Dara (the wife and the other half of our awesome page) has thought about posting food-y things on here for a while, and we've recently found the wondrousness of these little buggers. Sushi with BACON...and some other stuff mixed in. It is possibly a new favorite sushi ingredient, and at some point I'm going to get her to deep-fry them, but for now, this is one of the recipes she's using. Generally she likes to cook sushi in many-roll batches in order to have large groups of people over.
You can put as much money into these as you want, but you can find most everything for under $30 that isn't a piece of equipment or tool. Mix and match for personal preference.
To make it, you will need:
Sushi Rice (10 lb. bag runs you $10 at the asian grocery store, you need 4-6 oz per person)
Package of Bacon (1 1/2 slices per roll $2-6)
4 oz. Steak (I like to buy the pre-sliced kind $3-4 in our grocery store.)
Section of Fish (Favorite Salmon)
Hot Sauce of your choice
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Step 1: Start the Rice
So, like any cooking, start with the things that take the longest first. Good rice takes a while (hour or so) to cook. Dara's rice-cooker takes about an hour, and the rice she uses is from Japan...so it takes a while but tastes delicious.
She fills the cooker with 4-6 oz of rice. She has a handy little scooper that she uses to measure. Then she puts cold water on the rice and puts "two fingertip thicknesses" of water over the top of the rice. For her, that's about 1.25" over, or about the thickness of a teaspoon if you don't want to actually measure.
Step 2: Fry the Pack of Bacon
I'm willing to bet that anyone who's looking at this knows how to fry bacon, but I will say that cooking it first adds its taste to everything. Yum.
However, if you don't. There's a bit of an art to frying bacon, and some of my first cooking advice came from my Dad, who said, "Always remember one thing when cooking bacon... make sure your robe is closed." Best advice I've ever had with bacon.
Dara likes hers soft, I like mine crispy. Turn a range top to medium heat with a frying pan of good size on top. Dara adds a splash of vodka, whisky, rum or bacon vodka to it because it's delicious. The alcohol cooks out with the meat but adds some pretty tasty flavor.
Leave it heated until it's the way you like it. Which, for me, is until you can just barely see it starting to harden in the pan and then will crispify even more once you take it out of the pan.
Step 3: Chop the Veggies/Fruit/Make Sides
Chop stuff. Don't chop yourself. Watch out.
Dara likes chopping up sides for little 1-2 oz side dishes. Mixed fruit, sometimes a cucumber soaked in vinegar with a bit of dill tossed in.
Miso soup kits/packs also are sold in a lot of groceries around here. The ingredients are in little packs, all you have to do is add boiled water.
I tend to like a bit of spice with my steak, so a bit of green pepper, onion and maybe a chive are tasty.
Step 4: Cook the Steak
After the bacon's cooked, the bacon grease is an excellent cooking grease. You can also use butter, oil, or pretty much anything that'll make the pan less sticky.
I tend to like a bit of spice with my steak, so a dash of Sriracha, a green pepper, maybe an onion and possibly some ghost pepper salt or something else that will dissolve most peoples' taste buds into the mix is delicious. Double yum!
Maybe a dash of soy sauce, garlic salt and some kind of dried pepper. I like bolder flavors, so maybe a little more than a dash...
Step 5: Fry the Fish
Fish in sushi is kind of a requirement.
We use frozen fish because the skin peels off easier as it thaws. That way you won't have any of those pesky scales in the mix. If you have miso soup going, putting the water on to boil is good now if you're doing so on a range.
Step 6: Finish Your Sushi Rice
When the sushi rice is mostly puffed but the water's just under the top of the rice, add a dash of salt, sugar, and vinegar. Normally I like adding rice vinegar, and maybe a little rice wine. I may be a heathen for suggesting it to some people, but you don't need the "amazing," "authentic," and most of all "expensive" stuff that most people will use. White vinegar and cane sugar work fine.
1/2 teaspoon salt (or around there)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons of vinegar
Stir it with a spoon and then let the rice keep cooking until the rice cooker is done, or whatever method of cooking you're using has it finished. If you're using a pot, don't let it stick to the bottom.
Step 7: Make Your Rolls
You've finished with everything else, so now you're on a roll (ha...ha...haaaaa).
Lay out your sushi mat, (it's the woven bamboo mat you usually see people use as a decorative placemat) and put a piece of nori on it. It's a flexible, flat piece of seaweed. Make sure you actually find something labelled "sushi nori" because if you use regular dried seaweed, it won't come out well.
With a spatula or flat instrument, spread a bit of rice out on the nori with about an inch to spare at the bottom and a couple inches to spare at the top. It'll cut back on how much spills over. Add only about half an inch of rice.
Sprinkle a little powdered wasabi across the rice. This is my personal preference. I like spicy things. Maybe a bit of hot sauce, too...
Now lay your ingredients in the roll. Strips of cucumber, bacon, thin strips of steak, bits of fish. Cut some sticks of cream cheese to place in there too.
Rolling time. Tuck the inch at the bottom over the rice and roll tightly up. Think burrito. The extra couple inches at the top helps it to roll around. If you add some vinegar on with your fingers, it helps to stick a bit.
Step 8: Slice and Serve
Cutting takes a sharp, flat-bladed knife. They make sushi knives, but any really sharp knife will work. Cut them to personal preference, Dara usually does about 3/4" thick.
Dara tends to use steak knives because she finds them to stick less to slightly-warmed cream cheese. I like cleavers.
Start at the center and work your way outward on either half.
Serve as you wish. Some people wish to not even have them cut and eat it like a burrito, which, I haven't tried yet, but I've heard is pretty tasty.
Om-nom-nom to your heart's content!