We went up to the enormous H-Mart in Burlington this morning, a Korean supermarket chain. In addition to the room-sized kimchee area with a bewildering assortment of marinated and fermented animal, vegetable and mineral; there's produce, meats, rows of exotic frozen foods, dried and canned goods, and fish. We loaded the cart with our usuals--hoisin sauce for marinades, rice, chicken and leek dumplings, baby bok choy, assorted Asian vegetables, three kinds of chili sauce (What? We like heat), and thin-sliced beef for stir fry. The fish is quite good here, and I love being able to get fresh whole fish like red snapper for half of what Whole Paycheck charges.
Today we noticed that in the fish case were packages of sushi-grade fish. As an experiment, we took home a small package of tuna, a bit more than 3/4 pound for $12.14. We also got a tub of pickled ginger ($2.50), a small sack of sushi rice, and a tin of wasabi (another $2-3).
I got out the book Easy Sushi by Emi Kazuko that has been in my bookcase for about 20 years. I first made the rice.
1 1/2 cups short-grain sushi rice
2 cups water
3 Tbs. unseasoned rice vinegar
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. salt
Soak the rice in some cold water for 10 minutes, then rinse and drain. Put into a deep saucepan, and add the 2 cups water. Bring to the boil, then lower to a low simmer, and cover. Let barely bubble for just under 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix together the vinegar, salt and sugar.
When rice is cooked, dump into a very wide shallow bowl. Sprinkle with the vinegar dressing. Using a wooden spatula, gently turn and fold the dressing into the rice. You don't want to stir, just gently turn the rice over. Do this every few minutes, moving the rice so that it cools as quickly as possible.
Prepare your fish--slice into 1/2 inch thin slices.
Prepare a hand dip of 1/4 cup rice vinegar with 1 cup water.
Get your wasabi (prepare according to directions if it's not premixed), serving dish, and pickled ginger.
Dip a hand into the vinegar/water mixture. (Don't get your hands too wet, or your rice will be too wet. I found that dipping after every three pieces was about right.) Scoop up perhaps a Tablespoon of rice, and gently squeeze into a cylinder. Put a slight dab of wasabi on top, then lay a slice of fish on the top, and place on platter. You'll appreciate why sushi chefs train for years before they're allowed to do this. Much harder to get it right than you'd think.
Repeat, and serve to your adoring guests.
This made about 25 pieces of sushi. While my rice technique definitely needs work, it was delicious, easily as good as the sushi we've had in many sushi restaurants. And the fish was fresher than in some. Can't wait to do this again, next time with an assortment.