Not that long ago, I ordered myself a sushi kit. The only appliances I routinely use are the crockpot, coffee maker, the kitchen aid mixer, and water kettle. I don’t even own a microwave. I only get interested in appliances if I can see myself using them fairly often. This time of year though I am consistently bombarded by potential choices. Amazon.com does not help with this situation. “Maybe you should consider these clever kitchen ladles that look like dinosaurs!” Um yeah that’s cute, but I’m good. “What about kitchen tongs that look like kitten paws?” No thanks. “Here’s a toaster that looks like the Death Star and makes toast with TI-fighters on the bread.” ……okay that sounds tempting. In the end, I guess the endless temptation of commercial advertising got the better of me, so I bought the SushiQuik.
It’s not a Death Star toaster, but it will do.
I have gone crazy in the last year for California rolls and other rolls, that I have even gone so far to tell my brother that he can pay me in sushi for the all the payments that he gets on his book Swanky Panky’s Crazy Wisdom $3.95 (I made the cover for him). But after months of eating platefuls at restaurants and buying a small box to eat at lunch for work, I really wanted to make my own. I figure that’s what my parents and I may do to celebrate New Years Eve this year besides building legos in our pjs, eating chocolate, and putting on Jonny Quest.
Not only that, but it makes me think of Mei in My Neighbor Totoro when she is thrilled for her lunch full of sushi her sister made for her. I would love to meet a Totoro and ride in a catbus….
But my SushiQuik came in just the other day and I have been so anxious to try it out. It comes with a stand, plastic rolling mat, a training frame, roll cutter guide, a special rice paddle, and sauce holders that are also used for the storage of the sushi mat. But there are a few things you need before you can jump Willy-nilly into sushi making. First of all is rice. You need special sushi rice because the normal kind is too long. You can usually identify it by the dragon on the cover or by the shortness of the grains. Thank goodness I can confidently cook rice without going into panic mode and worry that it could spill over the floor.
There is also the issue with nori. Nori is the seaweed that wraps around the rice and filling. The way I buy it, it comes in packages of sheets of 10. So you can make a few rolls per package, which is nice if you plan on having company.
Fillings. This is where I had some trouble. Fish, yes. Avocado, yes. Apples? ……. but there are lots of different kinds of sushi out there. They even give you some starting suggestions in the instructions. Which means, I could make dessert sushi, fruit sushi, breakfast sushi with bacon and eggs that go with a maple syrup dipping sauce! Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself…. The list goes on though!
Everything was so nice and packaged when it came in, there was even a lovely set of instructions of how to use it with color photographs. It’s a pretty neat little system! My first time using it was interesting. I cooked the rice according to the package and let it sit afterward for 5 minutes to allow the any heat trapped to escape. My first roll was a little awkward but they still came out nice. By the third and fourth roll I had gotten the hang of it.
After using it a little bit, I discovered a few things. 1 1/2 cups of rice will yield enough for at least 4 sushi rolls which are then cut up into approximately 6 pieces, which means you get 24 sushi bits. Also, the rice is incredibly sticky and that rice paddle was a life saver! Not only that, but the filler parts involved required very little. For 24 sushi rolls, I used half an avocado, not even half a cucumber, 4 sheets of Nori, and there was still 3/4 of crabmeat left in the package. Also, like a lot of websites say, keeping the knife wet will work the best in cutting the rolls. I kinda think having one of those knives that can cut through an aluminum can like it was butter would be ideal in this situation.
I would highly suggest the SushiQuik for anyone and everyone who loves sushi and for anyone who loves trying new things. I would say it is great for beginners as well and could even be fun with kids (what can I say, a part of me was reminded of my Playdoh days). I’ll be sure to post a fun recipe or two once I have experimented with fillings.