Recipe 8: Quick Sushi (spicy tuna rolls)


Spicy tuna roll.

On those nights where you could REALLY go for some sushi but are either broke or just too tired to go out, this recipe is tops. The longest part is the soak for the rice to hydrate before it’s cooked (it allows the sushi rice to hold up better through manipulations) and then it’s all easy from there. You can multitask this point by cutting up all your vegetables and preparing your wasabi, so that once the rice is done, you can vinegar it all up and roll your sushi.

In this prep, I made my favorite roll, the spicy tuna. I have some sashimi grade (VERY IMPORTANT) tuna that I chop up roughly and mix with a little mayo and some sriracha (“rooster sauce”) to the consistency I like. I usually put avocado and cucumber in these, but all I had on hand was some pea sprouts, so yeah.

At a later date, I’ll put up a more detailed post on the art of sushi making as this one is just a “quick fix” when I’m hungry and don’t want to spend any extra money. We buy sashimi grade fish in bulk when it’s on sale, so we usually have a small piece in the freezer. That being said, I’m hungry, lets get rollin’.

Recipe 8: Quick Sushi (spicy tuna rolls)

Notes: It is REALLY important that you only buy fish that is labeled sashimi grade. These are treated so that they have a much smaller chance of bacterial contamination or other microorganisms present. For more info on the treatment of sushi fish, check this website out: http://www.sushifaq.com/sushi-grade-fish.htm

Because you’re still dealing with raw meat, make sure you work quickly and cleanly. Keep your tools as clean as possible and your workspace clear.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups medium or short grain rice. The better the quality, the better the results.
  • 4 cups water (or less depending on your rice cooker)
  • wasabi (to taste)
  • pickled ginger (to taste)
  • toasted nori sheets (they come in packs of 10)
  • sashimi grade tuna
  • mayonnaise
  • sriracha hot chili sauce (“rooster sauce”)
  • pea sprouts
  • rice wine vinegar (sushi vinegar)
  • soy sauce for dipping

Process:

Right off the bat, rinse your rice with cool water until the water runs clear. Then put your rice into a bowl and cover the rice with cool water and soak 1 hr. In the meantime, gently thaw your fish, or if it’s already thawed, firm it up a bit by placing it in the freezer for 10 minutes or so. Take it out and chop it up roughly, putting it into a bowl and adding a teaspoon of mayo at a time until it’s evenly distributed to your liking. Add your sriracha, and start with 1/2 teaspoon. Too much spice is hard to undo. Once it’s the perfect consistency for you, cover it with plastic wrap and place into the fridge until you’re ready to use it.

Prepare your wasabi if it’s in powder form and make your paste. Invert the bowl (it should be thick enough to stick to the bowl if you flip it over) and allow it to “mature” until you’re ready to use it. This brings out the HEAT.

Get your sushi rolling mat and cover it in plastic wrap. We’re making “inside out rolls”, with the rice on the outside and the nori on the inside enveloping the filling.

Once your rice is hydrated, pop it into the rice cooker with the appropriate amount of water and turn it on. Now that your ingredients are almost all prepared, get a large, shallow bowl and when the rice is done, scoop it out to the bowl and use a wooden spoon to carefully spread it out to cool it only until you can just barely handle it without burning your hands. Hold the spoon out flat over the rice and grab your vinegar. Carefully pour the vinegar onto the spoon to sprinkle it over the rice in small increments, pausing to fold the vinegar in. You want the rice just moistened with the vinegar, any excess could cause soggy seaweed.

Rolling your sushi can be pretty easy once you get the hang of it. I’m no professional, but I find that taking a small amount of rice and then putting it on the seaweed (on the rolling mat) can go a long way. With these inside out rolls, you can coat the whole length with rice, using careful fingers to not smash the grains. Then grab the edges with a light touch and flip it over. Keep a damp rag handy to wipe your hands, or work near the sink to rinse them occasionally. Add your filling at one end, and use the mat to help seal it in. A bead of wasabi across can help increase the heat. Use your mat to roll the sushi like a burrito and carefully pull the roll away from the mat onto a cutting board. Cut in half, then put those halves side by side to cut the rest of the slices easier. Arrange and enjoy, that is, if you haven’t already eaten them all.

These rolls can also be fantastically augmented to fit your cravings. If you’re a vegetarian, your options are also pretty much limitless here. Make it interesting!  I’ve included a gallery to show the process a bit better.

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