My best sushi yet, featuring mackerel, egg, and a host of veggies!

I really like sushi. And when I start craving sushi, I must quench the maddening thirst! Quite unfortunately, eating sushi only makes me want to eat more sushi. It all started when Drew and I decided it was high time we visited the new sushi place over in Carytown, Momotaru Sushi. Lunch was delicious and cost-effective. A few days later found us returning there in the evening, with friends. My wallet hurt after that, and urged me to complete my satiation by making my own sushi instead of flinging dollars wildly at every Japanese guy with a sharp knife.

So thusly, I ventured to the Tan-A market. Along with getting other necessary ingredients, I decided to try something new this time. There’s fresh fish in the back, buckets of bug-eyed cuties that stare back at me every time I wander past. This time, I bought one of those cuties (a Boston Mackerel if we want to be specific here) and took it home with me.


To put off the inevitable, I entertained myself for a little while with Drew by threatening to add it to my stuffed animal fish collection. My bravery finally kicked in, though, and I went about attempting to fillet the wee thing, something I’d never done before. The internet proved useful, and I did a more or less OK job at it. Not too much fish after all was said and done, but considering all of the other ingredients destined to be sushified, the quantity was quite acceptable.

Next, the egg. Tamago, to be specific, that magical sort of omelet with sugar that floats atop of rice in delicious nigiri form. Up until then, my tamago had been half-assed and botched, and this time I really wanted to try doing it right. So I found a proper recipe, and whisked together a few eggs, sugar, soy sauce, and rice wine. There’s this folding of the egg that you do in a special pan with a spatula, which I decided was rather similar to the sort of pan one uses for loaves of bread. The egg got all melty and gooey on me at rather inconvenient times, then got all difficult on me and decided to get extra crispy on one side. Still, for a first attempt, I was pleased enough with the result.


At some point during all of this, I’m making an indecent quantity of rice on the stove. And chopping up indecent quantities of vegetables: avocado, cucumber, carrot, and onion. And here’s something else fun: I made some spicy mayonnaise. It’s this sort of spicy sauce that comes on some sushi rolls, and is what tuna is mixed with to make spicy tuna. You can buy Japanese mayonnaise, but at $4.50 for a giant bottle (of a quantity that guaranteed most of it would get chucked in the trash eventually), my wallet disagreed with me. So I just used regular mayonnaise, with some generous squirts of Chiracha sauce (identifiable as the red hot sauce with the giant rooster on the bottle). Then, a stroke of genius. I got some frosting nozzles and bagged that sauce up. Spicy decorating frenzy could be mine!!!

In any case, here’s the layout of everything, pre-sushi. Or rather, almost pre-sushi, as the inspiration to take said picture struck me after making the first roll.

sushi workspace

So I made bunches of deliciousness. The mackerel worked out rather pleasantly. I even made two pieces of nigiri with it, and let me tell you, little fishie + ball of rice = pure magic. Methinks I’ll need to make more Tan-A trips for fresh fishes!

sushi plate closeup

My general method of making sushi has usually been of the ‘slop as many combinations as possible together’ sort, but this time I tried to pay a bit more attention to texture pairings. For example, tamago + mackerel + avocado is quite exquisite. Hot sauce in nozzle was also quite fun. It made it easier to add sauce to rolls, as I just had to squirt it in rather then getting any finicky utensils involved. Next time, though, I’ll have to use a slightly smaller nozzle, as my attempts to illustrate the nigiri didn’t turn out quite as fancy as I would have liked, due to lack of ability to add detail.

big sushi plates

And in conclusion, hooray for sushi!

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  1. Jason March 12, 2009 11:54 pm

    Please be careful when buying fresh fish at a regular market for making sushi. Sushi grade fish is particular and is treated differently to be safe to eat raw. Usually fish mongers will tell you if you ask if their fish are sushi grade. They’re not necessarily more expensive, but they’re safer.

    Mackerel is one of my favorite!

    • What I Eat, Apparently March 13, 2009 8:24 pm

      I love mackerel so bad.

      I was trying to make sure the fish looked fresh enough (no glazed eyes, still shiny scales and such), but I probably should ask about the fish next time. Assuming I don’t get completely lazy and get it pre-cut like I was tempted to do!

  2. Eugenio March 14, 2009 7:56 am

    Love tan-a, i’m always just about to buy some goat there, but end up getting something else. Have never made real sushi, your looks great, will have to try it

    • What I Eat, Apparently March 14, 2009 10:46 am

      Definitely try making sushi, the best thing about it is that even if it looks horrible, it still tastes fabulous!

  3. RVA Foodie March 14, 2009 11:48 am

    Those are some awesome looking maki rolls. My stuff rarely comes out that pretty. But the real achievement here is beginning with a whole fish! That’s on a whole nuther level from my fillet of tuna/salmon sushi adventures in homemade rolls and sashimi (often in a marinade). I don’t know if I’ve ever had raw mackerel. What’s up with leaving a strip of skin on? Is that tasty? Chewable? I am definitely impressed with this. I wish that what you eat, apparently was what I ate in reality. Tell us about that zip-lock and nozzle contraption.

  4. essay on time April 6, 2017 9:05 am

    My mouth is getting watery after reading this post and I want to tell that I just love sushi. It has been one of the delicious recipes that I have ever had in my entire life.