Hook to Fork: Sushi rolls

By Sabrina

“FISH ON!!!” Kristian yelled rousing the rest of the crew. “We just passed a bunch of birds circling overhead” he reported, as he grabbed the unspooling rod and starting reeling in. “I think we have another fish on our handline too!” DOUBLE HOOK UP!

The boat was under full sail, cooking along at 8 knots. Excitement was high to say the least. Like an intruder in a beehive, these fish riled us up. Hand over hand Spencer pulled in the handline on the port side while Kristian reeled in our trolling line on the starboard. I bounced around gathering the necessary tools to bring the fish on deck safely and Michael steered the boat as we surfed down waves flying with the trade winds. The boat was buzzing with energy. With so much going on at once, from all sides, it’s tough to recount the details, but in the end we had two beautiful little yellow fin tunas on deck ready for filleting! Sweet success! It had been 7 days since we caught our last fish.

“IT’S SUSHI TIME!!” Sushi is one of my all time favorite things to eat and prepare. The sweet sticky vinegar rice that hugs the fresh raw fish rolled in a blanket of nori… My mouth salivates at the thought of it. I was beyond excited that we were finally out of our fishing dry spell!! Not only was I thrilled for the delectable sushi that awaited us, but also actually catching a fish, bringing it on board, filleting it, and then preparing it into a mouthwatering feast for all to enjoy is such a thrill!

We’ve hosted so many friends who have been passionate about fishing, that I have always taken a back seat. This year, I’m now the motivated one. Fishing has become my domain. I read my book* to learn new tricks and often I feel like I don’t know what I am doing, especially when days pass and there is no action on our lines. However, when those reels start zipping, the sense of accomplishment that comes over me from having a fish on make the effort worthwhile, and makes me want to do a little dance!

So now, Im gonna dance my happy butt into our galley and start making SUSHI. Recipe below.

*If you own a boat, whether power or sail and want to learn to fish, you must read/own this book, The Cruiser’s Handbook of Fishing, by Scott & Wendy Bannerot . It is our almanac for everything one wants to learn about fishing and all things related – such as outfitting your boat, picking the right lures, what knot to try and how to tie it, techniques for bringing your catch on deck, filleting techniques, preparing your catch, and so much more. This is where my journey with fishing began.

How to make Sushi:
(I can thank my mom for teaching me how to make sushi from a very young age! Love you!)

Sushi is a wonderful dish, even if you don’t have fresh fish – use creative alternatives. It is a multi step process, best done in a fun group setting. You need – Nori (seaweed) sheets
– Rice
– Rice Vinegar/sugar/salt to transform your rice into sushi rice. – Fresh fish cut into long thin strips (or alternatives)
– veggies/fruit fillers cut into very thin strips. Place a sheet of Nori on a bamboo roller.

How to make it
– Add a thin layer of Sushi Rice on top of your Nori sheet, making sure to leave an inch uncovered at the top for sealing purposes.
– Once rice is distributed evenly across the nori sheet, place your fish and veggies across the midline of the nori sheet in a linear strip.
– Using the bamboo roller, grab the bottom edge or your nori sheet and pull up and over enclosing your innards in the middle. – Squeeze gently as to not break the nori.
– Now wet fingers and dab water across the top inch of uncovered nori, then wrap the final edge to seal.
– You should now have a sushi log in front of you. Take a sharp knife and slice individual sushi rolls. You may need to wet the knife in between to clean of sticky rice. – Serve with wasabi and soy sauce and pickled ginger on the side.

Sushi Rice
(Note: Very Important to plan ahead – Cook your rice 1 to 2 hours ahead of time so rice can cool. Otherwise, rice paper will sweat then tear and your sushi will fall apart).

1/3 c Rice Vinegar
generous pour of Sugar
pinch of Salt

Cook Rice (We use 1/2 c uncooked rice per person) – can be white or brown, or even fancy short grain sushi rice if you have that luxury. While your rice is cooking, combine vinegar, sugar, and salt until dissolved. Taste test, may need to add more sugar depending on sweetness preferences. Once rice is done cooking, the trick is cooling down the rice as quickly as possible. This is best accomplish by folding the rice over in the bowl. Fans help to cool.

Veggies/Fruit options
– Cucumbers
– Avocados
– Carrots
– Mangoes
– Apple
– Jicama
– Tofu
– egg omelette
… get creative

You can add all sorts of things to your rolls. This is where the fun begins. We often use dried mangos for a secret flare (you can rehydrate by soaking in water for 30 minutes to soften). The trick is to cut very thin strips so when you go to roll your sushi, you can make a thin layer of veggies and fish and across the middle of the nori sheet.

Eel Sauce
This is great for a very sweet drizzle on top
1/2 c soy sauce
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c mirin (Japanese sweet wine, you can also substitute with sherry, or sweet marsala, or white wine)

Heat soy sauce, sugar, and miring in a small pot over medium heat. Cook and stir until liquid is reduced to about 3/4c.

Spicy Mayo
This is great for making spicy tuna roll
3 Tbsp mayo
1 Tbsp chili hot sauce
1 tsp lemon/lime juice
1/4 tsp soy sauce (optional)

Combine all ingredient and mix with diced fish.

4 thoughts on “Hook to Fork: Sushi rolls

  1. You are the perfect Sushi 🍣 Chef! So proud of u. Wish I was there to sample those. The Japanese clean the starch off the rice before cooking it by swirling it in batches of clean water till the water is clear. Not too practical on a boat. Yum yum

  2. What a feast! Is the sushi in the photo made with] fish you just caught?!
    SO nice of you for sharing your recipes, your favorite book…
    Thank you, dear Sabrina!

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