Editors’ Note: Welcome to Day 2 of Sushi Week! We hope you enjoy our recent first foray into the mischievous world of sushi-making! Start at Day 1 for all the fun. 😉
Matthew: Josh did a great job on the sushi rice. Nice and sticky…so sticky that it stuck to everything — hands, clothes, my face, ears, Peter’s fur. I highly suggest using wet hands for this job. Josh provided a finger bowl of water close by. Notice I am mashing the rice flat. You’ll see that Josh uses a fluffier method — which is right? How the heck do we know, but both worked perfectly. Just a word to the wise — use the “rough” side of the nori so the rice will stick. That leaves the shiny side of the nori for the outside (who knew nori had two different sides?! Josh thought I was crazy until he looked at it).
Josh: PS: I still think he’s crazy. As for my rice method working perfectly? Not-so-much. More on that below. As for the rice, I used a rice cooker that David bought me especially for Sushi Week. It was like $12 at Walz-Mart. It did great, except I have to read instructions to use it, which is usually the kiss of death for me. The trick to making the rice tasty was to add a mixture of rice wine vinegar, sugar, and salt after cooking. Here’s the link I used for sushi-rice guidance.
Matthew: See, Josh chose not to mush (mush is a technical term) the rice down. It just makes for a bigger roll. (There’s Josh’s ring from David…with rice stuck to it. Awww, sweet and sticky romance)
Josh: Yes, I made fun of Matthew for mashing his sticky rice into submission, but the laughing soon ended. My fluffier method made for a MONDO rice roll. You’ve seen those nature shows where the anaconda unhinges its jaw to swallow a goat? That was me attempting to eat my plus-sized sushi.
Matthew: We had a great setup to make our rolls. Everything was close by and easy to reach. Josh’s face was one of frustration — his rice was not doing what he wanted it to do and I just giggled at his grumbling. Josh, is that a watch you are wearing? No? Oh, it’s your Native American Wonder Woman bracelet. Nice.
Josh: I like to wear man-jewelry when I cook. Who doesn’t? 😉 Matthew was right— I was getting angry at my rice. I wanted my sushi to turn out perfectly. I always tease Matthew about having perfectionist tendencies…umm, pot, kettle? Also, if you know me, you probably know that I am Special-Needs when it comes to spatial relations. I wanted a rice-outside roll, but for the life of me couldn’t figure out the steps. Bless my heart.
Matthew: Ray and David assisted us by covering the bamboo mats in plastic wrap so the roll wouldn’t stick. I was making a California Roll with real crab rather than faux krab sticks you get at most restaurants. A California Roll supposed to have crab, carrot sticks, avocado and cucumber; however, I forgot to add the avocado, so we will name this the Mis-take Roll.
Josh: That saran wrap raised my blood pressure another 87 points. By the way, look how perfect Matthew’s roll looks above. Now look down at mine.
Matthew: Not mashing the rice gives you a bigger roll, which is perfectly fine. You’ll see that once cut, it was beautifully made. I must say that Josh and plastic wrap have been enemies since the first day he used it. This is just a classic picture of their hatred of each other. Looks as if his squirrel claw is about to take that cellophane beast by the throat and kill it.
Josh: OMG what a mess. I was like, are you freakin’ kidding me? Matthew’s roll was pristine, gleaming, even! My mangy, rice-studded, exploding monster roll was the size of a 1950’s flashlight. It was like sushi made by a blind homeless person.
Matthew: Two things when cutting a sushi roll: #1. Use a very sharp knife (sometimes that’s dangerous and we have pics to prove it) and #2. Wet the blade before every cut. I actually cut the roll incorrectly. Josh reminded me that you cut a roll by continuing to half it until you have the same size pieces. The Mis-take Roll was living up to its name.
Josh: PS: The Mis-take roll still turned out beautifully.
Matthew: Josh cut the roll correctly. He halved the big roll first, then halved the two halves and so on. Confused? Yeah, me too.
Josh: First, I scraped off all those straggly rice bits. Then I just started cutting. I was just pleased that the whole damn thing didn’t unravel into a major sushi disaster, flinging avocado and sriracha-spiked raw tuna everywhere. Thank you, spackle rice!
Matthew: The Mis-take roll turned out well and tasted good too. I like my wasabi green tadpole on the plate.
Josh: You put tadpoles in your sushi? JK. That wasabi tube did allow for some cool artistic garnishing.
Matthew: This Spicy Tuna roll was picture perfect. That hoisin sauce helped take some of the fire away.
Josh: It was “Picture Perfect” in the same way that Oprah is picture-perfect on the cover of “O.” Mr. Spicy Tuna had a lot of “work” done. But after all that stress, it actually was delicious. And I love the black sesame seeds that Matthew brought…what a fun and fancy little garnish.
Whew…we’re outta breath just retelling the story…and that’s just the first two rolls! Tune in tomorrow, when our Sushi Mischief takes a very violent turn for the worse…