2 things you need to make a good sushi roll: Quality ingredients and practice
According to chef Tom Kaszubowski, the key to good sushi is quality ingredients. (Mallory VanHorn/News-Review / March 22, 2013)
For those willing to tackle this popular Japanese dish at home, chef Tom Kaszubowski offers some tips.
The key to good sushi is quality ingredients. "Whatever you use, you want to make sure it's the highest quality," he said.
He also recommends practice ... a lot of practice.
"The biggest thing with sushi is it takes a lot of practice," Kaszubowski said. "Over and over and over, rolling a lot of sushi rolls."
Kaszubowski is the executive chef at Symons General Store Inc., which operates Chandler's in Petoskey, cava in Bay Harbor and Pierson's at Boyne Mountain Resort in Boyne Falls.
Chandler's currently offers California rolls, mahi tuna rolls and other seasonal sushi rolls. "It's very popular here because we're about the only place that does it every night," said Kaszubowski. "We sell a lot of sushi."
For the at-home chef, he stresses the importance of rice. "Cooking the rice is so important," he said. He opts for high-quality, short-grained rice because it cooks well.
Popular sushi fillings include crab and tuna, but sushi can include various ingredients to accommodate different tastes. The seaweed used in sushi rolls, known as nori, is widely available at local grocery stores and supermarkets.
A bamboo mat is necessary to roll the sushi correctly, as is a sharp knife. Kaszubowski also keeps a bowl of water on hand to prevent the rice from sticking to his hands and utensils.
"Make sure your rice turns out and make sure you don't over think it," Kaszubowski said.
Chandler's offers sushi 4-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 4-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The restaurant is located at 215 Howard St., Petoskey. For more information, call (231) 347-2981 or visit www.lakeandhoward.com.
Chef Tom Kaszubowski prepares a California sushi roll, which contains crab, cucumber and avocado.
He prefers rice on the outside; this is also known as an “inside-out roll.”
1 - Place the nori dull-side down. Arrange a layer of sticky rice about four lines up the nori.
2 - Transfer the rice and nori to a bamboo rolling mat. Flip the nori so the rice faces down. Add filling ingredients as shown, on the opposite side of the rice. “You don’t want to jam it full,” said Kaszubowski. “Tuck your ingredients in.”
3 - Roll the sushi using the bamboo mat. Kaszubowski recommends wetting the nori so it becomes tacky and sticks to itself. “It’s more finesse than trying to roll really tight,” he said. “It takes practice.”
4 - Let the roll set for a couple minutes. Wet the knife so the roll does not stick. Slice the roll into bite-sized pieces. Serve with wasabi paste, soy sauce and pickled ginger.