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Rolling right along

Sushi–it’s the latest trend that has taken the country by storm, with persons flocking to sushi bars to get their fill of this Japanese dish which consists of cooked vinegared rice, commonly topped with other ingredients such as fish or other seafood, or put into rolls. Sliced raw fish by itself is called sashimi.

The common ingredient across all the different kinds of sushi is sushi rice. The variety in sushi arises from the different fillings and toppings, condiments and the way the ingredients are put together.

And while you may be one of those persons that trek to the sushi bar at China Beach restaurant at the Our Lucaya Beach& Golf Resort in Freeport, Grand Bahama, making sushi yourself isn’t difficult to do at all, according to China Beach chef de partie Okeaver Gray who has been preparing sushi at the restaurant’s sushi bar for six years. She says the average person can make sushi at home as long as they have all the ingredients. The hardest part she said is making the rice, but once you have the rice”down pat”she says you can make sushi.

Gray who expressed an interest in learning to make sushi to former China Beach master sushi chef Michael Lee, says for the first six months of training under Chef Lee, all she was allowed to do was wash his knives and hand them to him, before Lee moved her on to making the rice which she did for another four months before she ever rolled her first bamboo mat around a sushi roll.

Gray gives us a step-by-step guide to making China Beach’s top-selling Dragon Roll.

HOW TO MAKE CHINA BEACH’S TOP-SELLING DRAGON ROLL

What you’ll need

Ingredients

Tempura jumbo shrimp

BBQ eel

Tobiko–Salmon roe(eggs)

Eel sauce

Tempura flakes–(fried tempura batter)

Short-grained rice–Typical long-grained rice will not work for sushi as it will not take on the necessary sticky consistency.

Nori–A thin sheet of seaweed.

Pickled ginger–Thinly, sliced pickled ginger to serve alongside. You can purchase pre-made pickled ginger, or make it yourself using rice vinegar, sugar and ginger root. Pickled ginger should be eaten between sushi courses to cleanse the palate.

Soy sauce–Do not pour the soy sauce over the sushi. Dip only, fish side up.

Bowl of water with a slice of squeeze lime–To ensure your hands don’t smell fishy

Black sesame seeds(whatever color you have, will work to add a nutty flavor)

Wasabi

Equipment

Sharp knife

Bamboo mat–Placed under your sushi and make it easier to roll

Plastic wrap

Making sushi rice

Step 1-Prepare rice vinegar by heating it with sugar and salt until they dissolve.

Step 2-Rinse the rice in cold water for several minutes(until cloudiness is removed, will take several changes of water).

Step 3-Steam in a rice cooker preferably or bring water to a boil in pot, add rice, cook over very low heat until water is evaporated. this will leave the rice sticky and perfect for spreading over your Nori.

Step 4-When the rice has finished cooking, add the vinegar seasoning mix to the rice.

MAKING THE DRAGON ROLL

Step 1-Put a sheet of plastic wrap over the bamboo mat.

Step 2-Cut Nori sheet in half, place on bamboo mat. Typically, the shinier side is placed face down.

Step 3-With hands moistened with lime-infused water, grab a big ball of cooked rice(about a handful or one-and-a-half tablespoons)and spread it out onto the Nori, pressing rice into sheet as you go.

Step 4-Sprinkle black sesame seeds(about a teaspoon)(use whatever color sesame seeds you have)on top of rice for that nice roasted flavor.

Step 5-Turn Nori sheet with rice over, so that the Nori sheet is up.

Step 6-Turn shrimp back side down. With knife cut three slits along underside. Turn over and press and stretch and pull to straighten out shrimp.

Step 7-Tempura batter and quickly fry shrimp about 1 minute

Step 8-Place fried shrimp in the middle of the flipped Nori sheet. using bamboo mat, give two big turns and roll tightly. Applying light pressure as you roll to ensure that the roll remains tight.

Step 9-Remove BBQ eel from package, cut into half, then cut at an angle, three good-sized slices from one half. Warm eel slices in minute in microwave or in the oven for about a minute. Lay the eel pieces on top of the roll. Take a piece of plastic wrap and apply slight pressure to the roll to meld all ingredients.

Step 10-Sprinkle salmon roe on top of eel pieces.

Step 11-Sprinkle tempura flakes on top of salmon roe. Place plastic wrap over entire roll, apply pressure with bamboo mat.

Step 12-Moisten a sharp knife with water(so rice doesn’t stick to the knife)and cut roll into pieces. Arrange decoratively on a plate. Drizzle roll with eel sauce for extra flavor. Serve with pickled ginger and wasabi.

Step 13-Enjoy!China Beach cook Alicia Smith samples Gray’s Dragon Roll for the first time.

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