fusion sushi, not quite right

I wanted to make sushi rolls at home because, well, I always feel sorta hungry after I dine out for sushi. It’s never totally filling, and it’s so pricey. So I figured I could make a big batch at home. Smart me — I decided not to bother with a recipe. I figured I’d make a sort of hybrid Korean sushi. Yes, I know Korean cuisine has its own sushi roll-like treat called kimbap, and I’ve written about it before. But my plan was to go make the rolls more in the Japanese style, but with a Korean filling.

The rice was pretty traditional. I used my rice cooker and one of those bottled, presweetened sushi vinegar mixtures to flavor the rice. My rice turned out nice and shiny.

I really improvised with the shrimp, maybe a bit too much. I get nervous about serving raw fish at home, so I planned to cook my filling. I sliced some shrimp down the middle and let it sit in a traditional Korean seafood marinade — red pepper, rice vinegar, soy sauce, water or stock, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil. Then I grilled the shrimp — they curled up a bit more than I’d expected, but I figured it would be okay.

I added roasted sesame seeds, julienned fresh ginger, and just to make things a little stranger (and spicier), some Sriracha. It sure looked good, but much to my surprise, it was kind of light on flavor. I’m not complaining, but I wouldn’t make it again that way. But it’s always fun to experiment in the kitchen, even if the results aren’t 100% perfect every time.

30 thoughts on “fusion sushi, not quite right

  1. I always love when I feel like a mad chemist in the kitchen. Im such a food geek. Sushi any which way is just yummy. My six year old even enjoys eating the roasted seaweed plain.

  2. Well it looks really good anyway. I know what you mean, I can just about eat my weight in sushi and 2 hours later I'm ready for round 2, but I've left the restaurant. Bummer. I've wanted to make sushi at home for quite some time, but haven't worked up the courage. One day…Good effort! Sorry it wasn't all you dreamed it would be.

  3. Pretty good on making sushi without a recipe. I've always want to try and my own sushi at home. I have the right rice. I just need to remember to make them.

  4. Cool idea! I love fusing Korean and Japanese flavours. Just a tip for the future when you make rolls, spread the rice out a bit more on one end of the nori then roll, which will get the filling more in the center of the roll.

  5. That looks great. Now I need some sushi. Too bad it is so expensive! And I didn't realize there was a bottle of sushi vinegar I could buy to make my rice better! Now I'll be making sushi more often!

  6. haha…I think you did a pretty good job? :)I'm too paranoid to use raw stuff outside Japan where they sell the stuff for raw consumption separately from the other fish & shellfish…so when I need a Sushi fix I buy an avocado and let it mature until it's soft & creamy. I made something yesterday in fact but have been unable to upload the photos because my hubby is ill. Maybe I can do it some time today.

  7. Despite being light on flavor, your sushi making efforts are still very impressive! I love that photo of the rice and shrimp on top of the seaweed – gorgeous! I'm trying to figure out why this didn't come out tastier because you've used some great ingredients. Maybe all it needed was a drizzle of spicy mayo on top?(sriracha, mayo, sugar, vinegar, soy, sesame oil) – that always seems to fix my sushi rolls :)p.s. My word verification for this comment is "angst" LOL

  8. jenn: getting the special rice is half the battle, because once i'd bought that, i was making this recipe a few days latermarc: thanks for the tip. i actually liked the off center look, but i know what you mean.krystal: yeah, you can make a mixture of vinegar, sugar, and stuff, but the bottled sushi vinegar is very convenientreanaclaire: ha, yeah, you'd better try it yourself because for most of us, it's pricey to dine out for all the timemurasaki: thanks. we're pretty lucky here because there is such a HUGE Japanese population. i can go to a few different markets that sell the sushi-grade raw fish, but i'm still nervous. i'll look for your veggie sushi post.phyllis: i love that photo too, thanks. i think that's why i still posted this. in retrospect, i think the raw fish adds so much moisture to a sushi roll, and if you cook the fish, you have to do something else to compensate.

  9. well at least now you can safely say you know what to add next time to kick it up a notch or two.I love making my own sushi, even though I get sushi rice stuck to everything!

  10. Bummer that it wasn't too flavorful with all those things you added in! I hate when that happens! Sure does look beautiful though 🙂 You need to come visit rochester ny. We'll go to california rollin, on sundays they have any 3 rolls for 12.99 you leave fat and happy and you still have money in your wallet!

  11. Very good job for your first sushi making. I am craving about sushi recently. Taking sushi meal at least once or twice a week, ya, that cost a lot of money. I have bought a sushi making kit from the Asian supermarket, will try to make my own sushi soon!

  12. what fun! those look pretty authentic.. i was actually eyeing the sushi wraps at super target the other day.. but after my latest asian excursion (aka fortune cookies) i decided to hold off for a bit.. its on my list of things to try 🙂

  13. I have been making my own sushi for about a year now, but I always make it vegan. I find the flavour a lot nicer at home, and that way I know I am not getting MSG or who knows what else. I usually use avocado, red pepper, green onion, cucumber, marinated tofu or a sunflower seed mixture. So yummy, I want some now!

  14. confession nook: ha, well put…chantal: yeah, i'd look at sushi as a project more than anything else, a very fun projectpandalicious: definitely, and thanksjudy: i definitely like meat-free sushi, and that really solves the problem of being nervous about working with raw fish

  15. Very brave of you to try sushi. I once heard an expert say he was expected to have exactly the same number of rice grains on each one. The "trainer" would rip them apart and count to see if the number was correct and yelled at every wrong number he found. Who knew?

  16. Very impressed with the sushi improvisation. I've tried sushi rolls at home once before. Disaster. I'm gearing up my confidence to try them again. You have inspired me with this post!

  17. jessy: it wasn't perfect, but it wasn't bad either…melanie: oh, sorry to hear that. it helps when you're not in a big rush, because sushi is a project

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