The number of actual sushi ingredients has increased over time. What began as simple two ingredient rolls has blossomed into multi-ingredient flavor delights. Well, the number of different things we put in the rolls has increased at least.
Must-Haves: Without these you don't have sushi.
- Nori: This is what makes sushi sushi. It's seaweed but don't think about that. It comes in square sheets. I suggest starting off with a whole or 3/4 sheet for each roll. With practice you should be able to get it down to 1/2 sheet per roll.
- Rice: Short grained and short grained only please. It's not always easy to find but short grain rice does exist. It can either be called sushi rice or short grain rice.
- Sushi Vinegar: You can make this yourself but it's much easier to buy a bottle that says "Sushi Vinegar".
Sauces: To enchance your sushi expierence.
- Soy Sauce: For dipping your sushi pieces in. Eating sushi without soy sauce is like french fries without ketchup, it can be done but...eeew!
- Wasabi: Mixing a bit of this in your dipping soy sauce gives it a kick of flavor and spice.
- Spicy Sauce: My own creation based on what I've had in Sushi restaurants. Mix mayonaise (Nayonaise, which is vegan mayonaise), chili oil and a dash of sugar together. It's spicy and lightly sweet and overall great. I don't have an exact recipe but when the mayo is a nice strong orange color it's probably about right.
Veggies: These are just what we use, give them a shot or strike out on your own.
- Carrot: One of the basics. I cut in half then slice each half and then slice each slice into matchstick. It's a bit time consuming but that way you can control portions better. I try to do these a little early and marinate them in the Sushi Vinegar.
- Cucumber: Another cornerstone of my veggie sushi. I cut these the same way as the carrots but I don't marinate the cucumber in the vinegar.
- Avocado: I really am not an avocado fan but Denise really digs on it. We usually get the Haas variety, they're smaller and a little wrinklier than the Florida avocados. These are just sliced in half to remove the pit and then I slice several strips.
- Red/Orange/Yellow Peppers: Basically all colors are interchangable. We've never used green peppers but that's no reason you can't. Sliced into small strips.
- Asparagus: Another veggie that Denise really digs. The secret to this is to find the skinniest asparagus your can find and when you find the skinniest take to look to see if you can find any that are skinnier. In case you haven't caught on, skinnier is better. No other prep other than trimmed so it doesn't hang out the end of the roll.
- Green Onions: Sometimes known as scallions I discovered this at a restaurant. The flavor can overpower but a strip or two adds and excellent flavor.
Meats: To keep your meat eater happy!
- Imitation Crab: This comes in all sorts of styles but I've found the Louis Kemp Leg Style to be the easiest to work with. Man on man do I love this stuff, it's the keystone of my sushi (that's Jim's meaty sushi, not Denise's vegan sushi).
- Shrimp: I had shrimp sushi in the restaurant and really dug it. I don't use raw shrimp, I don't trust myself to use raw ingredients. What I do is take a look in the frozen section at the store. They usually have a bag of decent-sized shrimp for not a bad price. Defrost and use as many as you need.
- Tempura Shrimp: Ummm...warm, cooked sushi. If you have someone who blanches at the thought of raw fish this might be a way to go. I tried the chicken at a restaurant and it was good. In the grocer's freezer case I found Tempura Shrimp so I got them, baked them and put them in my sushi and they were very, very good.
- Salmon: Deinse's brother brought this over. It was smoked and came pre-packaged. Salmon's not my favorite and this seemed a little slimy but that could just be me.
Other Stuff: Other stuff I've tried or used at one point or another.
- Sesame Seeds: Either toasted or right out of the pack, sprinkle these on the rice-on-the-outside rolls. Denise really digs these.
- Curry Powder: Denise's brother is into putting all sorts of strange stuff in his sushi, like this. Denise likes it, I haven't tried it.
- Chili Power: Same as the curry, give it a shot if you're feeling daring.
- Seabreeze Salad: We get this at our local Publix. It seems to be strips of seaweed in some sort of dressing.
That's pretty much everything we've tried. Mix and match at will.
Back to Sushi