My understanding of sushi before I moved to California, is what I call "desert sushi," or sushi for an kid who grew up Arizona.
I joke that I grew up eating rattlesnake meat, crackly scorpions (inside tequila lollipops), and cactus (literally, nopales). Fresh, uncooked seafood was not even on my radar. However, my mother regularly made sushi for our family in the searing, throat-drying, heat-distorting Arizona desert. Mama taught me how to make sushi right: from the basics of making a cooled, sticky, and well-seasoned sushi rice to how to firmly squeeze the flaky sheet of nori over a tight cylinder of sushi rice without the need of a bamboo sushi mat and how to hand-mold ellipsoidal balls of sushi rice. However, my Mom's sushi had some "uniquely Arizona attributes."
"Fish in sushi" was a completely foreign concept to me. Rather, our family's sushi filling primarily consisted of canned eel, pickled carrots, scrambled eggs, and on really, really special occasions, imitation crab meat.
So when my beau--who is a sushi connoisseur (or as I like to call him, a "arrogant, haughty-@$$ sushi snob") because he grew up smack-dab on the coastline and within the immediate vicinity of some of world's best fisheries--asked me to teach him how to make sushi, I leapt at the opportunity.
I took some photos of our lesson together to share with you, and hope you enjoy them. We made California roll with fresh, hand-picked crab meat and rolls with red tuna sashimi and salmon sashimi.
Don't forget to take a look at the final product! He rolled those beauties himself!
I hope this post teaches you that even people from Arizona can teach a seafood lover a thing or two about how to eat good sushi!
My next lesson will be for the blogging community, but I can't decide what food to write about next. Scorpions? Rattlesnack meat? What about prickly pear cactus?
Or maybe I should try fish again!