Saturday, March 5, 2011

We LOVE Sushi Night!

We love love love sushi. It took until my late 20's to begin liking it AND moving to a town with a terrific sushi place that has a killer happy hour deal to really appreciate it. When we set foot in Durango 3 years ago for the first time, we walked to Sushitarian for lunch and what is now one of our favorite places in town to eat. We frequented it often over the time we've lived here, introducing the boys slowly by filling them up on edamame and then letting them taste our rolls as they asked for it. Before we knew it, they were eating so much, that it left us hungry when it was time to go. With the exception of the Nori and the actual fish, which you can find at any natural foods store and sometimes Kroger etc., Wal-Mart carries the rest of the stuff you need.

We figured out recently that it is actually really easy to make at home, relatively cheap and a fun social evening with friends. SO don't be afraid. Check out the steps below and plan your own sushi night soon! You won't be disappointed. And do yourself a favor, don't make PBJ for the kids. Get them trying it now. They are never too young.

You will need to get a bamboo sushi mat to make your rolls.

Not all sushi Nori is the same. Some of them are chewy so try some different brands to figure out what you like. Eden makes a decent one. Place a sheet onto your bamboo mat.

Sushi rice is sticky (recipe to follow) so get your hands really wet before digging into the rice.

Get a big handful of the rice.

Sprinkle the rice over the Nori, spreading and pressing it hard into a packed, even layer as you go.

We really like toasted sesame seeds on the outside of our sushi but it's optional. Just sprinkle them over and then press them into the rice.

Flip the whole thing over on your mat and then begin to line up your goodies on one end. You never need as much as you think you need. Cucumber, avocado and tuna are staples at our house but imitation crab, salmon, and Unagi (BBQ eel) is so delicious.

Using the mat to hold everything together, begin rolling your filling into the Nori.

Work the roll up the mat, squeezing a bit to tighten the roll as you go.

Get a really sharp, clean knife to cut the roll in half.

Rinsing your knife as you go, flip one side around and slice the roll into bite sized pieces.

Note: You can always make your sushi with the Nori out too. Just don't flip it and leave a little bit of the Nori exposed from the rice to allow for a seal with some water. Also, 1 lb of fish (not including anything else) is plenty for 4 adults with some left over even. Get good quality fish, in fact ask for sushi grade to be safe and despite it being a little more expensive, it ends up being reasonable because you only need a little bit.

Serve it with steamed edemame, pickled ginger, wasabe, soy sauce and Sake. Sweet chili sauce and Sriracha Hot Chili sauce is a fun addition as well. We put it inside the rolls or just dab some on top. It's fun to see what rolls your guests will come up with and it becomes a competition over who makes the best rolls.

Things you will need:
  • Bamboo sushi mat
  • Sushi Rice (Nishiki)
  • Nori
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Avocado, sliced into thin strips
  • Cucumber and carrots, sliced into thin strips
  • Sushi grade tuna
  • Sushi grade salmon
  • Imitation Crab
  • Soy sauce
  • Wasabe
  • Rice vinegar
  • Sake (to drink if you are really adventurous)

Sushi Rice (Nishiki)

3 1/2 cups dry rice
1/2 cup rice vinegar
6 Tbsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp salt

Rinse the rice until the water is clear and then cook according to package directions. Heat vinegar, sugar and salt over medium heat until everything dissolves. Dump your rice into a large bowl and then get some kind of room fan blowing directly over the rice. The idea is to cool it as quickly as possible. Slowly pour the vinegar over the rice while cutting through the rice with a wooden spoon, folding gently to mix. You can use the prepared rice warm or cold although room temp or a little bit warm is best.

A special thanks to my lovely husband who modeled for this post.

And a special thanks to Dad and Vicki who gifted us beautiful sushi dishes made by a local Savannah artist, 10 years ago (they are finally getting the attention they deserve) and a sushi feast sent FedEx to our door for Christmas! We are still eating it and we've managed half a dozen meals out of it although the squid salad and Unagi was the first to go! Party in a box! What could be better?


  1. Very cool guys! Looks like a blast and a potential party option for the next McBrayer family gathering. When you roll the rice on the bamboo matt, does it not make a sticky mess in the bamboo matt?

  2. In the past, we have put saran wrap on the bamboo mat to keep it from sticking but I found the last time I did it that if the rice is packed together well enough before you flip it, it doesn't stick as much as you might think.

  3. I would so make that easy dish, if i liked seafood. BUT GREAT AND CREATIVE WAY TO DO IT!

  4. Thats so adorable! i wish i liked seafood because i would sooo make that! i love you and miss you all very much:) hope to see you soon!