One of the things the kids wanted to learn to make: sushi. So, I was grateful to one of my best friends and her mom for volunteering to come teach them. This was the recipe Jenn shared with the kids today.
Sushi Meshi (Rice for Sushi)
Ingredients serves 8
- 4 C short grain rice (sushi rice)
- 4 C water
- 6” dashi konbu
- Also needed: paper fans, wooden spoons, and a non-aluminum pan
Awase Zu (vinegar mixture for sushi meshi)
- 1/3 C Japanese vinegar (or white vinegar)
- 5 T sugar
- 1 T salt
Heat ingredients until salt and sugar are dissolved. Cool and fold into hot rice being careful not to mash the rice grains. Fan and cool immediately. Rice is now ready to make sush (makizushi, chirashi, nigari, or inari Zushi)
Wash rice and soak in water 2 hours or longer.
Put water and konbu (wiped with a damp cloth) in a saucepan and bring to a boil. After 3 minutes remove konbu and add drained rice. Mix well, cover, and bring to a boil. Turn heat very low and steam 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes after turning off heat.
Put rice in a large pan (not aluminum- an enameled broiler pan works well) and fold in the Awase Zu. Fan until the rice is coated and glossy.
Culturally we use odd numbers for the number of sushi ingredients because of the good associations (superstition) associated with odd numbers. In contrast, even numbers do not have good associations. “Two” means “to divide” (or “to part, separate”), “four” is associated with death, and “six” as in the phrase “rokudenashi”, means “good-for-nothing.” At wedding ceremonies, people give gifts of 10, 000 yen, 30, 000 yen, and fifty thousand yen. No-one gives a gift of 20, 000 or 40, 000 yen. Similarly, at funerals the condolence payments are all in odd numbers. This may reflect the influence of Yin-Yang thought from China, in which odd numbers are “Yang”. Hospital sickrooms and parking lots avoid the number “four” (which is homophonous with “death”).