How I Roll

I’ve been having fun making sushi lately! I basically taught myself how using youtube. I had no experience making sushi about a month ago, but the sushi I’ve made has been a big hit with everyone who’s tried it. Making sushi was something that seemed difficult and intimidating, but after just watching a few youtube videos it was way easier than I expected – you should try it! Here’s how I made mine …

Crunchy sushi with cream cheese, tempura, crab, and sushi

I found sushi rice (short grain rice), sushi vinegar, and a small inexpensive sushi rolling mat at my local asian store. I followed these instructions for preparing my sushi rice (it also tells you how to make sushi vinegar from more normal ingredients).

spicy crab sushi

Last week I made sushi for dinner with some friends, and wanted 5-6 rolls and a pretty wide variety – but I just made one roll at a time at first. For this set I got nori, rice paper, smoked salmon, shrimp, imitation crab, cucumber, carrot, avocado, sriracha, mayonaise, toasted sesame seeds, tempura flakes, cream cheese, soy sauce, and wasabi at my normal grocery store. But that’s for a lot of different sushi! This video was the best I found as far as instructions for making sushi – both with the nori/rice paper on the outside and inside of the roll. The fun part about sushi is there are so many options and so many combinations!

sushi with smoked salmon, carrot, avocado, and cucumber

The best tip I learned was to clean and wet the knife I used to slice the sushi roll into pieces in between cuts – this helped the slices stay really neat. Also – wet your hands before you try to handle the rice – it keeps the rice from sticking to your hands nearly as much.

The rolls I made in the order of pictures in this post:

  • Two rolls – one with shrimp cooked in sriracha, cream cheese, and toasted tempura flakes wrapped in nori, one with smoked salmon, cream cheese, and toasted tempura flakes wrapped in rice paper. Both have rice on the outside with toasted sesame seeds.
  • Avocado and imitation crab mixed with some mayo and sriracha. This was everyone’s favorite!
  • Two rolls – they both have smoked salmon, carrot, cucumber, and avocado. One is wrapped in nori with rice and toasted sesame seeds on the outside and the other is wrapped with rice paper on the outside.

spicy crab sushi

Surprise Lunch Message

I’ve been packing lunches for Eddie lately. I saw a neat idea for sending bananas in lunches via pinterest, and decided to try it out!

secret lunch message for bananas in packed lunches

All you need are a banana and a pointed-but-not-too-sharp object. The website above suggests using a toothpick, but I had better results using a mechanical pencil with no lead – just the plastic tip. You want to press hard enough to leave an indention, but not break the skin.

The top picture was really hard to take – it really is hard to see when you first ‘write’ on the banana. By the time your spouse/child/whoever you pack lunches for gets lunch, a nice, dark message has developed.

Some science fun – you know how banana skins get brown spots as they ripen? This is because of oxidation that occurs naturally as and is sped up when the skin or the whole banana is bruised. Bruising causes the banana to emit an enzyme called polyphenoloxidase which speeds up oxidation, and is the same enzyme that causes the brown color in coffee and tea! Basically, indenting the skin causes the same brown as those brown spots, only faster and exactly where you tell it to! This is not the same as rotting, and does not affect the part of the banana you eat underneath the skin.