2.24.2012

A DIY Valentine's Date

Nothing says "sexy night in like raw fish", does it not? Sushi is one of those polarizing things.  You either love it, or you hate it.  I've loved it since the 7th grade, and have taken my husband down with me.  Since I'm allergic to going out to eat on Valentine's Day (it's a serious condition that involves hatred of big crowds and frustration with prix fixed menus), I decided that sushi rolling was an adventure we had to try.

 It's also worth noting that every single person who I told about our Valentine's plans responded with "Fun! Ha, like Samantha did in the "Sex and the City" movie?". No.  Not like the "Sex and the City" movie.  But thank you for making our conversation suddenly very awkward. 

 I've included the entire process and recipes after the cut for those of you that are curious about how I did it.  There's plenty of fabulous sushi tutorials out there (Sushi Daddy was my favorite). If you're just in it for the spoiler alert, then here's the verdict:  It was really fun and very tasty.  If you can maintain all the essentials in your pantry and don't order an astronomical amount of fish like I did, it's definitely more cost efficient then going out to eat sushi regularly.  You will make a huge mess, but you will have fun doing it.   
You will need the following things to make everything that I did



  • A husband that makes up in enthusiasm for what he lacks in ability to peel and chop an avocado
  • Champagne (3 bottles, to be exact)
  • A really sharp knife
  • Yellow Fin Tuna (sushi grade)
  • Alaskan Salmon (sushi grade)
  • Jumbo Shrimp
  • Sushi Rice
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Wasabi powder
  • Srircha Sauce (garlic chili sauce)
  • Nori (roasted seaweed, for wrapping the sushi)
  • Sudare Roller (Bamboo Mat for rolling sushi)
  •  Miren Rice Wine
  • Soy Sauce
While my Publix has a rockin' ethnic food section, they didn't have a lot of the more specific things I needed.  A quick trip to the K&S International Market fixed this.  I walked away with all of this for about $30. I didn't come close to using all of it, so my pantry is currently much more exciting.

   I'm one of those sushi lovers who live in a land-locked state, so buying the fish proved to be challenging.  K&S Market offered some sushi grade fish, but I was a little bit weary because I couldn't get an answer on where it came from.  So, after doing some research, I ended up ordering frozen sushi grade fish from Catalinia Offshore Products.  You dethaw the fish in the fridge over the course of 24 hours.  The fish tasted fabulous and fresh.  Plus, we didn't get food poisoning.  It was generally a victorious celebration. 

One thing to be aware of: You are going to mess up a lot of dishes.  Your husband may or may not complain about it.  You may or may not try to banish him from the kitchen.  He will pout, but then try the spicy tuna and declare you a sushi goddess.  He will then drink an entire bottle of champagne and serenade you with Johnny Cash songs.  This is a very important part of the process.  Trust me.

First, you must make the sushi rice.  But don't worry, it's easy! First, rinse and drain the rice until the water comes back clear.  Then, add 1.25 cups of water for every cup you add (2 cups for us, and it made a lot).  Bring the rice to a boil, then turn off eye on the stove for 3 minutes.  Then, turn the rice back on low and cook for 20.  Remove with a wooden spoon (NOT metal, bad news bears) to a separate bowl.  Season with 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 2 tbsp sugar, and a little salt to taste.  Cover it with a wet paper towel, and let it cool. 

  You can put whatever you want to in your sushi.  For Valentine's Day, I tempura fried some shrimp and some crab to go in it.  We also chopped up avocado, rolled some cream cheese logs (that was Michael's one and only contribution to the process...unless you count drinking an entire bottle of champagne and serenading me with Johnny Cash songs), and mixed up some spicy mayo which Michael then tried to drink whole. Here are some of the other things we made: Tempura Shrimp (jumbo shrimp on skewers, veggie oil heated up to a toasty 350.  mix one egg with one cup ice water, dunk the shrimp in there, dredge and flour, and fry until done.  Goes fabulously with spicy mayo) Spicy Mayo (One cup of mayo, 3 tbsp soy sauce, 3 tbsp srircha sauce, 1 tbsp mirin, and 2 tablespoons sugar mixed up together). Spicy Tuna Handrolls (a cup and a half of tuna chopped up finely, 1 tbsp spicy mayo, and 1 tbsp srircha sauce, and 1 tbsp soy sauce). Sushi galore (any and every combination you can think of).

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