Think making sushi is an impossible task? Sushi chef Robert Araya of Buddha Sky Bar in Delray Beach breaks it down in an appetizing slideshow on Clean Plate Charlie (click here
to see the images), demonstrating how to make two of the restaurant's dishes: the handsome rob sushi roll and the chef's exotic sashimi or nigiri platter.
In addition to showing Clean Plate Charlie how it's done, Araya offered a few tips for first-time sushi-makers on how to produce a quality product at home. He said when cooking sushi rice, it's important that as soon as the rice has finished cooking to immediately remove it from the heat and pour sushi vinegar on top.
Sushi vinegar can be made -- in large quantities -- by boiling a gallon of white vinegar and adding a cup and a half of sugar and a cup of salt to the boiling liquid. Araya says to "never put sushi rice in the fridge." If you make too much, you may store it for up to two days in a tightly-sealed container outside of the fridge, but the cold air will make it hard as a rock and nuking it will ruin it altogether.
He said that to make a roll, simply take a sheet of nori -- black dried seaweed wrappers -- and add a handful of rice to the middle, spreading it evenly from one end to another. Add your fish and other ingredients into the center of the rice, and use a bambo mat to roll it up. He said the key is to roll it tight, but not too
tight. Once it's rolled, cut it into eight even pieces (which sounds like the most fool-proof step in the process).
Araya recommends hitting up Asian markets for ingredients like tobiko (flying fish roe) and salmon caviar. Naturally, it's critical that you choose only high-quality, sushi-grade seafood for your rolls, sashimi, and nigiri.
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