My first stop was to Fresh Market for the software, and boy did I hit the jackpot! The fish guy had spent much time in Japan and loves sushi, so when I told him what I was doing he threw himself into getting me the best fruits de mer possible. He went to the back and pulled a portion of ahi tuna that they use for the sushi they make in house (score!) then packaged me a up a nice filet for tuna tatake (seared tuna). Then he gave me a sample of the tuna tatake they make there (nice!). I asked about the snow crab vs. king crab for a California roll and he gave me two legs for free because I was only making a small amount of CA roll. Talk about hooked up! Finally, I picked up some local Georgia shrimp.
When I got home, I assembled my wares: nori sheets, rolling mat, rice vinegar, wasabi paste, pickled ginger, sushi rice, soy sauce, and I was just getting started. I sliced up my cucumber and started assembling my sushi station.
After rinsing and draining the rice several times I put in on to cook and made the vinegar/salt/sugar mix (courtesy of Alton Brown). While I was waiting I made a cute little garnish to go with the tuna tatake (more on that later.) I also cooked up the shrimp for nigiri and the crab for the cali roll.
Once the rice was done I turned it out into a wooden dish, dumped on the vinegar mixture riceand started folding it in, fanning the rice with a paper plate. Apparently the fanning thing is important. Saying that this rice was sticky is like saying that diamonds are hard. Holy crap for crap! Once it was on my fingers I had to wash my hands to get it off! Anyway, it tasted good and there was no question it would stick together so I was happy.
I launched myself into roll making and nigiri sushi making. After watching the Good Eats episode “Wake Up Little Sushi” a couple of times I figured I had it down pretty good. My ingredients were all assembled and I became a sushi making MACHINE, BABY!
I made four rolls: a traditional California roll, a not really philly roll (tuna, cream cheese, avocado) an inside out not really philly roll (rice on the outside of the roll) and a tekka maki (regular tuna roll, nori on the outside). I also made nigiri sushi (fish on rice) with tuna and the shrimp. I was going to do some with smoked salmon also but when I saw how much food there was going to be for the two of us I put the brakes on. It was already going to be an all-you-can-eat sushi extravaganza.
The final dish was tuna tatake. This is where I made my real kung faux pas of the night.Tuna Tatake?Tuna tatake is supposed to be slightly seared and raw in the middle. I guess I got distracted or something because mine was waaaay overdone when I cut it up. However, the garnish looks super cool and with the ponzu sauce the dish really did taste good!
Of course, no sushi dinner would be complete without a little sake to throw back! Woot!Test subject Bill and I settled in to eat and honestly it was suprisingly good. The fish was nice and clean tasting, tender, high quality. My california roll fell apart a little bit and I used too much
rice on the nigiri sushi but for a first attempt I think it turned out pretty darn good. My presentation skills could use some work and I’m lacking a fair amount of technique, but darn if I didn’t make some tasty fish!