Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sushi! (Bowl)

I get crazy sushi cravings sometimes. They last for about a week and I have to eat it at LEAST once to satisfy my craving. Problem is, sushi can be expensive, especially if the only reasonable sushi place in your town burned down a few months ago. What's left is overpriced and average tasting sushi or driving 45 minutes to a place in Fort Collins. Well, I did that last week but it wasn't enough. 

A couple years ago, I lived next to a girl from Hawaii. She was totally broke all the time and missed sushi something fierce, so we decided to make it together. It was cheaper than ordering out and since she knew how,  it really wasn't difficult. The best part was finding out that, where she's from, it's apparently totally acceptable to wrap sushi rolls and not cut them, eating them like a burrito instead of piece by piece. This cuts down on a LOT of work.

But even making rolls is too much work sometimes. That's when I make bowls. In fancy chef-speak, this would be called a "deconstructed California Roll". In real world-speak, I dumped all the ingredients in a bowl and hoovered it up as only an American can. 

You can use whatever kind of sushi-grade fish you want to do this, but it's a little weird using the traditional ahi or yellowtail raw. I would do this with smoked salmon (or baked salmon like Sushi1 if I knew the sauce) but it's most effective with a California roll. Use whatever your favorite roll fillings include, knowing that cream cheese might be a bit difficult to work with here.

Sticky sushi rice can be a bee-yotch to get right. When it doubt, turn to Alton Brown! 

California Roll in a Bowl
Serves 2

1/2 of Alton's Sushi Rice
          For this, you will need short grain white rice (I use Calrose), Rice Vinegar (not rice WINE vinegar), sugar and kosher salt. If you use table salt, cut the amount to 1/3 of what's called for or else it will be inedible. You can make the full amount, but that's a lot of rice. Keep in mind that cooking times need to be reduced somewhat if you cut it in half. I almost overcooked mine and it was right on the edge of mushy. Not good eats!

1/2 ripe avocado, diced
1/3 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
2 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
3-4 imitation crab sticks, diced
1 sheet nori (dry seaweed), chopped into 2" x 1/2" strips (optional)
2 green onions, chopped (optional)
Soy sauce, to taste
1/4 tsp (or less) Wasabe paste (optional)

Yes, imitation crab. I'm on a budget here and it's what sushi places use anyway!

7:45 pm
7:44 pm
Prepare the rice as directed. While cooking, chop vegetables and crab. Toast sesame seeds in a dry pan over medium low heat until you can smell them. Watch closely, because they turn from toasted to burned VERY quickly. 

Divide cooked rice into two bowls. Put everything else on top. I mix the wasabi paste with the soy sauce before I pour it over the top, but you don't have to do that if you don't want. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the whole bowl and dig in! 

This meal takes less than 25 minutes to make and costs about $1 per bowl if you already have the condiments on hand. $2.00 if you have to get the vinegar and wasabi and those will last you forever. 

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