In an effort not to go bankrupt from buying sushi everyday, I decided to take action and go about things the Learning to be Frugal way. I decided to make my own sushi at home.
As a bit of a background, I’ve only taken to liking sushi sometime in the past year. I love Philly rolls, which have smoked salmon or crab meat, avocado, and cream cheese. Mmm, cream cheese. As many of you know, sushi can cost $5 – $8 for 6-12 rolls at a sushi restaurant or grocery store. I’m blessed with an abundance of sushi locations in my neighborhood. I can count 6-7 off the top of my head, all within a 10 minute drive from where I live. Ahhh, sushi.
In addition to my love of sushi, I’ve noticed that my students absoutely love it as well. At snack or lunch time, the sushi comes out. Kids ask if they can keep their sushi in my mini-fridge until lunch time. My students bring seaweed to share at snack time, and I’ve even spotted them passing sheets of seaweed around like you would pass notes during lessons. It’s quite adorable, if you ask me.
Therefore, to keep myself from going broke, I decided to try my hand at making sushi at home. That way, I would be able to eat it everyday until I got sick of it. I invited my good friend, M., over to help.
On the way home from work, I had purchased:
- rice vinegar
- a sushi mat
- sushi rice
- crab meat strips
- one avocado
- one block fat free cream cheese
- seaweed sheets
These ingredients (and the sushi mat) cost $18, which is just slightly more that I pay for two days’ worth of sushi from the grocery store. (We ended up making about 4-5 days worth of sushi, and I still had rice, vinegar, cream cheese, and crab leftover for more sushi.)
First, we sliced the avocado and cream cheese. I covered the sushi mat with plastic wrap, and prepared the rice. For the rice, I used Alton Brown’s recipe. (I had also watched a fantastic video of him making rice, watched a Sushi Throwdown episode with Bobby Flay, and closely observed the sushi chef making my sushi at the grocery store.)
For Alton Brown’s recipe, we cooked the rice, heated the vinegar/sugar/salt, cut the vinegar mixture into the rice, and then let it cool to room temperature. If you use Alton Brown’s recipe and you use regular salt instead of Kosher salt, use less salt than what the recipe calls for, because Kosher salt is bigger than regular salt!
For our first set of sushi, we tried putting the rice on the outside. That went well, but our fillings were too big. Thus, our sushi was huge and took two bites to eat. Plus, the fillings kept coming out.
After we each tried a round of sushi, we decided to slice the crab in half lengthwise and not overlap any ingredients. Our knife wasn’t sharp enough, so we tried a serrated one, which was much worse. We did find that having wet hands helps you to spread the rice easier. The sushi is also smaller if you don’t spread too much rice on the seaweed.
For the second round of sushi, we decided to keep the rice on the inside.
We made the sushi on Friday and still had some leftover on Monday. Hooray for being frugal and making sushi at home!