DIY Sushi Dinner

Saturday, January 02, 2016

We were invited to Rachel's place for lunch a few months ago and, being Japanese, she served us sushi. But she made us work for our meal. Everything was on the table and we made our own rolls, based on our preferences. And what fun it was. And I thought ... we should do this someday. 

Since all the family members would definitely be in attendance on New Year's Eve, it was a perfect opportunity to have an arts and crafts session for dinner, aka a DIY sushi dinner.

Definitely much better than takeaway ... you do know where your salmon is from. And infinitely more fun.

Popular seafood options include salmon, bluefin tuna, and ebi. Check out your Japanese grocery store for sushi-grade seafood.

Nice to have a head start while contemplating your creation. This unagi dragon roll was pretty good! And so photogenic ;) thanks to the amazing apple swirl made by Michael.

Julienned carrots, cucumbers and avocado provide the vegetable fillings.

And home made tamago becomes a part of a peacock. Kudos to Michael who carved the duck ... er ... peacock ... and Belle, who not only made the tamago, but plated it to make it look like a peacock.

Now ... here's the handy dandy guide to hosting your own DIY sushi meal. 

The Ingredients:
Nori sheets (5 sheets per person)
Sushi rice (3/4 cup per person)

Seafood options: Make sure all your seafood is sushi-grade
Salmon - Sake
Tuna - Maguro
Shrimp - Ebi
Eel - Unagi
Octopus - Tako
Squid - Ika
Salmon roe - Ikura

Vegetable options:
Carrots, blanched
English Cucumber
Pea shoots

Rice vinegar (you need it to make sushi rice)
Soy sauce (low-sodium preferably)
Toasted sesame seeds

Omelette - Tamago (you can make this)
Pickled ginger (if anyone likes it)
A lemon or orange for decor
Some salad greens for decor

Cling film / wrap
Bamboo mat - optional - don't have it? make hand rolls :)

The Steps:
Week(s) before:
1. After you've figured out when this fun meal would be, check out your pantry to see if you have the basics and condiments. 
2. Start making a list. Two lists. One for now. One for meats and produce which you have to get a few hours or a day prior.
3. Visit your Japanese supermarket for seafood availability, and reserve your choices if needed. They may charge extra for cutting the fish, but it's probably worth it. Make sure you buy the seafood fresh, that means ... on the day of, if hosting a dinner.

Day before:
4. Shop for vegetables and seafood.
5. Prep your vegetables, cover with cling film and refrigerate.
6. Make sauces - sriracha mayo, unagi sauce (1 cup dashi, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 tbsp cornstarch), then place in squirt bottles.

Day of:
7. Make sushi rice.
8. Set the table. Plates and chopsticks will suffice. Lots of napkins.
9. Make sure all your condiments are within reach on the table. 
10. Plate your vegetables and the delicious seafood.
11. Enjoy with green tea or sake.


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