It’s really not as weird as it sounds, and in fact, this trick is pretty clever! I was perusing Pinterest (as one is wont to do when on the train or in front of the TV) and I came across this “Make Sushi At Home” image and I was very curious! So much so, that the next time I happened to be in Evanston, I stopped at this little sushi spot called Sea Ranch, which also happens to also have a small selection of essential groceries for making delicious Japanese cuisine and sushi at home. The fish (as a chunk, or cut for you), wasabi, masago (roe or egg), ginger, sushi rice, sauces, nori (seaweed), everything! So, naturally, I decided that an experiment was in order.
First thing’s first: sushi rice. Now, I know the method is to start by washing your rice until the water runs clear. What this does is remove, not only debris from your rice, but the surface starch so your rice doesn’t get “gummy,” which is gross. Your rice will still be sticky. I decided to use the sushi rice recipe from Alton Brown on foodnetwork.com and I added in both white and black toasted sesame seeds to it post-cook to add extra texture and color to it. Plus, it was just downright tasty!
As for the actual making of my little cube sushes, the main trick to all of this was cling film, layering it inside the ice cube tray ensured zero stick and mess! Easy, simple, and so very, very clever! I made actual nigiri style, sandwich (“sammie”) style sushi (rice on bottom, filling, rice on top), the roll style (rice on three sides if it would cooperate, filling, rice on top), and I even used some of the nori (and one peeled strip of avocado just to be creative) as a sort of wrap around (nori on bottom, fish, wasabi, rice). I was just trying different things, and once I filled up the tray, I stuck it in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes to “set.” In the meantime, since I had some nori leftover, I tried my hand at a more traditional roll, layering rice on the paper, layering fish and cucumber and avocado, then slowly (and carefully) rolling it all up into itself and cutting it into pieces. Sure, my roll is ENORMOUS by most roll standards, BUT I had more leftover fish pieces than I had intended and didn’t want to let anything go to waste, so I loaded that sucker up. It was still really, really tasty, AND all-in-all a complete success! I’m really pleased with how they turned out and I shall definitely be trying it again the next time I happen to be spending a little extra time in the Northern Suburbs.
For those who don’t have a sushi spot that will sell you fish to do this at home, you can actually buy frozen sushi grade fish at some grocery stores, but depending on the cost of all the ingredients, I will honestly say it may be the same amount to just go to a restaurant to eat, BUT if you’re in it for the adventure of trying something new and exciting, then this is definitely one of those times that the experience outways the cost! YUM! (Also, what a great, easy appetizer for a party?!) — Cooking Maggie