One of the most important elements of good sushi is a good sushi rice, says Jiro in Jiro Dreams of Sushi. The rice should have the right temperature (body temperature), texture (not too sticky, not too watery, not to dry) and the right amount of vinegar, salt and sugar.
It’s easy to cook bad sushi rice. I’ve done it more than a couple of times. I try to skip steps, I hurry, I don’t take it seriously enough. One thing that I learned from JP (the photographer behind this blog) is that when it comes to sushi rice you have to take your time and enjoy.
It all starts with washing the rice. You can wash it 4, 5, 6, 7 times, as much as your rice needs until the water runs clear. Then let it rest in cold water for 45 minutes in the same quantity of water, as rice. Then pour into a saucepan, cover the rice and bring to boil on high heat. When it boils, turn the heat low and cook without lifting the lid for another 20 minutes. Turn the heat of, then let it rest for another 10 minutes.
In a bowl, prepare your sushi vinegar with salt and sugar. Prepare this to your taste, but start with the proportions of salt and sugar 1/2. One teaspoon should be more than enough for a 250 ml mug.
Put your rice into a glass bowl and start adding the vinegar,a little bit each time, then taste it, all this while fanning the rice to help it cool faster. The rice shouldn’t be hot when you start adding it to makis or nigiris.
Now you are ready to make sushi.
If you’re finding that you would use some cooking inspiration, here are some ideas from some of the most talented food bloggers out there.
A meal to cook in 20 minutes
In a bit of hurry? These french bread pizzas from The Comfort of cooking are perfect for a quick lunch that doesn’t compromise its deliciousness. And it’s a great way to reuse a day old baguette. You will need cheese that melts, olives, chopped vegetables (I will try this with some chorizo) and around 20 minutes of your time.
Something new and easy
Feel like trying something new for dinner? What about these shiitake bok choy dumplings from Kelsey from Happy Olks? I love how beautiful and easy to make these look. I would almost say: if you make these, don’t keep them to yourself only. And if you live near Barcelona, invite me over 🙂
Something new and complex
I am enchanted by Teri’s (from the Spoon Fork Bacon Blog) Korean Kabocha Squash Porridge. It looks so exotic to me! It’s a silky squash soup with rice balls (I have to see where I can find rice flour in Barcelona). I think I would add a bit of cayenne peppers to this, but it looks, oh, so, so delicious.
If you’re looking for something sweet to give you a bit of energy kick, why not try this homemade snickers recipe from Ashley Rodriguez from Not Without Salt? You will need peanuts, caramel and chocolate.
Hope you liked January’s foodie links. If you have or seen a recipe you want to share, feel free to add it in the comments!
Crunchy Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Reduction
I love brussels sprouts. These miniature cabbages, part of the brassica genus are close relatives of broccoli, cauliflowers, mustard and of course, cabbage and they contain a chemical called sulforaphane, which is believed to have anticancer properties. The best way to cook them (if you don’t want to reduce amount of the above-mentioned compound) is to steam of stir fry them.
This recipe keeps the sprouts crunchy yet with that wonderful toasted flavour. The mix of the goat cheese with the acid green apple and pomegranate seeds is wonderful.
- brussels sprouts
- one pomegranate
- goat cheese
- a handful of almonds
- fresh ginger
- fresh parsley
- one orange
- one teaspoon sugar for the pomegranate reduction
Season with salt and pepper.
Time needed: 30 minutes
First wash and cut your brussels sprouts in halves. Wash and dry some fresh parsley and chop some ginger into not so small dices.
Then pit your pomegranate and chop a handful of toasted almonds.
Cut the goat cheese in big chunks and then sprinkle the juice of half an orange on top of it.
Take your pomegranate seeds and a teaspoon of sugar and start boiling them at very low heat until they juice becomes a thin sauce. Add the juice of the other half orange while they boil.
In a pan toast the sprouts. You don’t need a lot of oil, a drop is enough. If you have a bit more time (30 minutes) you could toast them in the oven. Just put some olive oil in your palms and massage the sprouts, then sprinkle some salt and roast at high heat.
If you’re in a hurry, the pan will roast your brussels sprouts in a few minutes.
When everything’s ready chop some apples and mix everything together.
Rebecca Harrington writes a both funny and insightful piece about what Marilyn Monroe said she ate in an interview for the Peagant Magazine, in 1952.
Marilyn says she only eats two raw eggs in milk for breakfast, skips lunch and eats a broiled dinner of liver, steak or lamb and eat it with 5 raw carrots, after which she would have an fudge sundae.
This morning, I wake up and know one thing: I am hungry, and today is the day liver comes into Whole Foods. I am very excited because I have never had beef liver before. As I drink my egg milk, I imagine the liver awaiting me, quivering in its meat case. What I should do with it? Could it be good with ketchup?
I am so hungry that I eat a lamb dinner at 3 p.m. Feel very tired and heavy. Can’t tell if I am losing weight. I suspect this is a diet one can only do while also using recreational barbituates.
If you’re trying to motivate yourself to eat healthier do read this piece. It will remind you of what bad food does to you.