Sunday, January 30, 2011

COOKED Sushi For My Lauren!

A lot of people don’t like raw sushi and for some, they aren’t allowed to eat it because they can’t have anything raw in their diet.  I myself have been told that due to my hypoglycemia, I am not supposed to eat raw foods, but I manage to get around that pretty regularly.  I love sushi so much that I will take it however I can get it, including no preference between restaurant and homemade sushi. As a matter of fact, I really enjoy making it at home.  Whether it’s just my husband and I or a group of friends, it’s such an awesome way to bring people together around the dinner table and to not have one person stuck in the kitchen while everyone else socializes.  I know my friend Lauren loves it just as much as I do, so I dedicate this to her in hopes that she may still be able to enjoy her favorite treat and may even learn a new appreciation for it!

Here are the basics-

Tools you need:
Bamboo mat (to roll the sushi) 
At least one, but it’s better to have enough for each person, so that you can all roll together.
Flat wooden spoon
Sharp knife

Soy sauce (Always use low sodium)
Spicy mustard/mayo**
Pickled ginger**
**If you are not allowed to have anything that is raw then make sure that the sauces have been cooked.  In particular, I do not believe that wasabi is cooked. It usually starts as a powder and is mixed with a liquid, so I would check with your doctor**

Sushi rice
Rice wine vinegar
Sesame seeds**
Vegetables -Choose ones that will remain crisp when cooked, i.e. asparagus or carrots.
Meat or fish -You can use cooked chicken or steak, but it will be a little tough. I suggest shrimp, crab, tuna, or just use veggies.  I had veggie rolls the other day and I didn’t miss the protein at all.  You could shred the chicken slightly, though, and that might be a good alternative tossed in teriyaki sauce!  I recommend Soy Vay Teriyaki.  It’s yummy and better for you than others.
**Nori is NOT cooked. It is dried.  If you can’t have raw food I do not think you should use this.  It is a key component to keeping the sushi held together, so it will make it more difficult to keep intact, but it is possible.  Other alternatives would be to make sushi rice balls and place the meat on top or if you’re really having issues, just throw your favorite ingredients in a bowl, mix in wasabi, spicy mustard, soy sauce and call it a day!  (All that matters is it makes it in your mouth ;)

Cook rice as per bag directions and then let it cool.  It needs to be at room temperature to have the best consistency to work with.  Mix a little rice wine vinegar and equal part water in a small bowl and wet your hands with it before you handle the rice.  This mixture will make the rice less sticky on your hands and thus easier to work with.  Using your hands and the wooden spoon (also dipped in the mixture), spread out a rectangle of rice on the bamboo mat, approximately 3 inches wide and 6 inches long.  With the mat horizontally in front of you lay your protein and veggies on the length edge of the rice closest to you.  Then very carefully begin to roll that edge away from you with the mat.  Once the rice is rolled over and touching, you continue to roll but let the mat keep going straight instead of rolling under the rice.  When you feel that the rice has made a nice little roll, rock the mat softly back and forth to make sure it all sticks together.  Finally, I like to put them back in the refrigerator or freezer for a few to chill them, let the flavors meld and seal ‘em tight.  When you are ready to eat, pull out, slice and voila!!

Some websites that may be helpful:

**If you are on any dietary restrictions, MAKE SURE you consult with your doctor beforehand!  Your health is #1….

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