical in Japan. Let me know if you make some:) Good luck!

Theresa said...

ok so a california roll has to have crab meat in it? I guess I didn't get that. thanks.

Adam & Juli said...

I am going to make this next weekend! I love imitation crab and avocado! I love your foodie blog, Lilli!