Sushi has been apart of my families life for close to 20 years. My parents first got the taste of it back when I was in High School and the parents of one my friends brought some to the big football game. They let my parents try some and that is where it all began. We started going to the local Japanese restaurant to get our new addiction taken care of. Soon after that my dad realized it’s much cheaper to make sushi at home. It’s still nice to go out and get some really good sushi but making it at home can be fun.
When my kids were born and were at the age that fish and solids foods were ok, I introduced them to sushi. They LOVED it and it became their favorite food. They love having sushi making parties, it’s fun letting them pick out what they want in their rolls. That’s what is great about sushi, there are NO rules! You can put whatever your little heart desires into it. Fried Chicken? Why not? I personally haven’t done that, but don’t see why you couldn’t.
My husband never had sushi till he met me. He enjoys sushi, but he likes sushi with cooked ingredients. My kids and I are more of the the raw sushi (sashimi) type. When we lived in Tampa my husband wanted to try the Tampa Roll. It’s made of fried grouper, mayo and scallions and it became a favorite of ours. When we moved away from Florida we missed the Tampa Roll and I thought it would be easy enough to make. I found that grouper is harder to come by when you don’t live in Florida. I tried different types of frozen fried fish, and you will be surprised at what tasted closest to the original. Frozen fish sticks! If you can’t find fresh or frozen grouper in your grocery store, the fish sticks make a great alternative.
The items you need to get started…
Bamboo Rolling Mat, Nori (package of seaweed paper), sushi rice, fried grouper (or fish sticks), mayonnaise and scallions. Optional: wasabi paste and pickled ginger.
I like to tape plastic wrap around the bamboo rolling mat. It helps with keeping it clean. You can make your own sushi rice at home but that is a process and I will plan on posting that down the road. If you do not want to make the rice at home you have some options. I found that if you have a Chinese buffet that does sushi, they will sell you sushi rice. You could also try a Japanese restaurant. How much you get depends on how much you want to make. A couple pounds of rice will make quite a few rolls.
*Keep a bowl of water near you when making these rolls. You want to keep your hands wet while working the rice or else it’ll stick to you.
Lay the Nori down on the bamboo mat, shiny side down. With wet hands, put about a cup of rice on the paper and spread it out. When I make an inside roll (rice on the inside) I don’t put it all over the nori, as you can see above. Next, spread about 1 tbs of mayo on the rice in a thin strip going from one end to the other. Layer the grouper and scallions (see above picture). Work with the ingredients facing you and slowly start rolling the nori over the fish. You will continue rolling it up and when you get to the end, wet your finger and run it across the end of nori so it’ll stick to the roll and the seam won’t open. Slice into about 8 pieces and enjoy!
- 4 grouper fillets
- 5 cups peanut oil
- tempura batter
Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pot till it registers 350 degrees. Slice the grouper fillets into long thin strips and dip into the tempura batter. Place a few strips of battered fish into the hot oil. Cook until lightly browed and place on paper towel to soak up the grease.
- 1 egg
- 1 cup ice water
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
Beat an egg in a bowl. Add ice water in the bowl. Be sure to use very cold water. Add sifted flour and salt in the bowl and mix lightly. Be careful not to overmix the batter.