Saturday, November 14, 2009

Daring Cooks/Sushi

At 10 am today, when I was reading over this month's Daring Cooks challenge, I realized that the reveal date was today and not tomorrow like I had thought. A quick trip to the supermarket and a bunch of dirty dishes later, I am very proud to say, mission accomplished. I never thought that I would actually get through this challenge in time, but somehow I made it and I had a great time doing it.

The November 2009 Daring Cooks challenge was brought to you by Audax of Audax Artifex and Rose of The Bite Me Kitchen. They chose sushi as the challenge.

When I first saw this challenge, I was really disappointed. In my mind, sushi making is an art and unlike many things, homemade sushi will never be as good as in a restaurant. Although this challenge didn't change my mind entirely, I had so much fun making this that even if it wasn't as good as what I get when I go out, it was totally worth it. My friend Katy came over and was my "sushi sous-chef" (try saying that 10 times fast) and my roomate Stefi was a very appreciative taste tester. This is definitely the type of cooking activity that is best to do with friends, without them I wouldn't have had anywhere where near as much fun as I did.

I was disappointed when I first read this challenge because sashimi grade fish is expensive, so I knew I would have to resort to more 'boring' fillings. However, with the few ingredients I bought I ended up making a lot of different and great variations, even if they didn't include my favorite salmon and tuna. The fillings I had were crab stick, smoked salmon, flying fish roe, cucumber, chives, oven roasted sweet potatoes, and portobello mushrooms roasted in sesame oil and soy sauce. I also prepared wasabi mayo and and spicy mayo to put in the rolls and to dip them in. I used both nori and soypaper to roll the maki, because I always love the texture of soypaper when I get it in restaurants. Although the soypaper was much harder to roll, I did prefer the final product. The only real challenge I faced was the fact that I didn't have a good knife to cut the rolls with, but I just did it slowly and carefully and it didn't pose any big issues.

The challenge had four required components: the sushi rice, a dragon roll, a decorative sushi roll, and nigiri. For (more) fun, I had my friends pick the ingredients for their namesake rolls. The Dragon Roll (above) was called the Katy, which had crabstick, cucumber, chives, fish roe and spicy mayo on the inside and smoke salmon wrapping the outside. The Stefi was a basic maki (top left corner of the plate with different rolls), it was filled with crabstick, sweet potato, chive, fish roe and spicy mayo. These were actually the best two (and the prettiest), I think Katy and Stefi would agree.

The decorative roll (above) was shockingly big, it was actually as big as a burrito, let's just say that the challenge today was not making the sushi but fitting a piece of this roll into my mouth (I failed on that front). This one had smoked salmon, crab, cucumber and mushrooms, it was impressive but definitely not my favorite. Overall, this was a great challenge despite my low expectations. I like that I made something that I would have never thought or wanted to make. Although I wouldn't do this everyday, if you're looking for a new and different weekend activity, this is ideal. Just take it slow, step by step, and follow the directions. Even if it doesn't turn our perfectly, the point is just to have some fun.

For the Recipe (which is very long) click the link below....
Nov Challenge Sushi-Audax Rose

13 comments:

Wic said...

I just adore your sushi, it looks delicious.

Lauren said...

Fabulous job! Your sushi looks amazing =D.

Audax said...

The Dragon Roll (above) was called the Katy, which had crabstick, cucumber, chives, fish roe and spicy mayo on the inside and smoke salmon wrapping the outside. WOWOWOW I think you are being too harsh on yourself the sushi looks lovely and it sure sounds like you had a wonderful time doing the challenge with your friends and the final photos are to die for. The 1st nigiri photo is especially beautiful and elegant. Cheers from Audax in Australia. Thanks for stopping over on my blog and your kind comments. Audax

chef_d said...

The Katy looks very very pretty! And oven roasted sweet potatoes and portobello mushrooms sound really yummy!

Kira said...

you conquered sushi! thats so awesome!!! im too scared to try!!! you go!

Catalina said...

Oh, yum your fillings sound so good!
I'll have to try sushi again with soy wrappers.
That sounds tasty.

Tara said...

Yum! I love your creative fillings. And I very much agree that this is something fun to do with friends.

Rose said...

Awesome! You did a great job!!! I'm so happy you did the challenge :D It totally helps to have friends helping, makes it a lot more fun as well. Your fillings sound delicious! Great job!!!!!

~Madeline~ said...

Great job, your sushi looks great! I love the sweet potato and mushroom idea, very creative. It must be fun to have you as a roommate :)

Maria said...

It looks great from here and I am sure it tasted just as good!

Lisa Michelle said...

Frenchie, your blog looks awesome, and your sushi is spectacular. The photos are beautiful too! I also love your fillings, especially the roasted sweet potato and mushroom. Amazing job, 'Frenchiesan' :0

Anonymous said...

pictures are wonderful, but don't do any justice! A successful and tasty first attempt at making sushi!!

Jess said...

Your sushi looks great!! I LOVE the sweet potato filling in sushi. My favorite is simple, just tempura sweet potato in the middle, with some toasted sesame seeds, and drizzled in a smidge of honey for sweetness. heaven!