Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Teaching a Sushi Novice How To Roll With the Punches

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!


  1. (o_O)

    Rattlesnake sushi?

    - Chubbypanda

  2. You grew up eating rattlesnake? Remind me never to get on your bad side PE! ;o) There was a sushi bar called Mishima that I enjoyed when I used to do some constuling work in've made me wonder if it's still there...... Lovely post as always!!!


  3. a beautiful sushi-rolling session here! i for one have never really gotten into doing it myself. but i do enjoy eating it. mmm. tuna.

  4. was planning on having dinner with friends at Sushi House next week, but after reading this entry, I think we should stay home and make our own instead. LOVE the colorful photographs & the easy to follow instructions.

  5. Too excited & typing too fast, i meant to write: "the easy to follow PHOTO instructions." Referring to the cooking in process that led to the final product, of course. :)

  6. Haha! Rattlesnake sushi is a hilarious idea Chubby Panda, but I decided to write about what I consider to be a close cousin to the cactus in terms of manageability, the artichoke!

    Our family had a full, walk-in refrigerator in Arizona, and I remember one time a rattlesnake some how got inside and went in permanent hibernation mode. It was cool because we touched the snake and he was pretty docile, but you gotta be careful around rattlers Kirk!

    The way you make food look, I'm sure you'd be a natural sushi chef once you get started Pink Nest!

    That would be a great idea Jinerous, and it saves money too! Plus, everyone would love you as their teacher. P.S. I am riveted on your series on your B.F.F. too.

  7. I am such a sushi wimp. I have not ventured past California & Dynamite rolls.

  8. I've been trying to comment for days on your blog. Blogger Beta has not allowed me. Anyway, I just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed your recipes, especially when you showed your beau how an Arizonan does sushi!

  9. Woo hoo!! Blogger Beta comments finally works!

    'Bout Time!

  10. PE, i've had the same problem as Elmo. Hopefully this goes through. This looks like a lot of fun. J & I have thought about taking a class since we have 2-3 schools in LA. Even though I usually eat nigiri/sashimi, it'd be a cool thing to do with the lady. - )

  11. I am a sushi wimp too Rachel, but California Rolls are actually quite adventuresome! Plus, I am a wimp in other ways too: I need to be adventurous and finally make those pierogies that you gave me recipe for!

    I'm sorry about the Blogger Beta problems Elmo Monster... I think I need to try and send the IT support at Blogger some "choice" emails, because I don't want to alienate my favorite blogging friends. But no need to comment if it becomes too burdensome. I don't mind if you are a quiet lurker!

    That would be a great birthday present for J Eat, Drink, & Be Merry! Or you could learn on your own and teach her when she comes back to the U.S.! Great salmon sushi post by the way!

  12. i like the slow progression of rattlesnake, scorpion and cactus sushi to ocean based sushi... using your natural food surroundings first..

    Arizona Sushi sounds good to me... Scorpion Shots and Cactus Rolls.. franchise it.

  13. I miss you Rick James! My burritos haven't been random without you! Also, we'd better start a joint venture on those sushi ideas. I'll be "Ben" if you'll be "Jerry"!

  14. Great post and lesson. I could have used these tips before my boyfriend and I attempted to make sushi on Valentine's Day :) Yours came out great!!

  15. Thank you so much Hillary, yours came out great too!

  16. Thank you so much Hillary, yours came out great too!


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment! I read and enjoy every comment, and will try to reply if time permits. If you have a blog, please leave a link. I love to discover new and delicious sites!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...