The best circumstances for making sushi are usually when someone else is buying the ingredients. So, I was more then happy to put together some rolls for a group of people at the Outer Banks in North Carolina recently, especially considering the quality of the ingredients involved. Tuna and salmon and krab, oh my! I also got to use some panko crumbs, for some extra crunch and flair, along with egg, cucumber, avocado, carrot, green onion, and spicy mayo. There was also some salmon skin involved, but in the end I completely forgot about it, and there wasn’t enough rice for it anyhow given the giant pile of ingredients I had to work with.
It was glorious to have so much quality fresh fish to work with, particularly the tuna. As there were all sorts of leftover bits, various rolls got bonus toppings. The tuna topping was particularly tasty, consisting of tuna bits, a bit of soy sauce, and green onion. Regarding the krab-topped roll, seems like you can use pretty much anything as a topping as long as you’ve got some sort of sauce to make it not fall off (I ended up using panko crumbs and green onion on other rolls using this strategy).
Mmm, tuna closeup!
My plate presentation isn’t all that hot, so I took this as an opportunity to play around a bit. While I don’t think it’ll be getting me any jobs in a sushi bar anytime soon, it sure was fun to do!
Incidentally, the above plate was the only one used that didn’t have some sort of “I’m at the beach!” dishware theme to it.
There’s always room for nigiri! I’m still rather inaccurate in my omelet-making, the tamago I made ended up having too much wine – and the wrong type too! No rice wine here, just sherry.
I realized something about the nigiri I make – I totally make buffet nigiri. I’ve noticed that, at cheaper buffets at least, there’s generally not a huge piece of fish on the rice balls when they have nigiri, usually about half the quantity of fish you’d get if you got nigiri from a regular sushi bar. Either I’m not all that observant or my wallet is dictating how much fish I should be using, because my nigiri too often has tiny pieces of fish compared to the rice that the fish sits on. No good at all! Must work on that.
Also, sharp knives are really useful. There were no decent sharp knives at the beach house, so we had to make do with what was there. As a result, the rolls where the toppings are laid out on top (like the above roll with the avocado and tuna) are a bit chunkier then I’d like.
There were a few vegetarian types present, so I stuck some of the vegetarian sushi on it’s own plate to make it all fancy (with bonus carrot garnish, even!) That avocado really does not want to stay on those rolls on top, boo to dull knives that sliced the fat avocado slices! The lower one is an egg roll, and the middle one is me sticking every non-meat item into a gigantic delicious roll.
Veggie roll, with beach ambiance.
The lighting outside wasn’t quite as bright as it could have been (partly due to sushi always taking longer to make then I think it will), but it was a lot better then trying to take pictures inside on this fabulous tablecloth:
I think this is the most sushi I’ve ever made before. Luckily, I had help, and did not have to clean up after all of the sushi!