“Roll With It”: Sushi-making in Atlanta

25 May

Atlanta: city of knotted highways, Braves baseball, and Gladys Knight and Ron’s Chicken & Waffles. It’s also the home of two close friends, and sandwiched between the sprawls of my lives in Buenos Aires and New York, it was an excellent weekend trip, and a little bit closer to home.

The sounds were close to home:

With that soundtrack and geography, the flavors were pretty close to home. Sauteed shrimp, lemon juice, and cheese grits form some of Charleston’s greatest hits.

On Monday, we mixed up our own “Atlanta Batch” of shrimp with a green pepper/oyster mushroom/shredded turnip medley.

My friends and I also made sushi. Did I say flavors close to home? Whoops.

Salmon/mango/avocado urimaki (rice on the outside)

I have only rolled once, but Sean & Christine have their own set and make an evening out of it. Surprisingly, arranging uncooked ingredients in a beautiful way takes well over two hours. Between soaking cooked rice in vinegar (sushi translates to “spoiled rice”) to chopping up the minutia, making sushi is a time commitment; on a professional level, it takes years to master.

A few notes on prep, offered by my friend Sean:

  1. The rolling mats, made of bamboo, should be flat on one side. Some cheaper pads are round dowels; due to the flat nori, it’s easier to roll.
  2. Starch, generally unpleasant to clean out of both bowls and oxford shirts, is especially annoying with sushi mats. We covered our mats with cling-wrap.
  3. Keep your hands wet all of the time. It makes the golf-ball sized rice balls easier to handle and shape.
  4. While I definitely had favorite ingredients (mango, cream cheese, and FRIED CRUNCH), it’s best to keep texture in mind when building rolls. Plus, it’s an excuse to make and eat more sushi rolls.

After an hour of prep, it’s relaxing to see a table as crisp as edamame

We made over 12 rolls, with standards like crab w/ avocado and a spicy tuna, but there were a few Allez Cuisine rolls that definitely pulled inspiration from cooking television. In the plate to the upper right, our two experimental rolls reigned supreme. One featured crunchy caramelized onions with crab that we all agreed had a smoky flavor we’d never expect in a sushi roll. Right next to that roll and topped with green onions, is our lox roll. We had eaten and raved over how much we loved salmon lox earlier in the week, so like many great sushi creations, we just put our favorite food into it. The result had capers, smoked salmon, cream cheese, and a little bit of chopped green onion on the top. This might be our new favorite fusion creation.

Sushi is a home hobby that I learned to love in Atlanta, the most unlikely of homes.

Slow your roll.

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3 Responses to ““Roll With It”: Sushi-making in Atlanta”

  1. lilyclare May 26, 2012 at 3:37 am #

    Wish I could have been there! Looks amazing! It was great chatting with you all that day!

  2. Christine May 30, 2012 at 11:11 pm #

    This is amazing! Love everything about this post. I’m so glad you could come visit us; Sean and I will miss you desperately while you are away.

    P.S.- Thomas is jealous and pouting because you didn’t include the Greek meal he made. Thought you should know.

    Love you.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Home-made sushi feast « Chef Doru's Blog - December 30, 2012

    […] “Roll With It”: Sushi-making in Atlanta (tomstablescraps.wordpress.com) […]

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