Our Kitchen to Kitchen mission has always been to show how a great meal can be prepared in just about any kitchen. These cooking sessions are a fun way for us to practice our trade, tap into our creativity, and expand our knowledge of food. In this episode we tackle one of our all time favorite cuisines - SUSHI!
Although there isn't much cooking involved when it comes to this well-known Japanese dish, the preparations are still quite tedious and complex. The rice alone is a challenge in itself. Most sushi lovers don't realize that the term (Sushi) actually refers to foods using a type of rice that's been seasoned with vinegar. So for RP, the first step was to achieve glutinous bliss. As with most recipes, seasoning is best done to taste. We knew we needed short grain rice, vinegar, some sugar, and salt but the proportions of each ingredient would be entirely dependent on our palates. Now the two of us have had a great deal of both good and not-so-good experiences when it comes to Sushi, so we knew what we were aiming for. That made this initial step a cinch. The trickiest part of rice-making is mixing in the vinegar solution gently so as to not break up the fine grains. This process requires time and patience: two things I'm always short on! But trust me, it;s worth it. Be mindful as the rice cools to room temperature - the initial flavor profile may change as the rice cools down. Make sure you allow the solution to really absorb into the rice before adding more of any one ingredient.
Next we move onto the components of the ever-so-popular California Roll. This would include: avocado, imitation crab meat, cucumbers, rice, and seaweed paper (also known as nori). Here is where things get a bit dicey. Assembling a California Roll is simple; it's the actual process of rolling it up that can drive a person mad! The motion and technique required of your nimble hands is only something attained through years of practice. Can you tell how many years we've practiced? No? Thank goodness!
Lastly, with the roll out of the way, it's time to work on those knife skills with our sashimi demo. A perfect cut can only be made with a perfect knife, at a perfect angle, with a perfect piece of fish, on a perfect day. Long story short Rooted Pear is perfectly imperfect and we couldn't be happier with our results! The final touch is a quick brush of nikiri, a blend of soy and mirin - this is a must. Look at that baby glisten! A mound of wasabi and a heaping pile of ginger tops off our plate of deliciousness. Is your mouth watering yet?
From honing our knife skills to hand rolling a classic, this K2K was more than just a lesson on patience, precision, and perfection. And although we are still light years away from mastering this fine art, it doesn't keep us from aspiring to be just like our hero... Jiro Dreams of Sushi, that is! Happy cooking from our kitchen to yours.