Wednesday, May 7, 2008

From caterpillars to caterpillar rolls...


When I wrote the stinging caterpillar post, I thought It'd be clever to end with a caterpillar sushi roll since tying bugs and food together is always good for a laugh. Somehow, the real caterpillar pictures went on and on, and I knew adding a recipe at the end would be disastrous. Plus, I think I need to work on rolling caterpillar sushi a bit more. The avocado sorta gets mushed out of shape when I apply pressure to the mat-- still tasty, but I need to work on my technique. I'm happily willing to eat these sorts of mistakes, and I'll probably be eating a lot more since these hit my sushi spot and fit in with the way I want to eat this Summer.

My favorite sushi stuffing ideas have been on Pakupaku for ages, though I've yet to get that section finished. Yesterday, I was lazy and didn't want to go to the store for ingredients, so I used what we had in the kitchen: dried shiitakes, cukes, carrots, avocado and beets. If I'd been more ambitious, I would have made some tempura for the innards.


The cucumber pickles were a snap. Peel and seed half a cucumber and cut into strips. Toss in a good squeeze of beet juice (grate and squeeze out the juice with your hand), a small squirt of agave, rice vinegar and toasted sesame oil.

For the mushrooms, I simply hydrated a handful in boiling water, squeezed out the excess water when they were soft, and tossed with tamari. You could be fancier and use a ponzu sauce if you wanted.

The carrots were julienned with an OXO tool that I purchased thinking it was a regular vegetable peeler. I like it, and it's easier than pulling out the ol' Benriner, so no gripes from me.

I made both inside out rolls and regular futomaki, and the rice filling was seasoned traditionally with rice vinegar, salt and a bit of granulated sugar. I went non-traditional too--I used a combo of organic short grain brown rice and a cereal blend I found at Hong Kong Market. I freakin' love this stuff, it's got all kinds of things in it besides rice; oats, barley, job's tears, aduki beans and mung beans. I just used a tiny bit of the blend, so the sushi wouldn't be co-opted with beans.

Also, if you're interested in less standard sushi fillings, you might be interested in Japanese pickles. I have two cookbooks, which give lots of information: Tsukemono Japanese Pickling Recipes by Ikuko Hisamatsu and Easy Japanese Pickling by Seiko Ogawa.

xo
kittee

21 comments:

  1. Beautiful sushi! And you have managed to feed my cookbook obsession. Again.

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  2. oh my goodness that looks so amazing!

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  3. That's about as pretty as sushi gets.

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  4. I really need to master that inside out roll technique. I'm still working on making regular rolled sushi look decent. Some of my rolls wind of looking like they been run over by a car.

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  5. I love Japanese pickles! I've been searching for a table top pickler for ages. Your sushi looks fantastic. I've never made tempura at home- do you have a recipe?

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  6. Don't believe you could "do" sushi any better!

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  7. They look so colorful...I should really make sushi more often.

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  8. kittee, these look so gorgeous and yummy, and thx for turning me on tothe oxo julienne peeler - i have quite a few recies that call for j carrots, and i normally end up laboriously cutting strips (always hemming and hawing over investing in a mandoline)...

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  9. This looks like a book you could go apeshit on if you don't already have it, The Encyclopedia of Sushi Rolls. All the links I found were too huge to post :-/

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  10. I love veggie sushi in the summertime. So healthy and light! Using beet juice for color is such a clever idea. Can't wait to try it. Kelleen

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  11. Looks wonderful! The pictures are fabulous. I'm thinking sushi for dinner now. :o)

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  12. That sushi looks great! I definitely need to get a rolling mat and whip up some of my own sushi concoctions :)

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  13. What?! (You know) you got skills! I'm hungry.

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  14. wow, your sushi looks effin' yummy!

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  15. I'm Sophie, Key Ingredient's Chief Blogger. We would like to feature this recipe on our blog. Please email sophiekiblogger@gmail.com if interested. Thanks :)

    Sophie
    http://blog.keyingredient.com/

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  16. YUM! These look mighty tasty!

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  17. Quick question...does the grain/bean mix you add need to be soaked first, or do you just cook it along with the brown rice? I'm interested in adding just mung beans to brown rice using a rice cooker, and haven't found any info online. Thanks so much if you get a chance to answer! :-)
    ~Erin

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  18. Hi Kittee! Thanks for your super speedy answer! I'll try it tonight.
    ps. I love your bugs :-)
    ~e

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  19. This recipe looks completely appetizing and elegant it'll be perfect to prepare it for a meeting.

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