Much like the Hawaiian greeting and farewell of aloha, konnichiwa means hello or good afternoon in Japanese.
But before you get too impressed, it's the only Japanese word I know. It's probably the only Japanese word I will ever know.
Well, except for Japanese words like wasabai, unagi, and sushi. But all of those words have food in common, so that only makes sense.
So here I am to show you some of my and Luke's favourite sushi recipes and tricks. After all, it was Luke's monthly trip to the kitchen. But now that he's cooked his three dishes of sushi, wonton noodle soup, and paella, what will be next?
I guess you'll have to wait and see.
For now, here's the sushi!
And before you ask, yes this was just for Luke and myself. But sushi is great for lunch the day or two.
In fact, as far as I heard, sushi was created for fisherman and other working men to take for lunch in Japan. It's easy to pick up and you can put whatever you want inside the wrappers!
But you need to have rice. So let's start with that necessity.
2 cups short grain white rice
4 cups water
3 tablespoons rice vinegar, of regular white vinegar with a bit of sugar stirred in
1. Rinse the rice and then add the rinsed rice to a pot with the 4 cups of water.
2. Bring rice to a boil, turn down to low and simmer until cooked.
3. Add vinegar, stir, and let cool.
If you don't let the rice cool, it will heat the seaweed wrappers and make them soggy. Not good for sushi.
Next comes the filling. And I don't use raw fish, so if you were wary before - you don't have to be!
1 avocado, peeled and sliced into thin fans
1 carrot, julienned
6 inches of a cucumber, sliced into thin strips
1 package of smoked salmon
1 package of crab legs, or fish flavoured like crab. There are so many flavours going on, you won't know the difference
1 package Enoki mushrooms
1 mango, finely sliced
1 sweet pepper, finely sliced
1 tablespoon black or white sesame seeds
1 package of seaweed wrappers
Really, the list could go on forever. There are no rules with sushi fillings. Just use food you like that will go together. It should be thinly sliced to fit inside a maki roll, but that's it.
So let's get rolling!
Lay out your roller and place a piece of seaweed on top. Spoon some cooled rice on top, leaving an inch or two of seaweed bare, and then place your choice of fillings on the top inch of the rice.
Then turn your roller around, so that the fillings face you, and start to roll.
Use the roller to help you get the sushi rolled tightly. It takes a little practice, but after the end of the night you will be a pro!
Wet your finger with a bit of water and run it along the bare seaweed to help the roll stick together.
Then place the roll on a cutting board and slice into bite sized pieces with a sharp knife. There's no rule on how thick your pieces should be, so cut as many or as few rolls as you want.
So that's the basic maki roll. Not so hard?
Well try out the next step. Rice on the outside.
All you do differently is place a piece of cling wrap on your roller and put the rice down before your seaweed wrapper.
Then place your fillings directly on the seaweed, roll away, and then roll your roll in a little bit of sesame seeds before you slice it into bite sized pieces.
It's looks harder than it is!
Finally, if you're getting bored with the basics, try something new.
Egg rolled sushi and roasted red pepper sushi
Let's start with the eggs, because the egg recipe came first for me.
First make your omelette wrappings.
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoon cooking oil
1. Combine all ingredients but the oil in a small pitcher and beat until combined.
2. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a small frying pan and then pour a third of the mixture into the pan.
3. Just cook it like a regular omelette and then repeat until you have three little omelettes.
I filled two of my omelettes with regular sushi fillings before rolling them up like a regular sushi roll, but for the third I got a bit creative and added regular omelette fillings - sweet pepper, smoked salmon, and grated cheddar! It was delicious and worth a try!
But since the eggs don't stick together as well as the seaweed wrappers, you'll have to eat fast.
A hardship, I know. :)
Finally, roasted red pepper sushi!
This one need a bit of extra salt added to the rice, but other than that, they were great.
I used jarred roasted red peppers and just sliced them in half and stuffed them full of rice and sushi fillings.
Then I rolled them up in cling wrap and put them in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes. This helped them keep their shape and also made sure there were enough to share when we ate!
Last but not least, if you have any rice left over, but the seaweed wrappers are all used up, try this!
Take a small handful of rice and either roll it into a ball or use two teaspoons to shape it in a ball. Then make a small indent and place any bits of fillings you have left inside.
Easy as pie. Or should I say, easy as sushi!
Then serve up your feast with pickled ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce.
I have more ideas, but I'll let you go now. I am sure you're wanting to get your rice started.