As a native of this great state I feel privileged: We have great weather, amazing views, and there is always something to do. One pitfall of this beautiful state is the lack of water.
Because of this missing element Coloradans tend to miss out on things like fresh fish and good sushi.
I was watching the original Iron Chef on Food Network one day and was inspired to give sushi a try. I didn’t want to do it on my own so with help from Julia Sandidge, CTV adviser, I learned the basics of making sushi.
She shared with me stories about when she learned how to make sushi from her mother-in-law that settled my fears of messing up this great Asian tradition.
As we talked about her learning experiences, Julia imparted upon me the knowledge that even numbers are considered bad luck in Japanese culture, specifically the number four. This is why there should never be an even number of ingredients in your sushi.
Julia also shared with me that using a wooden bowl and utensil when mixing the rice will prevent temperature and taste changes.
When all of the ingredients were ready: Rice mixed, celery and carrots steamed in soy sauce, and nori roasted, Julia started rolling the first of the sushi.
After watching her once she threw me in the deep end. At first I was apprehensive but after the second roll I felt confident enough to finish off the rolls.
With a clean, wet knife we began slicing the sushi in half inch slices. Julia’s entire family gathered around to enjoy the fruits of our labors.
It was a very home-y feel reminiscent of cooking with my own family.
L’Chaim and B’Tay Avon (to life and eat well).
Verve editor Liz Sunshine can be reached at email@example.com.
Vinegared Rice (see below)
1 Nori sheet per roll desired
Odd number of ingredients of your choice (try an egg, celery, and carrot combination or a tuna, avocado, and cucumber combination)
Roast nori over a medium heat stove for a minute or two. Place glossy side down on the bamboo roller and spread a layer of the rice mixture starting at the bottom and ending about three-quarters of the way up. Place your choice of ingredients about a quarter of an inch up from the bottom of the nori.
To roll the sushi pick up the bottom and begin rolling until the nori tucks under. Continue to roll, applying slight pressure, until you have reached the end of the nori. To keep the shape roll the sushi up in saran wrap until you are ready to slice.
Slice in 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices with a sharp knife and enjoy.
1 cup Japanese-style rice
1 1/4 cups water
2 parts rice vinegar to 1 part sugar and a pinch of salt (this is to taste)
Rinse white off of rice and let soak in tap water for 15 minutes. Combine rice and water either in a rice cooker or pot and cook according to the package instructions. Combine cooked rice and vinegar mixture in a wood bowl with a wood utensil.
Nori: Dried sheets of seaweed
Imitation crab: A red-edged Alaskan Pollock is generally what is used to replace crab
Veggies: Steaming harder vegetables, like celery or carrots, in soy sauce will soften them for the sushi
To Gather Your Ingredients:
East West Imports, 203 W. Myrtle, Fort Collins, 493-0808
Fort Collins Oriental Market, 1119 W. Drake, Unit C-20 (Cimarron Plaza), Fort Collins, 223-7665
Whole Foods Market, 2201 S. College Ave., Fort Collins, 267-9200