Monday, October 10, 2005

Bento Watch #28



RT said...

Oh man! That looks good! And I am so hungry right now... Thanks A Lot, ES!

BTW, did I tell you that I found a place in Springboro that has a kit to make the California Rolls? It has the seaweed and the seasoning for the rice and everything! I can't wait until I have an extra $30 to spend on it :o)

Evil Sandmich said...

A kit might be cool if it includes all those obscure things that are easy to pass up. I know I myself skip a lot of steps.

This was one of the few times that I put in a decent amount of rice vinegar and it definitely came out shinier (I had some sushi from some place not that long ago where the rice was damn near transparent, but it was practically pickled from all the vinegar). I don't care for a lot of vinegar in the sushi (though I usually put some in the water that I use to keep my hands and knife wet).

As well, I've never put the big seaweed into the rice while it's cooking. I've found it at one place and it was outrageously priced (especially for something that's a glorified bay leaf).

As well, I never use the wood spoon for sushi.

Maki rolls are easy enough to make, the difficult part I've found, and the true mark of a sushi master (which I never will be) is A)Pretty results and (even more difficult) B)Consistent results.

I think the real news is that Springboro, Ohio has sushi supplies (though the cheapest nori sheets that I've found were in Harrison, Ohio). You're only like 30 minutes from Jungle Jims, you could go there and load up if you wanted to.

(I'll also mention that these are tuna salad rolls with julienne cucumber and carrots. Yes, canned tuna with mayo and sweet pickles cut up into it. It's what my son wanted).

RT said...

Hey, anything you can do to get him interested in them :o)

Nori sheets! That's what they're called, I couldn't remember, lol. I went to Jungle Jim's a few weeks ago and couldn't find any. That's why I was so surprized that the fish store had them. They also had the stuff for sale individually, but it was like $5 for a small package of the sheets and I figure, there's twice as much in the kit, so I might as well get the other stuff too.

Do you use the bamboo rolling thing?

Evil Sandmich said...

Yeah I use the roll thing for the rolls. I used to put saran wrap down on it to keep it clean, but I've picked them up pretty cheap and use it straight up now. Using the plastic wrap on it robs the mat of it's ability to absorb excess moisture. As well, it's a pain in the butt.

I also haven’t ever used dashi stock for anything either. I don't think sushi rice recipes usually call for it though.

Now that you mention it, it was kinda pricey getting the initial 'start up' items, but most of the ingredients won't be used for anything else and will stay fresh for a long while the fridge.

The sticky rice, though, I've gotten in the habit of picking up in 15-20lb bags down at the Asian grocer, it's turned into my favorite starch (apart from spaghetti noodles of course). It has a taste that's much cleaner than the longer grains, and you (typically) don't have to clean it. (Sticky rice steamed with some mirin makes any rice dish tastier).

Here's a kit for you.

Evil Sandmich said...

One more note. Jungles should have the sheets, but if you go down rt 4 about a mile towards Hamilton there's an Asian grocer on the same side of the road. This is the real deal (as far as stink) and I know they have all those fine ingrediants as well (sometimes cheaper).

($5 for 10 sheets is pretty typical, though the Asain grocer up here has a 50 pack for like $15. I almost got it, but for the fact that even the 10 sheets are closing in on stale by the time I get to the last one - I'd wind up having to throw at least half the fifty away).

RT said...

$5 for ten sheets is typical? How many pieces can you make with ten sheets? And can they be frozen, either before or after you make them?

RT said...

PS: Oh yeah, I'll be running right out to pick up that $160 kit, lol. The $30 one sounds like a bargain when you put it that way!

Evil Sandmich said...

You can make eight pieces with a sheet, though they're pretty big, I had to struggle to eat my roll and a half. A lot of recipes call for cutting the sheet in half, though that cuts down on your room for error (my son is like a vulture waiting for me to try and roll up an overstuffed sheet).

Freezing, hmm...
Hadn't thought of that, that's actually a pretty good idea; being a dried product, the sheets hate moisture (I didn't run the air all summer, so some of my sheets were 'sticky'). Next time I'm our and about, I'll pick up that big block and give it a try.

(The only other thing that gives me pause for thought is the quality. The Asian grocer up here sells several types for $4-$5 (though I got the same brand at Biggs for like $2), but then they have some cheap brands. Do they taste the same? Who knows; but sushi is so time intensive (to do it mildly fancy like I do), I don't want to make it all and discover it tastes like an East Indian river. But hell, I might give a try next time...)

As far as prepared sushi storage, that's more of a challenge. The rice can't wait to go dry, and depending on how wet you make it, you might only have 24hrs or so to eat it (though my buddy sez that if you don't cut up a roll and seal it REAL good, you might get another day). Since I was eating yesterday’s sushi right away, I was able to get away with making the rice normal. When I make it for lunch, I usually make it wet so that it won't be dried Styrofoam the next day.