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Chase Away the Winter Blahs –Throw a sushi dinner party!


Last week, the weather was cold, dreary, and rainy. La Fuji Mama’s timing for her series ” Miso Soup Week” couldn’t have been better. I followed her daily posts, as they progressed from the origin of Miso Soup, to the making of homemade Dashi. By the time the third day in her series arrived, I was already craving Miso Soup. Like Pavlov’s dog, when I saw her photo of the finished soup, steaming with miso goodness, I knew I would be making it right away. And so, a sushi dinner party it was this past weekend, including of course, La Fuji Mama’s Miso Soup.  What better way to chase away the winter blahs!

As La Fuji Mama said, making your own restaurant style miso soup couldn’t be easier. I followed her recipe, using as combination of shiro miso and aka miso as she recommended. The results: this is indeed a fantastic combination of flavors, and if you are looking for a “go-to” recipe for miso soup, this is it.

Miso Soup

Click here for the recipe

Whenever we go out for sushi with a group of friends, the evening is always on the lively side. The  upbeat atmosphere of the restaurant, with cool lighting and edgy music set the tone. Myself, living in a not- so -large city, an evening like this can make you feel like you are in a big city place…at least for the night.

You can capture this same sort of feel at home by turning down the lights,  setting your table with candles and chopsticks, cuing up your i-pod, and yes…making your own sushi. Enjoy an evening at home, as though you were in a trendy sushi house at half the price of going out. Here’s how to do it.

There are a lot of resources out there for help on the subject of sushi making, and all will tell you fantastic sushi begins with the art of making rice.

Here’s a video that takes you step by step through the process, ensuring you will be off on the right foot:

Once you have your sushi rice prepared, you are ready to start making sushi! For my dinner party, I made two different sushi rolls, opting for varieties that are made with cooked seafood, in case someone wasn’t too up on eating raw fish.  Dreaming of warmer weather and tropical breezes, I made Lobster Hawaiian Rolls. The lobster tails were on sale at $5.99 each, making the treat even sweeter.

Here are a few photos showing the process of making them.

Prepare the lobster by  removing from the meat from the shell. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Toss with 2 tablespoons of spicy sauce, spread out on a foil lined baking sheet, and broil, set on middle rack of oven, for 4 minutes. Remove and set lobster aside to cool.



Lobster Hawaiian Rolls

I love the way tropical fruits and seafood work together, and here the mango and lobster are a match made in heaven.

2 sheets of nori

2 cups cooked sushi rice

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (I like a blend of white and black)

2 (6-ounce) lobster tails, removed from shells, cut into 1/2-inch-thick pieces

1 ripe mango, pitted, peeled, sliced into thin strips

1/2 of 1 English cucumber, quartered, cored, and julienned

1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced into thin strips

Wasabi

Soy sauce

Wrap a bamboo sushi mat with plastic wrap. Place nori sheet on prepared sushi mat. Spread  sushi rice evenly over nori. Sprinkle rice with sesame seeds. Carefully invert, so that the nori is now facing up. Place lobster (see cooking directions above)down the center of the nori. Add cucumber, mango, and avocado. Starting at one long end, and using the bamboo mat as an aid, roll up tightly, giving a few gentle squeezes as you go. Cut the sushi roll into 8 rolls. Repeat process with remaining ingredients.

Makes 16 pieces

I also made Volcano Rolls, following the recipe/procedure you will find on Sushivids, a fun website written by Raymond, a sushi chef, offering his talents to all of us. Check him out~lots of great tips. Rather than reinventing the wheel, I am going to share his video with you here…get ready to drool!


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