Creating your own dinner makes for a memorable experience

thumb Sushi1March's Calgary Journal dating survey determined that the hottest date activity in Calgary right now is going out for sushi. But do you know what's even better than treating that special someone to a night on the town? Working together to create your own dinner.

Homemade sushi is for more than just eligible bachelors, it's also a great idea for families and friends who want to come together to try to make something new and tasty.

 

Josey Vogels, author of several books on sex and relationships, says do-it-yourself projects can help keep things fresh in a relationship.

"If approached with a sense of adventure and fun, they can be playful, and get you laughing and interacting in a way that you might not if you went out to a restaurant and sat side by side in a dark movie theatre," Vogels wrote in an email.

Not only are these projects good for couples, they are also good for improving relationships with friends and family as well, Vogels wrote.

"They take you out of your comfort zone, introduce new learning, new experiences and new adventures that help keep things fresh. They allow you to continue to learn about one another."

The Calgary Journal decided to take on this challenge and it took us about an hour to create our own rolls. We chose to make vegetarian sushi, but you can replace the cucumber we used with any type of vegetable, raw fish or seafood of your choosing.Sushi3 openDating expert Josey Vogels says DIY projects like homemade sushi can help improve relationships between friends, family and partners.

Photo by Deja Leonard and Erica Pollock 

Step 1: Measure out your rice according to your rice cooker's directions, or try what we did and just follow the instructions on the bag of sushi rice. To make sushi for two people, we used one cup of sushi rice and one-third of a cup of water. We let the rice soak in the water for 25 minutes before putting it on the stove. This is done so that the water can reach the innermost part of the grains.

Step 2: While your rice is soaking, prepare the ingredients you plan to put inside your sushi roll. We only needed half of a cucumber so we cut our whole one in half and then peeled the skin off. We then scooped out the seeds with a small spoon and cut it into long pieces, being sure it was about the size of our seaweed paper.

Should you wish to put meat in your sushi, there are several steps that need to be done to ensure the raw fish can be eaten safely.

For raw fish like salmon and macarel, foodandwine.com says the fish should be frozen for at least one day to kill any parasites. To get the best flavour, make sure the fillets are rubbed with fine sea salt. Let it stand for 30 minutes, rinse the fish and sprinkle with rice vinegar. Slice the fillets across the grain into strips about four inches long and 1/4 inch thick.

For meat such as crab, the best types to use are Dungeness, blue or king crab and to prepare you simply have to pick the meat for bits of shell, and cut into small pieces.

SUSHIHANDA sharp, wet and cold knife works best for DIY sushi, as it helps keep the rice from sticking to the knife.

Photo by Deja Leonard and Erica Pollock
Step 3: Put the rice on the stove with the lid on and let it cook according to the directions on your rice cooker, or bag of sushi rice. Our bag of rice said it would take 25 minutes, but it was closer to 15. You know it's done when all the water is absorbed.

Step 4: Add the rice wine vinegar to the warm rice. We added about one tablespoon to our cup of cooked rice. Mix it up and let it cool.

Step 5: Place your seaweed paper shiny-side down and spread the rice on the paper with a spoon. Leave about a one-inch border with no rice. Place your filling one third of the way down your seaweed paper. Begin to roll the sushi away from you, starting from the end closest to your filling.

Step 6: Use a sharp knife to cut your sushi into the desired size. Be sure to wet the knife with cold water in between each cut to ensure the rice does not stick to the knife.

Step 7: Enjoy!

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