• Anything Goes Sushi

    My boyfriend brought home some nori (seaweed wrapper) from his trip to Korea and I thought the only thing I could do with it was to make sushi. I don't know how to make sushi, nor have I watched anyone assemble the Japanese delicacy. And so relying on recipes found in the internet, I dub my California roll version "Anything Goes Sushi."

    Foodie background: Technically, sushi (which means sour-tasting) refers to shari (vinegared rice)-based bite-size food. It's not necessarily the nori-wrapped rolls that we often encounter in Japanese restaurants. Instead, it has several types. There's chirashizushi which is a bowl of sushi rice topped with sashimi (thinly sliced raw meat, mostly seafood) and garnishes. There's also the inarizushi which looks like gyoza but is actually a fried tofu pouch filled with rice. Then there's makizushi, the sushi we know. And that has several different types also (rice outside, nori-wrapped, etc.). The ones they serve in Philippine-based Japanese restos are mostly Western-style sushi. Among the most popular is the California maki/roll (which I tried to make).

    Remember the super california maki we tasted at Rai Rai Ken?
    How to make Anything Goes Sushi

    Nori - seaweed wrapper (you can buy this at the supermarket)
    Shari - sushi rice; strictly speaking this is Japanese rice dressed in rice vinegar or wine (such as sake or mirin) but since this is Anything Goes Sushi I used ordinary rice (but the nice kind)
    Neta - the topping, usually raw fish or other seafoods. But since we're supposedly making California rolls, we will use crab sticks (P100+ at the supermarket) plus cucumber and mangoes (instead of avocado)
    Condiments, etc.

    Note: remember to buy a sushi rolling mat (see the wooden mat the nori is resting on?). I bought mine at the Japanese store Daiso (one of those P66 or P88 or P99 stores) for P66.

    (Remember, I'm not an expert and I just guesstimated everything from online recipes and how-tos)

    1. Place the nori on the sushi mat and lay down seasoned rice (cooled to room temperature). Since I did not think of buying mirin, I just seasoned my rice with salt and pepper. Hehe.

    2. Place sliced crab stick (I cut them in half since I thought they were too thick), cucumber and ripe mangoes on one side. (In this picture, the rice was not thinly spread out. That was sooo wrong.)

    3. Spread some mayonnaise on the crab sticks.

    4. Now roll everything up. This is the tricky part. You have to make sure that everything is tucked in - no spaces. As you roll (using the sushi mat), apply some weight to compress the ingredients together. If you make a loose roll then it won't hold.

    5. Make sure you have a nice sharp knife and slice the rolls (1 inch apart). Garnish accordingly.
    P.S. It is preferable that you use Kikkoman soy sauce instead of the common soy sauce which is too salty and overpowering for sushi.
    Enjoy! Happy holidays!

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