Cook Club: Sushi
Samantha, one of the invaluable servers at Vintage, and I have a Cook Club. It’s like Book Club but without the pretense of talking about books. Don’t get me wrong, I love to read, and I have loved Book Clubs I’ve been a part of in the past, but this is straight up about food and wine (and friendship, of course, this isn’t competitive cooking). Samantha and I typically try cooking techniques or foods that neither of us have cooked before and are a little intimidated by. But this “Club Meeting” was driven by the fact that I have this amazing bottle of 2011 Cold Heaven Viogner that I am just DYING to drink!! It’s a beautiful medium-bodied, highly aromatic with notes of nectarines that called for something light and slightly spicy, so after a significant amount of research and discussion, we decided to try to make spicy sushi rolls. Neither of us have ever attempted sushi, and I actually just read in an article that even Japanese folks consider sushi “restaurant food” since there is so much skill, training, and technique involved, so all signs did not point towards success, but we proved them wrong!
A few things to note:
- Do not listen to the Whole Foods Fish Monger when he tells you that the Ahi Tuna and Wild Alaskan King Salmon (each $25/lb) can’t be eaten raw, because the Whole Foods Sushi Chef will tell you that he uses the same fish.
- Do look up online how to roll sushi (Samantha had the foresight for this) because you will learn things like dip your hands in a mixture of water and rice vinegar which will keep you from having rice fingers (try one without and you will see what I mean).
- Do make extra rice since you’ll likely be drinking while doing this and some of your rolls may start to look fat, like blunts.
- Do use a rice cooker, if you have one, otherwise you may have some crunchy rice (but, because you are likely drinking, will use anyway).
- Do not expect making your own sushi to cost less than going out for sushi (but that’s not why we did it).
- Do add fun things like avocado (which I learned was first used by a sushi chef for it’s similar texture to fatty tuna) and cucumbers.
- Do expect to be VERY impressed with yourself.
We also made a Green Mango Salad from the March 2014 issue of Bon Appetit, but it isn’t showing up online for some reason.
- Jennifer & Samantha