Saturday, June 30, 2012

Smoked Salmon Hand Rolls

"I could eat my body weight in sushi."  Mikey Way

Who knew I had so much in common with the bassists from My Chemical Romance?  

Sushi.  My #2 Love.
  (Yes, baby, you're #1)

I could eat it every day.  I've joked that I will probably end up with mercury poisoning one day just like Jeremy Pivon.  
(and become Mad as a Hatter)

 What I don't always love is the bill after I've filled my belly full of the freshest fish over tiny grains of  perfectly seasoned rice.  Now don't get me wrong.  When Dave and I walk out of Sushi Ran, after spending an embarrassing amount of money, we feel like we ripped THEM off.  The food is that amazing.  (Do it.  Go there.  Make reservations.  Invite me!)  But, since I don't have Bill Gates' money, I've had to learn to satisfy my craving on a much more realistic budget.  

A few years ago, I took a couple of sushi making cooking lessons at the now closed Shallots Cooking School at the Nugget Market.  We learned the basics, from how to make the perfect sushi rice, how to make a basic California roll and to how to create "fancy" rolls like an inside out shrimp tempura roll.  I came home from the classes, bamboo rolling mat in hand, ready to conquer the world of homemade sushi.  

When you make sushi at home,  you have to be very cautious about the kinds of raw fish you use.  You always want to buy fish from a reputable fish monger who sells "sashimi grade" fish.  Fish that isn't handled properly could make you very sick when you eat it raw.  There are many places in the San Francisco Bay area to buy fish of this quality.  You can also check with a Japanese Market, or one of the online sellers who will overnight the fish on ice.  

Because I don't have a Japanese market in my town, and I don't always have the time to go to San Francisco just to pick up fish for dinner, I found that I could make my own at-home sushi with cold smoked salmon, right from the grocery store.  I usually get my salmon in a 2 pack at Costco.  Two nights worth of sushi for the cost of 2 "fancy" rolls at a restaurant!  I became addicted, and soon, we were eating hand rolls almost once a week.  

Partial list of my food allergies

Then, in February 2012, I found out the mystery reason I had been so sick for the past few years, was because I had food allergies.  I was allergic to so many foods.  Some of the foods were ingredients in my beloved sushi.  


As upset as I was, I was determined to get in control of my health and start feeling better, yet still find a way to eat the food I loved.  My local sushi haunt has an amazing staff that have been overly accommodating to help me still be able to enjoy sushi.  I was even more estatic to discover that the cold smoked salmon I had been buying at Costco was on my "safe" list, and with a few minor modifications, I would still be eating 
hand rolls ever week!  

Wednesday, late afternoon.  I send Lo a text.

I'm making hand rolls for dinner.  Wanna come over? 

I can't leave my house 'till it's cleaned.  Come cook here? We can talk about the blog.
(code for "sit on the patio and have drinks")

Can Dave tag along?

Oh yeah, he's home.  Sure!

After sitting in traffic for what seemed like 8 years, I made it home from work, kissed the hubby and the pups, threw all the sushi stuff in a grocery bag and we headed over to Lo's.

We were greeted loudly, by the adorable Emma.  I love this face!

As I'm getting situated in her kitchen, Lo starts making these green beans that smelled amazing.  Sadly, I can't eat them, but man, did the smell make my mouth water.  I start making rolls, and keep rolling and rolling and rolling.  

How many should I make?  

I dunno.  

Dave's here. 

Keep Rolling! 


Cooking should always be this fun!

A platter of hand rolls. A bowl of Spicy Schezuan Green Beans. Raspberry Beer. 
A backyard park. Friends. Laughs.
The perfect ending to the midweek "hump". 


Smoked Salmon Hand Rolls

Nori Sheets, cut in half
Cooked sushi rice, cooled to room temperature
Thinly sliced cold smoked salmon
Cucumber, seeded and sliced into matchsticks
Avocado, thinly sliced
Pickled ginger, wasabi, sriracha, and soy sauce (opt).

Take a nori sheet and put about 1/4 cup of rice on the left third of the sheet. Spread the rice so it's even. In the middle of the rice, place a piece of fish, a couple slices of cucumber and a slice of avocado. Then roll up in the traditional cone shape (or be lazy like me and roll it up like a taquito). Repeat until you have made desired amount of rolls. Serve with pickled ginger, wasabi, sriracha, and soy sauce, if desired.

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