There are few things in life that can’t be fixed by food. And with my New Year starting off, well, ‘off’ (thank you, Jack, for giving me mumps), it was time for a long overdue sushi party, to, you know, reset the start of the year (January is a trial month, the real new year starts in February).
So, for those of you also looking for a great way to rid yourself of ‘bad vibes’ and a general sense of malaise that January has seemed to bless us with (or is this just me?), I would highly recommend a spontaneous sushi party.
But not everyone has experience in the ways of sushi masters, which is where I come in to guide you.
Without further ado (because I am not one of those weird cooking blogs that hide recipes under pages of my life stories and family history), here’s a snazzy little guide on How to Throw a Last Minute Sushi Party.
You will need:
- Some friends or flatmates (who will go along with your last minute ideas – hair dye is optional, but we will get to that in the next blog post)
- A rice cooker (listen, I was fifteen when I was made aware that some people use like a saucepan [???] to make rice so I am not giving you any guide on how to do that because, quite frankly, it’s primitive)
- Those sushi rolling mats (I don’t know where they come from, try amazon?)
- Lots of rice (please, use your goddamned head – we’re making sushi)
- Sushi nori sheets (or those ‘big sheets of seaweed used to make sushi’ to you gaijins)
- Some sushi seasoning mix (or apparently rice wine vinegar works but I got the packet of seasoning from my mum and it tells you how much to put in so I trust it more than I trust me and vinegar)
- Stuff to put inside the sushi (this is down to taste, but I’ll tell you guys what we used)
- smoked salmon (gross but my flatmates wanted it)
- normal salmon (to be cooked properly, as it should be)
- chicken dippers (don’t question it, we’re students)
- cucumber (healthy)
- sriracha mayo (yummy)
- soy sauce (for the salmon, and for dipping – also it HAS to be Kikkoman, sorry, I don’t make the rules)
- Wine (wine just makes most things better)
- A camera (so that you can later post pictures to social media to brag about how sophisticated you are)
- And probably some banging tunes
Now, on to the Method:
Put your rice on. If you don’t know how to use a rice cooker that’s on you.
What I will say, however, is that you don’t want to be making sushi with hot rice, because ouch. Also refrigerated rice will be too solid so that’s also a no. Room temperature to slightly warm is fine.
The wine can be opened and drunk from any point, however that depends on how confident you are in your drunk sushi making ability (I believe in you, start drinking now).
Hope that the smell of rice will get the ball rolling and coax your flatmates out of their rooms if they are not already present. Alternatively, send them a Snapchat message saying you’ve put the rice on.
If you are organised you can use the time while the rice cooks to start preparing your sushi fillings or you can just be a mess and dance or something.
If you want to be organised, preparing the fillings is pretty simple. Basically you want to slice them into a suitable size for sushi filling, as a rough guide, I’d say about the width of your little finger but I have very small hands. And this really depends on how much you’re planning on putting into each sushi roll. Anyway just get slicing. As for the chicken dippers, put them in the oven and cook according to packet, then slice. Oh and the salmon? Fry it in soy sauce and rip it up.
By this point in time, hopefully your fillings are prepared, your flatmates are present and your rice has been done for a little while and is now cool enough to handle. Grab a rice paddle (should I put that in the ‘You will need’ section? I feel like it’s just a basic cooking utensil), mix your sushi seasoning or rice wine vinegar into the rice. Now you are ready for the fun bit!
Roll your sushi! Okay there’s more to it than this, and quite frankly I am lacking in rolling technique.
Anyway, firstly you want to place a sheet of nori on top of the rolling mat (shiny side down). Cover one half of the nori in a layer of rice (don’t go overboard otherwise it’ll probably fall apart). Also it’s useful to just stick a few grains of rice at the very edge of the sheet on the opposite side to the half you just covered as this will help it stay closed.
Then stick in your fillings (again, don’t go overboard). We mixed and matched but the best combos were smoked salmon and cucumber (apparently) and the chicken dippers with sriracha mayo.
Now it’s time to roll and I can’t really describe this, so either you can pay me to come to your house and host a sushi party where I show you how it’s done, or you watch a YouTube video.
When all is rolled (by the way, the rolling is the main feature of the party, so you should be doing this with your friends), you can cut your sushi up into actual sushi I guess. Or you can just eat the rolls, but that’s not as instagrammable. A tip from my flatmate that I never knew, is dip your knife in water before every cut, for a cleaner cut.
Discard (or eat) the ugly end bits or any pieces that fell apart when you cut them, then proudly display your beautiful sushi on a nice tray or plate. Take a few photos (though you should’ve been snapping any photo opportunities that transpired throughout the evening), say itadakimasu, and you may begin to eat.
So, there we have it. A guide to any sushi night you might ever have to host.
I say have to host, but the reality is, it’s the sushi night you always wanted to host, but never knew how.
Quality content from Ellie once again, you’re welcome.