Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Homestyle Sushi Bar

This is my favorite way to eat sushi.


With simple, fresh ingredients.

You can set out anything you like or anything you have on hand.

And making a hand roll is so easy!

Here's what I used to make my sushi bar...


4 cups uncooked rice

(2) 2.64 oz Instant Sushi Seasoning packets

Kaiware-daikon sprouts

2 pkgs. shiso leaves

Seaweed salad

Kizami shoga

Sushi nori

Wasabi powder

1 large avocado

1 lime

Tsukemono (Japanese pickles)

Cook 4 cups of rice (that's four standard measuring cups, not the rice cooker cups) with five cups of water in your rice cooker. When the rice is done, let it steam for 15 minutes.

Traditionally, you're supposed to put a small piece of dashi kombu into the rice water, taking it out right before the water starts to boil, but we're not doing that today.

Today we're going for simplicity.

Transfer the rice into a large bowl.

Sprinkle one package of the sushi seasoning package onto the hot rice.

Mix well by 'slicing' the shamoji (Japanese rice paddle) into the rice and folding it over, instead of stirring the rice. This delicate mixing will separate the rice kernels instead of smashing them.

If you can't find the instant sushi seasoning, you can mix 1/3 cup vinegar, 1/3 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons salt until dissolved. Pour over rice and mix gently until the vinegar mixture is absorbed into the rice.

Fan the hot rice in-between mixings. This makes the rice shiny.

Taste the rice. I added two more tablespoons of the seasoning mix. That's why you buy two. I like sushi rice a little spicy.

Set rice aside to cool.

I got this St. Tropez Thermo Serve salad bar for a wedding gift back in the 80's. I can't remember ever using it for salad, I think I've always used it for sushi bar.

A lazy susan would work too. So would a big tray.

Remove kaiware--daikon sprouts--from container and wash.

This time, instead of cutting the roots and seeds off, I left them on.

I was feeling particularly earthy today, especially after talking about my Japanese roots.

This is seaweed salad. I bought this at Marukai. I bought everything at Marukai.

I went to lunch today with my sister and my parents to a Chinese buffet, and they had nori maki with seaweed salad in it. It was delicious, so I thought I'd add it to my sushi bar.

This is what it looks like. It's got a sweet sesame oil dressing, and it's a little crunchy.

Kizami shoga is pickled ginger, like the pink, thinly sliced one you get with sushi. Only this one is julienne cut and red.

I think the powdered wasabi is much better than the one in the tube. 

Buy a small one, since it doesn't last forever. It loses it's nice green color when it gets old.

This one costs about $1.58 at Marukai.

Mix about a tablespoon of the wasabi powder with about a teaspoon of water.

Add a little at a time.

You want to make a soft paste.

Not too stiff and not too runny. This needs a tiny bit more water.

I used a sake cup to hold the wasabi in the clear container.

With room for the kizami shoga on the side.

You will need about 4 or 5 sheets of nori for two people.

5 if they're going to eat until they're more than 80% full.

Cut each sheet in half.

And then half again.

We live in an old avocado orchard and have several avocado trees of the Haas variety. This avocado came from Costco, since ours aren't quite ripe yet. I think they're perfectly ripe when the skin comes away in a nice, clean piece.

Cut the avocado into thin wedges.

This is the first lime from the lime tree we planted last year!

It's got yellow skin, but I've forgotten the variety.

Squeeze a little lime juice on the avocados to keep them from turning brown.

Put a little bit of tsukemono--Japanese pickles--in there too.

Pickled cucumber is on the left and shiso flavored thinly sliced kombu is on the right. That's one of my favorites.

They're on sale right now at Marukai.

Now it's time to eat!

Start with a square of nori. 

The shiny side goes down.

Add a touch of wasabi.

A shiso leaf is always good.

The beauty of this is that each person makes it to their liking.

Fold it in half and you have a hand roll!

The kaiware gives it a nice subtle spiciness.

Wouldn't thinly sliced jalapeno be good?!

Shrimp tempura is always a hit too.

What's a Bobby Roll???

I hear that's popular at Katana Sushi.


When you find yourself more than 80% full, you might want a last bite!

If you're also feeding an omnivore, you might add some poke.

Who doesn't know what poke is and thought Poke Salad Annie?


Hawaiian sashimi

That's for tomorrow.


The buffet lunch with my sister and parents was so much fun.

The first thing Margaret asked was if we were all wearing our "buffet pants".

Whenever I go to a buffet, I always think of Cody, Paige & Hannah and our time together in Florida going to the Golden Corral. Margaret had to go on a business trip and I got to tag along and see the sights with the kids.

Golden Corral was our favorite place.

The Lopez kids love buffets!

Miss you guys!


  1. This just makes me so hungry. It looks so delicious!!!

  2. I like the "earthy" touch! Eagerly awaiting the POH-kay! You are changing the way we eat around here! :)