I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Millennial Central for Kirin Ichiban. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
Since I cook at home almost every single night, I’m always trying to find new dishes to add to my menu. I have a habit of making the same foods often and it gets old. Sushi is one of our favorite foods to go out and eat but it is always so much more expensive than eating out at any other cuisine so I decided I would make it at home.
I’ve tried to make sushi once before and let me tell you, it didn’t end really well. I didn’t follow directions and somehow my roll was extremely large, like double the size it should have been. I’m always up for a good cooking challenge so tonight I made a California roll, Tuna Nigiri and Salmon Nigiri.
What many people don’t know about me is that I’m a quarter Japanese. My father was born and raised in Okinawa then came to America, he is half Japanese American. Here is a blurry picture of both of us, please note both of us holding up the 1 finger.
Growing up I ate a lot of Japanese food, not just sushi and rolls but the good stuff! We would go to the Asian market and restaurants where the menu was printed in Japanese. I never knew what to order so he would always order me something good. I knew that I couldn’t fail at making a simple California roll so I gave it another try tonight.
First thing to do is make sure you have all the ingredients needed and the tools to make the rolls. You will need a bamboo rolling mat (can be bought for under $3), sushi rice, avocado, cucumber, unseasoned nori, crabmeat, and toasted seseme seeds. I also added a pack of Kirin Ichiban beer, we don’t eat sushi without enjoying a cold Japanese beer.
I knew I would be making sushi so about an hour before I was ready to start making it, I put my rice on to cook in a rice cooker. Since California Rolls are made “inside out” you will need to line your bamboo rolling mat with syran wrap. I didn’t do this step and ended up with a sticky mess. You will need to grab a small bowl and fill it with water. This water will be your go-to bowl while handling the sticky rice. The water keeps the rice off of your hand!
Before I even got out the nori (seaweed), I went ahead and cut my vegetables into long slivers. You don’t want them to be too bulky or it won’t allow for your California roll to roll nicely.
Now we are ready to make some sushi! First you will split your nori into two pieces. Fold the nori in half, if the nori is fresh it should split perfectly.
Lightly wet your fingers with water and top your nori with a small amount of rice.
Only put a small amount on to begin with, you don’t want too much rice but you want enough to cover all of your nori.
Now we are going to flip your nori over so the rice is exposed to the bamboo rolling mat. I was a bit nervous about this process but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought.
Now add your avocado, cucumber and crab legs. Don’t bulk it up too much, we want it to lay nicely.
After taking the picture above, I took a few pieces of avocado off and cut them into slivers rather than chunks. They fit much better. The hardest part for me was rolling the sushi. I think partially because I had overstuffed it.
Once the roll was complete, I sprinkled on the toasted sesame seeds. To cut the california roll, you will need a sharp knife and some water. Dampen your knife with the water before slicing so rice doesn’t stick. Cut your roll in half.
Yes, I do realize that isn’t exactly in the middle but it’s close! Now cut each piece in half again to get a total of 8 pieces and you’re done! (See finishing picture at bottom of post)
Since Quinn isn’t a huge fan of California Rolls, I decided to make him Salmon Nigiri and Tuna Nigiri. I went to the grocery store butcher and told himI was making fresh sushi and that I needed Salmon and Tuna. He gave me about 5 ounces of both which was perfect for what I needed. The great thing about buying it from the butcher, it was only about $3.50 per fish. We would usually spend triple that for our nigiri at a restaurant and our fish was much bigger than usual nigiri.
Nigiri is super simple and much easier to make than California Rolls. Slice your fish into pieces that are about 2 inches long and 1 inch wide. After filleting the fish, get your hands damp and ball the sushi rice up into the palm of your hand. You want to form it into a slender oval shape. You can make them as large as you want, but remember that most people eat nigiri in one bite so you don’t want to make it difficult to eat.
You can see below, I made way more than we could eat in our house especially with a california roll waiting but it was cheap, so we indulged.
Once you have the balls of rice formed, you will need to add a dot of wasabi to the top of each. If you like spicy, add a little bit more wasabi to your nigiri to give it a kick.
We’re almost done! I trimmed my fish so they would fit the rice a little better and gently placed them on top of the rice.
Making sushi at home is simple and absolutely delicious. I love having a nice meal at home without having to pay the extravagant prices at the restaurant, we were able to get more bang for our buck. Usually when we go out for Sushi we end up spending around $60 for the 2 of us (that includes a beer or two), but our whole meal only cost about $20.
We have a tradition that anytime we eat sushi, we always drink a glass of Kirin Ichiban. There multiple reasons for this, my fiance just loves the rich flavor and smooth finish, especially when we are eating sushi – it’s the perfect compliment. I love Kirin Ichiban for not only the taste but the story behind it.
Ichiban translates to number one and in my family, we have a long running joke about who is “number 1” in our family. In other words, who is the best? Not many people get it, but it’s a family joke that has been around forever. Competition runs deep in my family, so my two siblings and I are always battling it out for who is number one.
The fact that Kirin Ichiban is a Japanese beer, tastes amazing and means #1, makes it one of my favorites. I love that Kirin Ichiban only uses the first strain of malt liquid, which means it’s truly beer at its purest. The Kirin Light beer offers just as much flavor and it only has 95 calories! You would never know by the taste of it.
Former fashion model turned culinary expert, Candice Kumai, has joined the Kirin team as a brand ambassador and I couldn’t think of a better fit. Her style and knowledge combined fits perfectly with the Kirin brand and what they stand for. Did you know that it is Japanese custom to never fill your own glass and never let another’s glass go empty? So next time you make sushi or nigiri at home, make sure you to follow these customs and impress you friends and family!