Adventures of a Gastronome in Training (GIT)

One amateur foodie's quest for culinary enlightenment. Musings on cooking, dining, food products, basically all things edible are fair game.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Home-style Sushi Bonanza

With sushi prices what they are in Manhattan (anyone up for Masa’s $300 per person chef’s omakase lunch or dinner?), I’ve found the best alternative -save maybe waiting in line at Tomoe Sushi on Thompson- is to make it at home. Sure, the rice may not be as expertly prepared, and our rolling technique wouldn’t fly even at the most amateur styled sushi bar, but you sure end up with a lot more change in your purse. Besides, it’s such an easy and fun meal for dinner parties.

Sushi spread for four

Last weekend after a tiring hike in the Catskills, we swung our rental car over to Misuwa Market Place in Edgewater, New Jersey. This chain Japanese grocery is huge and has everything from a bakery to a travel agency to an excellent sashimi-grade fish selection. For example, you can spend anywhere from $20 to $70 per pound for an array of sashimi-grade tunas. It’s a full-scale grocery with all the veggies, dairy items, and frozen treats you could hope for. Even the Manhattan-bound car-less can join in on the fun and take a bus over (see their website for details). For our sushi blowout for four, we stocked up on the following:

 Yellow tail (½ lb at ~$23/lb)
 Toro (Choice tuna belly, ½ lb at ~$32/lb)
 Salmon (½ lb at ~$20/lb)
 Freshwater eel
 1 package Surimi (imitation crab)
 ½ lb Shrimp
 30-sheet pack of roasted seaweed
 Powdered horseradish (for wasabi)
 1 Cucumber
 2 Avocados
 Spinach
 Salmon eggs (Ikura)
 Eggs (for Tamago, sweetened omelet)
 Sushi rice
 Soy sauce
 Rice vinegar

Chef Grace

Our friend Grace has been making sushi at home for years, so she acted as head chef while the rest of us did our best to help out. Most of the prep is in cutting things up like the avocado, cucumber, and fish. For making the tamago, just take 3 well-beaten eggs, 1-½ tablespoons of sugar, and a splash of soy sauce and cook like you would an omelet. Then cut into strips. For the spinach, rinse well and sweat in a fry pan with water and a bit of soy sauce. For the spicy mayo, add some chili oil to mayonnaise to taste. For the wasabi, add just a little water to a tablespoon of powered horseradish until it reaches a pasty consistency. And finally, for the rice, cook in rice cooker as directed. Then fold in a couple tablespoons or more of rice vinegar to taste.

The burrito roll

The result is a lot of fun. You can get creative or go way over the top (see Marty’s burrito roll – he was really hungry from a day of hiking…). We just did hand rolls this time, since we were pretty tired out. All you need to do it cut the seaweed sheet in half and make triangle with your rice. Place whatever your heart desires on top, and roll into a cone. Our general feeling was that everything was of good quality, especially the tuna - it was exceptional. The only true disappointment was the freshwater eel. It always tastes much better in restaurants. By the end, we were all stuffed – quite an accomplishment with sushi.

Hand-roll with yellow tail, ikura, and avocado


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Jennie/Female. Lives in United States/Jennie Auster/New York, speaks English. Eye color is blue.