Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Ingredient lists: I have three different recipes for sushi.

#1 Spicy Vegetable
  • spring onion
  • red bell pepper
  • carrot
  • avocado
  • Sriracha hot chili sauce

#2 Salmon Roll
  • smoked salmon, thinly sliced
  • capers, drained
  • 1/3 less fat cream cheese

#3 Crab Roll
  • imitation crab sticks
  • spring onion
  • 1/4 cup mayo, Hellman's light
  • 1/4 tsp. mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp. yellow mustard
  • Old Bay seasoning

You will need these ingredients for all three:
  • Nori sheets
  • Sushi rice, or, if you prefer a brown rice I use brown sweet rice
  • rice vinegar
  • salt
  • Garnishes: soy sauce, picked ginger slices and wasabi powder mixed according to package instructions to make a paste.

Utensils needed:
  • bamboo roller
  • clean hand towel
  • bowl of warm water
  • flexible spatula


I found that 2 cups of raw rice will expand enough to make 7 rolls. Cook rice according to package instructions. As soon as it is cooked mix in some salt and about 2 Tbsp. of rice  vinegar. Cover and set aside to cool for an hour or so.

Clean and slice veggies into slivers, cut imitation crab sticks lengthwise, mix mayo, mustard powder and mustard together for sauce for Crab Rolls.

Prepare your rolling station with your bamboo roller, a clean hand towel along with a bowl of warm water, a spatula and the above prepped ingredients. Place hand towel folded in half on counter and top with one nori sheet on top of bamboo, you will see some faint lines on the nori roll and make sure they run horizontally.

This is where the bowl of warm water is crucial. The rice is very sticky and to keep it from sticking you must keep dipping utensils and fingers into the water as to not let the rice cling. I add about a 1/2 cup or so of rice to top of nori roll and spread evenly and pressing down with flexible spatula I press it firmly but uniformly down. At the end that is closest to you you add your ingredients according to what flavor you are making, read below.

#1 Spicy Vegetable: add spring onion, pepper, carrot and avocado slices. Squeeze some Sriracha sauce on top if you want it spicy before you roll it up.

#2 Salmon Roll: add the smoked salmon, a thin line of cream cheese and sprinkle capers on top of that.

#3 Crab Rolls: add crab sticks, spring onion and a layer of the mayo mixture, then lightly sprinkle some Old Bay before rolling up.

Wet the end of the nori roll to help seal edge after rolling it up. Starting the roll forward keeping the ingredients in place and tightly rolling it forward, sealing the edge and the bamboo roller helps you roll and stabilize your sushi. Once it is rolled firmly squeeze roll from ene to end to compact.

You can wrap these individually in plastic wrap to serve a few hours later but make sure you label them. Dinner prepared in advance. I just love that! Just before serving I unwrap and cut the rolls into 1/2 and then cut each half into 1/3. Set each flavor on a different platter and label them. Serve with prepared wasabi, soy sauce and pickled sliced ginger. Enjoy!!!

Cleaning tip: I wash my bamboo roller in the dishwasher.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Spice Shopping Bargain Style

I love to cook and always want quality ingredients, but I know where to save a buck or two when I can. Let me talk to you about the prices of spices. There is one brand spice in the grocery store that seems to Bogart the aisle not only with quantity, but in a higher price too. I won't name any names but it's easy enough to figure out which one is priced way too high. On the other hand I want to share with you the one that has a quality spice for the right low price. The name is BADIA. I use their spices a lot and love it. You can find these in any grocery store that has an extensive ethnic section. So look in the ethnic section for Badia spice, you will not find them in a regular spice aisle, that is where they try to fool you. Trick me not! I suspect the big brand name pays for their spot to hog up the spice aisle. So I took some pics and compared some spice prices for you to see the difference.
BADIA                                            Big Brand Name                                      Store Brand
White Pepper, $3.29 for 2oz      White Pepper, $7.59 for 1.75oz           White Pepper, $4.79 for 3.17oz
Paprika, $1.79 for 2oz                  Paprika, $7.39 for 1.62oz                     Paprika, $4.79 for 2.11oz
Garlic powder, $1.79 for 3oz      Garlic powder, $7.79 for 2.25oz          Garlic powder, NA
Cayenne, $1.79 for 1.75oz           Cayenne, $5.99 for 1.75oz                    Cayenne, NA
Red Pepper, $2.69 for 4.5oz       Red Pepper, $5.99 for 1.2oz                Red Pepper, NA
Oregano, $2.19 for 2.25oz          Oregano, $5.59 for .05oz                      Oregano, NA
Meat tenderizer,$1.79 for 4.5oz  Meat tenderizer, $5.59 for 3.37oz      Meat tenderizer, NA
Bay leaves, $1.89 for .17oz         Bay leaves, $8.99 for .18oz                    Bay Leaves, $4.79 for .10oz

Make sure you compare ounces along with price. Think how much money this can save you per year. Enjoy!