Sunday, November 14, 2010

Smoked Salmon, Crab, Teriyaki Shrimp and Octopus Sushi

Sushi!  More wasabi please!
     This is the second sushi platter that I made for a request by a good friend who has been on chemotherapy for cancer for a few years.  I do go out of my way to cook request by seroiusly ill people.  My sick friend says that the pictures of my food do help her to gain an appetite.  Nausea on chemo is hard to overcome.   
     This plate has four different sushi rolls and a few pieces of teriyaki octopus.  Seaweed salad, pickled ginger and wasabi are the accompaniments with soy sauce on the side.  The seaweed salad is very thin sliced tender fresh green seaweed tossed with sesame oil, rice vinegar, sea salt, white pepper, minced garlic and ginger. 
     The nori seaweed paper wrapped roll is crab and cucumber.  The black sesame coated roll is cucumber and smoked salmon.  The avocado wrapped roll is crab.  The masago (Capelin Caviar) coated roll is teriyaki shrimp. 
     I can't teach how to roll sushi.  Sushi rolling is just something that is learned by practice and experience!  A skilled sushi chef goes through a few different licensing procedures to be certified.  A better sushi teacher than me can be found easily.  I am in what you may call "amateur sushi chef" status. 
     Sushi rice is a must for making sushi!  The rice has to be sticky sushi rice that is flavored with a sprinkle of sweet rice wine vinegar after cooking. 
     A bamboo sushi rolling mat is the tool to use to make perfect rolls.  Apply pressure with your hands and the bamboo mat to firmly form the roll into a round shape or square shape.  A good tip is to wrap the bamboo mat with plastic wrap when doing avocado or masago coated rolls.  Make the roll first and then place the avocado slices next to the rice roll.  Use the bamboo mat to roll the rice roll over the avocado.  Then press gently to make the avocado stick.  The same technique is used for masago or black sesame coatings. 
     When slicing sushi, wet and wipe the razor sharp knife blade as necessary.  Slice down without dragging the blade. 
     Japanese teriyaki is simply sugar and soy sauce cooked to a light syrup stage.  Just cook the shrimp or octopus in the teriyaki sauce.  Slice the shrimp lengthwise after they have been cooked to make an even center of the sushi roll.
     I don't pretend to be a sushi chef!  This is only the third plate of sushi I have ever made.  If you have the inspiration to be creative, then making a few sushi rolls is a fun way to prepare a meal.  Try to keep the presentation simple, clean and have the sliced rolls placed on the plate with a sense of order.  The presentation is as much of an art as making the rolls.  Be careful with the amount of wasabi you put on a slice.  Wasabi has some mind numbing side effects! 
     By the way, this plate of sushi made my ill friend very happy.  Sushi!!!  ...  Shawna

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