Now that you have read D.I.Y. Sushi Part 1 and mastered sushi rice, it’s time to think about what’s rolled inside the rice. This is usually raw fish, which is delicious but sometimes a challenge for various reasons. There are, though, quite a few workarounds that I will share with you in today’s lesson…The Filling!
Raw fish. Everyone says, you must use sashimi grade fish, or you have to at least sear the outside. I don’t know how true this is, but I don’t want to mess around with raw food and bacteria, so I just go ahead and buy sashimi grade. The problem with this is twofold. One, sashimi grade fish is very expensive. Two, once I buy a piece of fish for that price, I don’t want to hack it up with my poor knife skills.
The trick I’ve learned to solve this is to buy already prepared sashimi. It comes in small containers, so I only spend about $15 dollars, and it is already sliced for you. They do this at Whole Foods and other local grocery stores here in Southern California. This makes everything so much simpler.
If prepared sashimi is not available to you, you still have a few options. First, you could buy a small piece of fish and hack away. It’s only going on the inside of the roll, so who cares what it looks like, right? Plus, some fillings actually call for you to chop up the fish into tiny bits. (Spicy tuna, anyone?)
The next option is to go with cooked seafood like salmon, shrimp, or crab. These are delicious and are good for anyone who isn’t into raw fish.
Finally, you can always go completely veggie. With a bit of avocado or tempura battered asparagus, you’ll never miss the fish. Sometimes I actually even prefer these alternative options!
Regardless of whether you choose to use fish or go all veggie, I recommend you always have some of your favorite vegetables to add to your rolls.
Make yourself a filling board so they are all right on hand for Part 3: The Rolling!