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Sushi Night!


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My love affair with sushi grows boundlessly every time I throw back another maki. What is not to love about such a clean way of eating? Fish. Veggies. Seaweed. Rice.

The base of most sushi is only four ingredients, but with those four things, a WORLD of flavor can be created.

Plastic sushi in a storefront window in Chicago's Chinatown above

Sushi, in essence, might be the perfect food. Protein & Fat (fish) & Carb (rice). And now with the brown and black rice options, which both add fiber and antioxidants, it's nearly the ideal ratio of all three.

I know the idea of raw fish is hard for some people to swallow (bad pun fully intended), but please try it before you dismiss it! The quality of the fish is important when going sashimi style. My recommendation for first time raw fish eaters would be super white tuna or escolar. It's fresh, not fishy, mild and buttery. The white tuna literally melts in your mouth. If the just fish option doesn't seem appealing to you, try nigiri, where the chef lays the piece of fish on a bed of sticky rice. For some, that is more patalable, to start.

Play around with maki. There are veritably THOUSANDS of combinations out there. One of my favs is freshwater eel, crispy shrimp, salmon roe, topped with avocado, sesame seeds, and unagi sauce. Unagi sauce makes everything plate licking good.

Soon enough, you will become a sushi lover, just like me!

A few months ago I took a sushi rolling class with some friends and we decided to put these new skills to use at home. One stop to the fish market and Whole Foods (they sell bamboo mats, chopsticks, etc.), and we were on our way.

Start with your supplies...

The freshest fish makes for the best sushi. High quality ingredients are key. Go to your local fish monger, or Whole Foods and ask for sushi grade fish. A pound of each is more than enough for a party of 6. We chose salmon, shrimp and tuna.

Get yourself a good, sharp knife! I went Japanese in true sushi spirit with my Global steel.

If you haven't taken a sushi making class like I did, print out a rolling technique how-to, like this one (videos are helpful before you begin. Then just have fun with it!

Sometimes it's not pretty, but it tastes amazing.

Here's me with the finished product!

Below is everything you need to host your own sushi night -- a cheaper and healthier fun alternative to dining out.

1-2 medium avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced into 1/4-inch thick pieces
5-10 sheets nori
1 batch sushi rice (I bought mine pre-made at my fish market, or you can find the recipe here)
1/3 cup black or white sesame seeds
1-2 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into matchstick-size pieces
1-2 carrots, peeled and cut into matchstick-size pieces
1/2 lb cooked shrimp, peeled and torn into pieces
1/2 lb sushi grade ahi tuna
1/2 lb sushi grade salmon
Pickled ginger, for serving
Wasabi, for serving
Soy sauce, for serving

Grab some eager friends, make some sake bombs and start rolling!


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