Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sushi on a Student Budget

Last Saturday night some friends and I got together with the intent of making dinner.

Our dish of choice?


Sushi sounds pretty extravagant, especially for four broke college students. NĂ©anmoins! When you make it yourself, it actually is pretty cheap. And delicious.

  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Cucumber
  • Drop of lemon juice
  • 8 (ish) seaweed pieces
  • 1 package (ish) of imitation crab (because we aren't stupid and didn't want to die of eating raw fish in Arkansas)
  • 1/2 package of cream cheese
  • 8 cups or so of rice
  • tablespoon of rice vinegar
  • tablespoon of soy sauce
  • a placemat
  • sharp knife
For roughly 10 dollars the four of us made plenty of sushi for dinner-- cheap, and as it turned out, delicious!

I'm not normally a sushi fan. After all, raw fish?? No thanks. I always felt uncultured, but I would rather just have steak (or really any other piece of cooked meat). However, these rolls really changed my opinion of sushi as a whole.

We made vegetable and California rolls. For those of you who don't know (me before Saturday night), California rolls are where the rice is on the outside, and there isn't any raw fish, only delicious imitation crab! Once again, I am grateful for my cheap tastes.

We began by washing the rice.

Or rather, Dave washed rice while Blair and I caught up on Game of Thrones (an amazing series I just got hooked on). For sushi, you need to wash all the starch off the rice-- and often tedious procedure.

Once the rice was properly washed, we stuck it in the rice cooker. When it was done we put it in the fridge and got all of our vegetables ready. We had opted to use avocado and cucumber but there are a lot of other combinations out there. For the meat eaters among us, we grabbed a package of imitation crab meat-- which my friend and I can eat straight out of the bag.

Taking the rice, we sprinkled some lemon juice and rice vinegar on it to instill magic sushi properties in it. Or something to that effect.  

Next, we spread the rice out onto our rectangle of seaweed. The rice was very sticky, and had no issue adhering to the seaweed.

Then we flipped the seaweed over so the rice was on the bottom, and began layering all the goodies onto it. Trying our best not to overstuff the roll, we carefully lined up thin slices of the vegetables and chunks of the fish. We tried a variety of combinations with our ingredients, but my favorite was imitation crab meat + cream cheese + cucumber.

We took our placemat (and yes, for the record you are supposed to use a bamboo rolling mat. Conway apparently does not sell bamboo rolling mats. So we just used a placemat) and rolled the seaweed-- a nerve racking step.

It was pretty dark in the room (for a camera) and I was using like 6400 ISO (which is really high for you non camera people). I still took far too many photos to put on here ;) The sushi was just so photogenic!

Then we took our sharp knife and sliced the roll into little disks.

Editing these pictures has forced me to learn some new tricks in editing food photos-- something I don't do as often as editing nature photos. I should post another Photoshop tutorial sometime. In my copious amounts of free time I have as a Physics major. Ha.

Those are certainly not the only photos I took, but the only photos I had time to edit.

In total we must have made like eight rolls-- each of us getting our fill of sushi. All in all it was a pretty cheap dinner, a great idea for a Saturday night.

After dinner, we headed to a concert being held on campus. They were the Punch Brothers-- I hadn't heard of them, but they were a pretty good folk/Mumford and sons-esque band.

Yeah, I couldn't see much.

On an unrelated note, look at my new telescope!

His name is Legolas
Long story short, I have amazing friends. A girl from my school won this at the raffle at the Physics conference. My friend then traded her gift card with this girl for the telescope, and then gave the telescope to me, because she knew how much I wanted it.

Yup, amazing friends. :)

Side note, it may look all spiffy, but I think I put it together wrong...you can't see anything out it....hopefully I'll have time this weekend to take it apart and figure out how to make it work.

Anyway! It has been a while since my last post-- thank you insanely busy sophomore year.

Thanks for reading :)

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