View Full Version : Sushi

SGT Rock
01-04-2005, 00:28
Has anyone ever thought or tried making sushi on the trail? I was eating some recently and it hit me that this could be done. We had a Hawaiian guy in Iraq that used to make Spam sushi on a regular basis. All you would need is some Nori, some sushi rice, some sort of meat like tuna, crab, chicken, or whatever, and some wasabi powder. It seems like you could do hand roll sushi pretty easy.

01-04-2005, 00:37
yes, this is a good idea.
you are a very smart person.

01-04-2005, 01:03
Add some rice wine vinegar, sesame seeds, and sushi mat, preferably in the colder months so the fish keeps.

I didn't know you were Argentinian.

01-04-2005, 01:03
The essence of sushi is to use to freshest ingredients possible. This kind of cuts down on the possibilities while hiking. As far as making "hiker-maki," or hiker-rolls; you could potentially wrap anything in a sheet of nori and call it sushi.

Japanese school lunches often contain "temaki" which is exactly what you've described: a small pot of rice, some sheets of nori and various other stuff: imitation crab, tuna, natto (fermented beans), takuwan (a type of yellow pickle) and cucumbers.

I have done this on short hikes (day hikes) as the preparation before you go, packaging, and making the things on the trail would be too much of a hassle. I can't imagine after a 20 mile day fumbling around with making maki rolls.

Remember to carry your sword with you to slice the rolls into bite size portions.

Happy rolling :cool:

SGT Rock
01-04-2005, 01:05
Would temaki also have Wasabi? I guess it could have whatever you want.

SGT Rock
01-04-2005, 01:07
I didn't know you were Argentinian.

What? I don't get it...

01-04-2005, 01:08
Anything you want, really. You can buy powdered wasabi, just add water. Of course you gotta mix it in something...

It's good for short hikes I guess. Just can't imagine going through the hassle on a long hike. Now, as trail magic...:clap

SGT Rock
01-04-2005, 01:11
I was thinking of it as a "first day out of town" sort of meal. Get some sushi rice, maybe some fresh vegetables, nori, wasabi powder, and make it on the trail that night. I figure with a little bit of egg noodles and some green tea it would make for something you wouldn't normally see on the AT.

01-04-2005, 01:22
That way you'd save yourself alot of the hassles of making on the trail, the packaging required for all the ingredients. You could roll up the temaki before you set out, keep 'em wrapped in plastic wrap in a cool wet towel to stay fresh.

Sushi and noodles don't usually go together, but on the trail...go for it! May I suggest soba (buckwheat noodles). Very good in hot weather: you boil em up, then let em cool (if you've a good water source nearby this would be easier). Keep some of the water you boiled the noodles in to make tea (just add some of the dipping sauce). Dip the cold noodles in the tsuyu (soba noodle sauce) and MUNCH. Mix some shredded nori in with the noodles, add some wasabi to the dipping sauce, and some chopped green onions if you've got em.

01-04-2005, 01:34
What? I don't get it...
But you are a very smart peron. There were some very famous persons who were perons.

01-04-2005, 02:47
Has anyone ever thought or tried making sushi on the trail? I was eating some recently and it hit me that this could be done.

I personally wouldn't want to even try sushi on the trail simply because I know it wouldn't be as good as what I get here at my favorite sushi bar in Nashville. Great sushi is a wonderful thing, less than great sushi is depressing because it does nothing but remind you of the great sushi you aren't eating while you are eating the less than great sushi.

Of course after living in Seattle for a year what the people there would find the most shocking is that you could get sushi at all in Maryville, Tennessee. Many people there seemed somewhat surprised to find out you could get it in Nashville, but Maryville? They simply wouldn't believe it ;)

01-04-2005, 08:30
I make mine at home and do use fish. I have a large sushi tin and I use a frozen blue ice pack to keep it cold. Works great for the first night out.
I've experimented with all sorts of stuff for the trail. Most supermarkets carry canned octopus, sardines,herring. As long as you don't mind the weight for a one, two or three day trip you can pretty much take whatever you want.
If you prepare some rice ahead of time, sushi is a great no cook trail meal or snack. Green Tea or Sake never hurt my feelings either.:)

01-04-2005, 08:55
Has anyone ever thought or tried making sushi on the trail?...............etc,etc,etc,................. ..............................

Hey ROCK....now that you live in TN....just FYI...we call that "BAIT!" hehehehehehe :D

SGT Rock
01-04-2005, 20:50
Right, I was eating some fresh bait at the bait shop...

03-06-2005, 16:06
This is in response to some posts on the Goodbye Pepsi can stove thread.

Sashimi and sushi differ in a few ways. Basically, sushi is on rice, sashimi is just by itself, dipped in soy w/ wasabi if you like.

Sushi comes in a couple of different ways: nigiri (raw fish on rice) and maki (stuff rolled in seaweed). There are a few traditional ingredients, but like all things, sushi has evolved, become more chic, and has been altered greatly to make it marketable in supermarkets here in the US.

Though I agree with Needles in that what you'd make on the trail wouldn't be as good as in a real sushi joint, there are different levels of quality of sushi, just like there are levels of quality of steak. I wouldn't take uni (sea urchin), or maguro (fresh tuna) on the trail, but I'd be happy with a norimaki with cucumber, canned tuna (mixed with mayo), crab meat, avocado, or other (not sure about Spam).

One caveat about a comment I made earlier: if you make it before you set out the nori will draw moisture from the rice and get soggy. If your ok with this, great. I prefer crisp nori.


SGT Rock
03-06-2005, 16:17
Since you brought this thread up, I'll post an update to the sushi plan...

I used the crisp nori like you said, works well. sort of a wrap. I also did sushi with pink salmon and spam, the meat is OK, I prefer the Salmon. I plan to try some sardines sometime.

The problem is I keep screwing the rice up. The first time I made way too much and I had it too "starchy" would be the best way to describe it. The second time I tried it I only used half a cup of rice to 1.5 cups of water. Before cooking I rinsed the rice multiple times until I was getting clear water and then boiled the rice then simmered it for 10 minutes. After that I let it stand only covered by a cloth to allow excess water to steam off. Then I combined in the rice wine seasoned vinegar until the rice had a shiny luster. But the rice still doesn't taste like it is cooked correctly - too much watery mess and an occasional under cooked kernal of rice to get stuck in my molars.

03-06-2005, 16:33
Yeah, the rice is tricky. Sounds like you're using way too much water. Another thing you could try is rather than just letting it sit to cool, stir it around, this will loosen the grains a little, and get the extra steam out more quickly. Make sure to add the vinegar and sugar after the rice has cooled a little, not while its hot. Stirring it around will help with this too.

Using a rice cooker will increase your chances of success. I can't make rice at all in a pot on a stove, but can do a decent job in a rice cooker.

Did you add anything other than the salmon and Spam? Any veggies? How did you do the wrap? Depending on how you wrap it you'll get a different mix of flavors. We used to spread the rice evenly over the entire nori, add ingredients at one end and roll up like a cigarette. You can also put the rice in one fat line down the middle of the nori, fold over, add ingredients, then roll up. Theres lots of ways to do this.

Another great thing to add is takuwan. Its a yellow pickled veggie (not sure what). Its not too sour, lasts a long time, can be eaten with other things, or by itself. You should be able to find it at any asian food store.

03-06-2005, 17:18
This will be long-winded, but its pre-typed. I copy/paste it to people trying to make sushi at home. Here goes...

Traditional Sushi Chefs train for over 10yrs before they even get to stand at the counter. Making sushi rice is the hardest part by far. It took me about 2 months, $100 in books, and 30lbs of rice to get it reasonably correct. The key to good japanese food is high quality ingredients and care in preparation. For rice I do the following...

Use a good shortgrained rice. California Calrose works well. Its about $1/lb. Using subpar rice is setting yourself up for failure. I included a link at the bottom for products.

Wash it 7 or 8 times, draining the water each time until it is absolutely clear. Then allow it to sit and dry, a part I skipped at first. The rice will turn white.

Use a rice-cooker. I bought a $15 unit with a non-stick bowl. Each cooker uses a certain amount of water in the cooking process. For my cooker (single serving) I use 1/2c rice to 3/4c water. For larger quantities that ratio would drop closer to 1:1.25. Never lift the lid while it cooks. Most cookers will cook it a little too long. When you see no more water, shut it off, take the bowl out, and let it sit for 5 minutes or so. You can also add a small piece of Kombu (a dried seawood) for flavoring.

Real sushi meshi (the rice) is seasoned with a vinegar/sugar mixture. Everyone likes different ratios and strengths. Some crappy bars don't even bother, because it takes effort, and until you've had good sushi rice, you won't know the difference. I use 1tbsp sugar and a pinch of salt dissolved in 1tbsp rice vinegar in a small pot for the amount of rice I used above. Let it cool before using.

After letting the rice sit from cooking, pour the rice in a plastic/wooden bowl/tub, and have the rice paddle on hand that came with your cooker. Pour the cool vinegar/sugar/salt mixture over the back of the paddle to sprinkle it on the rice. Then use folding motions (not mashing) to evenly incorporate everything and cool the rice. You can set up a fan to help do this. When its room temperature it should look like glossy pearls. Never refrigerate it or you will destroy the texture. It will last 8hrs or so at room temp covered with a damp cloth.

It will probably take some practice, but don't give up.

I always toast my Nori before using to get all the moisture out. Soggy nori sucks. My favorite maki (roll) is the popular spicy tuna roll which uses fresh raw tuna (maguro, the red stuff from the back not the pink/white fatty toro which is expensive) and a spicy chili mayo. To make the chili mayo, blend 4tbsp mayo, 2tsp Sriracha hot sauce (no substitute), and 1/4tsp pure sesame oil (a must to balance it). KILLER!

Good Nigiri (Hand-Formed) sushi is tougher to make than Maki (Rolled). Getting the perfect shape takes practice. I haven't mastered it yet. You can buy special molds to cheat, but they're still not up to par.

As far as on the trail sushi is concerned, I can't make it without a rice cooker (yet). When I do, a low-alcohol flame will be a must along with a nonstick aluminum pot and a good lid. Japanese food is awesome. Although I'm quite a novice at it, I can make a killer Miso soup from scratch. :o

Product Link... http://www.asianfoodgrocer.com/index.asp

03-06-2005, 17:38
Yeah...for people trying to make decent sushi some research/practice is a must. For "trail" sushi, you should expect the quality to be lower.

Good post RH. Have you been to Japan to experience the real deal? (I don't suggest that there aren't Japanese chefs here in the US making real Japanese food, I only suggest that there are few places that haven't Americanized their menus.)

03-06-2005, 17:53
While traveling I had some pretty authentic stuff in Seattle, San Francisco, and Anchorage. A local bar also makes some good Nigiri. I'm a big fan of Hamachi and Unagi. I noticed at alot of "traditional shops" everyone ate scattered sushi. I also picked up the habit of mixing tea and nori flakes with my rice (yum).

Japan is next on my list of places to travel. I'm teaching myself some basic Japanese and trying to learn Kanji. I have a pretty clean spanish and french accent, but landing a correct Japanese accent without sounding like ChevyChase is tough!

03-06-2005, 18:07
I grew up in Japan, lived there for 11 years, married a beautiful Japanese girl and still live the Japanese lifestyle....if you need any tips...I'm sure you can get them off the net!!:jump

Just kidding, I'd be glad to share any knowledge I have.

03-06-2005, 21:13
Thanks man.

Do you know any good places to order bonito flakes in big bags? All I can find are the 25g bags.

The hardest pronunciation parts of Japanese have been the "whispered vowels". Like in "kusai".