Sunday, November 15, 2009

Daring Cooks November - Quest for Sushi

The November 2009 Daring Cooks challenge is from Audax of Audax Artifex and Rose of The Bite Me Kitchen. They chose sushi as the challenge. The sushi challenge this month was harder than I thought. It involved letting other people into my kitchen. Allow me to explain.

A few weeks ago, I was having coffee with a friend. I then said that I had to go home but on my way, I had to stop by the Asian Supermarket. Because the Asian Supermarket stocks Tiger beer, my friend decided to bring his shopping bag to accompany me. The workaholic had been informed that I was on my way and was waiting.

On the 1km journey to the Asian supermarket, my friend saw approximately 20 stores that had interesting things in the windows. I concentrated my efforts on pulling the friend out of stores and towards the supermarket. Again, the workaholic is waiting.

30 minutes later, in the supermarket, my friend asks me what I need. I explain that I have to make sushi this month for The Daring Kitchen. The friend then informs me that, together with a mutal friend, he attended a sushi course a few weeks ago at the community college. Surely the mutal friend had the ingriedients I needed. One not-so-quick phone call later (reception problems) and I can pick up the vinegars & everything else I need. I grab my chickpea flour & explain to the waiting workaholic what happened.

To take ingriedients and not to offer a dinner invitation is out of the question, so my once humble sushi challenge has evolved into a sushi evening at my place. This is the time to remind you, my dear reader, that there is very little fresh fish in southern Germany. I buy an avocado a few days ahead of time (they too are of poor quality here), and I plan to buy fish.

The only fish I am not allergic to is tuna. The mutal friend, who brought over the ingriedients, said that the sushi instructor claims that there is good fresh fish to be had in Metro - the members-only-mega-size store. As it happens, this friend happens to have a membership. We make a date to go buy sashimi-grade tuna. I do my regular grocery shopping, trying to avoid buying pasta in 2.5 kg packages.

In Metro, we buy all the things I never knew I needed. My friend buys 2 kg of breakfast cereal ("it's my favourite!"). We save the fish counter for the end, so it stays cold. After having filled a cart with wine, Kaffir limes, Twix, gummi bears and who know what else, we hit the fish counter. "We'd like some sashimi-grade tuna", we say. "OK," says the lady behind the counter, "I have a 2.5 kg piece". We look at each other and ask, "do you have anything smaller?". "2.2" is the answer.

We leave the store with hundreds of things that we didn't come in for, and nothing that we actually wanted. It's Saturday night, 7pm, there is no chance of getting any more fresh fish before tomorrow's sushi night.

Invitations to roll and eat are for 6pm. Out of desperation, I open a can of tuna at 5pm, adding a bit of rice wine vinegar and chopped chives. It marinates & wasn't that bad for nigiri. Not comprable to the 2.5 kg loin of sashimi-grade tuna, but not bad. I cook the rice in the rice cooker & let the guys take over.

Preparing the cooked rice
(apparently, a sugar-vinegar solution is poured over the rice & blended in. Apparently this is what sushi is all about - not about the fish. Apparently.)

Making the omelette
(I think the key is to make a sausage out of an omelette & to roll the cooked layers, pouring more egg on as you go. I think)

Pressing the omelette into shape
(note the masculine hands that clearly do not belong to me)

The Nigiri Sushi
(a bit of immitation crab, some avocado, omelette, and the canned tuna topping)

I know that this month's challenge was to make a dragon roll, a decorative maki and some nigiri. I know I didn't make the decorative maki nor did I make the dragon roll - and strictly speaking, I didn't really make the nigiri either. Nonetheless, this month was still a challenge. One of the most important lessons I learned this month is: there's a sushi restaurant around the corner from my place. They have the conveyor belt and they're open Sundays until 10pm.


Amanda said...

You are much more adventurous than I am. I can't imagine taking on the challenge of making sushi. Bravo, they look great!

I love the conclusion to your post. I laughed! :)

Audax said...

Wow love that first photo so much sushi. And don't worry about making the other rolls you did complete the rice. And your other photos are very clear.

OBTW I noticed that you didn't include the blog-checking line in your post without it the web-robot will not check off your challenge.

The blog-checking line is
The November 2009 Daring Cooks challenge was brought to you by Audax of Audax Artifex and Rose of The Bite Me Kitchen. They chose sushi as the challenge.

cuppy said...

WOOT! I love the canned tuna! :D

Technically speaking, you *did* make the nigiri, and your rice roll formation looks PERFECT. Flawless. ;)

Well done!

Wic said...

love the pictures and the story. Und jeder kauft Sachen die ER/SIE sicht braucht in der Metro.

The Little Teochew said...

Oh, you pulled it off spectacularly! Hats off to you :) The rolls look really good!!

Murasaki Shikibu said...

Like I said guys are nuts! =P I wouldn't be so *daring* as to make my own Sushi. ;)

P.S. My mom used to buy fresh fish from the market in the Philippines and make Sashimi from whole fishes. She was quite good at this in fact. Even though she was quite progressive for someone from her generation she still did a lot of things just for my dad.

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