Sushi, miso soup, and hibachi steak

17 06 2010

Last Friday, we made sushi from scratch. Making sushi isn’t difficult, but it does take preparation, work and time. First, we had to gather all my necessary ingredients.


  • Bamboo sushi-roll mat
  • Clean cutting board
  • Knife
  • Rice cooker
  • Spoon/rice paddle for spreading rice
  • Plastic wrap

Rice ingredients:

  • Rice vinegar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Salt
  • 3 cups of uncooked Japanese medium-grain sushi rice

Sushi ingredients:

  • A pack of sushi nori
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • Surimi (imitation crab meat)
  • Optional: soy sauce, pickled ginger, wasabi for sauce

After buying everything we needed, I first made the sushi rice. Using my rice cooker, I scooped out three cups of Japanese medium-grain sushi rice and steamed it. When it was done, Chris sprinkled the rice vinegar, sugar and salt dressing over the sushi rice and then using a rice paddle, folded the rice.

Meanwhile, I prepared the sushi ingredients. I washed, peeled and seeded the large cucumber and then sliced it in half lengthwise before cutting them into long, slender strips. With the avocado, I first cut it in half, removed the pit, scooped out the avocado and then sliced it vertically into long, slender strips as well. Chris cut the second avocado. Finally, with the surimi, I simply unwrapped it from its wrapper and then sliced it in halves. I placed each respective sushi ingredient into different bowls.

Rolling the sushi:

  1. Lay out your sushi-roll mat.
  2. Cover your sushi-roll mat with a sheet of plastic wrap.
  3. Place a single sheet of nori  on top of the plastic wrap.
  4. Spread a thin layer of the prepared sushi rice over the nori.
  5. When finished, turn over the nori/rice sheet so that the nori is facing upward and the rice is facing down.
  6. Arrange the strips of cucumber, avocado and surimi along one edge of the nori.
  7. Making sure the ingredients don’t spill out, carefully bring the bottom end of the rolling mat and the plastic wrap up and over the ingredients.
  8. Pull back the rolling mat and plastic wrap so it doesn’t get rolled into the sushi. Make sure you are rolling tightly with pressure!
  9. Continue rolling the sushi and pulling back the rolling mat and plastic wrap, as necessary, until you’ve completed the sushi roll.
  10. Gently squeeze the rolling mat around the sushi until it is firm and forms an even roll, but be sure that you’re aren’t squeezing too tightly or else the ingredients may get crushed or spill out.
Afterwards, Chris placed the sushi roll on the cutting board and using a knife, he sliced the sushi roll in half first and then cut them into 6ths. He made sure his knife was wetted between each cut to make it easier by keeping a wet paper towel next to him so he could wet the knife after each cut.

California Sushi Roll

Miso Soup

We served the sushi along with some hibachi steak & 青菜 (Chinese bok choy) Chris cooked and miso soup. Everything was very delicious and healthy!


Beef Noodle Soup + Sushi!

8 05 2010

This past week, Chris and I made beef noodle soup (牛肉麵 aka NRM) again.

We still had Chinese green veggies, tomatoes, noodles, mustard greens, and star anise from last time, so all we had to buy was beef shank. We went to Harris Teeter again and bought the much-needed beef shank for our NRM.

At home, Chris first cut the beef shank into cubes.  Then, I placed the beef shank into cold water heated until just boiling.  Chris strained the beef and rinsed it with cold water.

Then, Chris first sautéed a little bit of ginger, sesame oil, and spicy chili bean paste.  After the mixture was hot, he added the beef to pan-sear the meat. Afterwards, Chris added a little bit of water and rice wine together to cover over the meat along with the star anise, garlic, and some sugar. He let it boil for ~30 minutes. He added chopped tomatoes in, reducing heat down to simmer for about an hour.

Meanwhile, I boiled some water for the noodles in the rice cooker.

When everything was ready, Chris ladled the NRM soup and veggies and then added some noodles on top. He added some chopped mustard greens and placed it on top of the noodles along with the boiled green vegetables. Chris added some cilantro and green onion as a garnish at the end.

The NRM was very successful; in fact, several of our hallmates came to the room, commenting on the overwhelming smell that was wafting down the hall. So we ladled some soup and noodles for them as well. Overall, another successful NRM story :)

NRM Finished product

Beef Noodle Soup!

I almost forgot to mention! Chris and I also made sushi the other day! We bought a large cucumber, avocados, and surimi. Ching-san gave Chris a bag of Japanese sushi rice (Premium Grade Rice Nishiki). So, we cleaned everything and then Chris chopped the cucumber into very thin, long slices and cut open one avocado and chopped them as well. He also cut the surimi.

Meanwhile, I prepared the sushi rice in the rice cooker and then Chris added rice vinegar to the sushi rice when it was all cooked and I mixed it up. After everything was chopped up and cooked, Chris spread the sushi rice onto a piece of cling wrap on top of the bamboo sushi mat we borrowed from Ching-san. He used a spoon to flatten the sushi rice and then placed pieces of avocado, cucumber, and surimi. Then, he rolled the sushi and cut them into California roll makizushi-style sushi (the most familiar kind to foreigners). Unfortunately, we forgot to buy nori (seaweed), but it’s okay because the sushi was really delicious and tasted exactly like California roll sushi!

Chopping sushi ingredients

Chopping the avocado for the sushi

Rolling the sushi

Bon appetit!