HOME-STYLE MAKI ROLLS

I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging, but I did it again tonight. Well, really, I didn’t have much choice. I had opened the fish and the vegetables and they wouldn’t keep, so I needed use the rest of it or it would be junk. This time, since we didn’t have a follow-up roast, I made miso soup and fresh rice. I ran out of appetite LONG before I ran out of food. Lucky I had Garry by my side to finish off all my extra make rolls!

If you want recipes, I can give them to you, but you might be better off picking up a copy of the book. It’s not just the food you need. You need dashi and miso and dried seaweed and generally, unless you are already Japanese, you probably would need to buy these in a grocery or order them. I bought the book first, then figured out what I needed.

What you DON’T need is a rolling mat. Other than keeping rolls from sticking to the cutting board, they don’t serve any purpose. You also need medium or short-grained rice which, for the purposes of making maki rolls or sushi, you will not rinse so that it will be very sticky. Brown rice doesn’t work for this kind of food, but the food is really healthful. You can eat a lot of it and not feel like you’ve pigged out. Unless you’re (like me) a bit of a pottery junkie (I have a serious pottery habit, from ancient Chinese porcelain to modern Japanese rice bowls and (don’t judge me) porcelain chopsticks (hashi). I have a lot of pottery and it’s the other reason I don’t have a cat. Dogs may chew up the coffee table, but they won’t leap onto shelves and knock all the pottery crashing to the floor.

It took a couple of weeks for all the different things I needed to arrive, but yesterday, it was all here. We’d also gone grocery shopping earlier in the week, so we had the right vegetables. Even the avocados had reached the perfect stage of ripeness.

It turned out I didn’t really need the wrapping matt. While it keeps the roll from sticking to the cutting board, my fingers were better for rolling. Owen and I made four big maki rolls which considering we were having roast lamb for dinner, we dared not eat it all immediately or we wouldn’t have room for dinner.

Meanwhile, we made fresh wasabi.

Wasabi is Japanese horseradish. Except it isn’t Japanese horseradish anymore. These days, it’s almost always a blend of American and Japanese horseradish because Japanese horseradish is more difficult and expensive to grow. Officially, if the mixture is more than 40% Japanese wasabi, it can legally be called “Japanese wasabi.” I’m not sure I’d know the difference.

I bought rice bowls. I have dashi powder, miso, four kinds of soy sauce, and a couple of very sharp knives. We had fresh shiitake mushrooms, European cucumber, a fresh carrot, the aforementioned avocado. We also bought imitation Alaskan white fish (pollack) and lox (smoked salmon). It really wasn’t as much work as I expected. Mostly, it was preparation. There’s almost no cooking involved. We made four rolls and ate one immediately. We had to test drive the maki, right?

Duke got the leftover Japanese omelet which made him happy. Garry got the leftover avocado, which made him happy too. We all ate the maki roll which contained sticky rice (it’s supposed to be sticky, but this was very sticky), slivered cucumber, avocado, cooked egg, simmered slivered carrots and shiitake mushrooms — simmered in a sauce made of soy, sugar and rice wine. Simmered just enough to soften the carrots. You could have used that sauce to dip the maki. That made all of us happy because it tasted just like it was supposed to taste.

A note for those who would like to try it: I didn’t use the “rolling mat” except to keep the rolls from sticking to the cutting board. I couldn’t figure out what I would need the mat for — and rolling them with my fingers wasn’t difficult. Some people apparently need the mat, but I’m not sure why or for that matter, how it works. Considering how easy it was to roll by hand, I didn’t feel I needed anything else.

For a first attempt at making maki rolls, it was way beyond our expectations. I expected more mistakes, but aside from the first roll in which I put a bit too much rice, all the rest looked and tasted just like they should. I’m delighted. I might even be thrilled.

Garry has two favorite dinners. Japanese food and roast lamb. Tonight we had both. We ate well, but Garry ate very well.



Categories: #Books, #Food, #gallery, #Photography, #Recipes, Anecdote, Cooking

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19 replies

  1. It sounds like you will be having sushi a lot more often.

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    • Yes, but I have to replenish the stuff I need. A lot of the stuff you need to make maki doesn’t last long after you open it, so you need to eat it once, and then again or you wind up throwing a lot of stuff away. But tonight, I used up everything including the rest of the seaweed wrappers so until I get more, that’s it for maki. On the other hand, I have some fresh ginger root, so I’m thinking ginger chicken will be next πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. O MY GOD! It’s a Sushi rebellion!

    Seems it’s never too late to discover a new passion.
    Good on you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I used pre-cooked “fake” crab meat. I wouldn’t use raw fish because I don’t know enough about fish to identify fish that’s safe from fish that isn’t. It’s really the vegetables that have the most flavor anyway. I have some smoked salmon for the next round πŸ™‚

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      • Sushi and Roast Lamb – for ONE dinner. OMG – so delicious! I’m over the moon grateful! THANK YOU — Marilyn and Owen!

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  3. It looks delicious!

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    • It tasted exactly like it should and it was good πŸ˜€ πŸ₯ I used pre-cooked imitation crab meat and fresh vegetables. Even the avocado was perfect. How often does THAT happen? I was surprised. I thought it would more difficult. The only difficult part was having to follow directions from the cookbook. It would have taken a quarter of the time if I’d known what I was doing. Chinese food is actually more work because the sauces are more complicated and there’s more cooking involved.

      We’re actually having a rerun of it today because I have all those veggies and the rest of the fish, all of which need to be eaten rather “now-ish.”

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    • SLMRET — It WAS delicious!

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  4. How satisfying it must be. πŸ˜„πŸ˜‹

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    • It really was. Especially because this is a food we crave and can never afford. The restaurants where they make it are $$$$$$ — even out here in the boonies. I think the prices here are every bit as high as in Boston, but at least parking is free.

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      • I remember I used to get a serving from QFC in Seattle for 6-7$ every Tuesday for my daughter who loves them. It’s very expensive over here too.

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        • It’s very expensive everywhere. When we had the money, we used to have a weekly “night out” for sushi, but these days, we don’t have the money. Learning to make it myself was great. If I’d known it was not difficult, I’d have tried it before. It always LOOKED difficult!

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    • Sadje, you have no idea how wonderful the meal was. First, you look at it and drool. Second, you eat and eat and eat! Third, you just sit back and smile – saying thank you –multiple times — to Marilyn and Owen. Last, you don’t feel ‘stuffed’ even though you’ve eaten way more than usual. SATISFYING? You betcha!

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