Warning: This post contains variable degrees of geekiness that may be unsuitable for some acculturated persons. Continue reading at your own discretion. Those with posh taste, a preference for late nights with sophisticated glasses of swirled cognac, and/or an inexplicable aversion to to Nintendo game systems (i.e. stalwart Playstation fans) should take extreme caution in reading the following content.
I love playing with my food.
Now, I’m not talking about the making-mashed-potato-and-gravy-volcanoes or broccoli forests kind of playing with my food. No siree, you can bet your bonny buttons my mom taught me better than that.
I am huge, however, on playing mental games with my food.
No, I don’t psychologize my celery or wax poetic about my peas, if that what you’re thinking.
I do, however, love making associations. (I should probably go back to doing that at some point.)
So let’s talk about mushrooms. I made some on Thursday for our gals’ book club night out to see an in-canyon theater performance of Midsummer Night’s Dream. I always use the fact that I’ve never seen/read this play as a great “Never Have I Ever…” item with my literature crew, but I guess I’ll have to find a new one now.
I’ve never ordered delivery takeout before. Does that count?
Anyway, we’re talking about mushrooms.
Remember this oversized shroom-head? If you’ve ever mashed an A button, cursed your friends for sending out an untimely lightning bolt in the middle of a race, or been inspired with paralyzing fear at the sound of an approaching spiny shell as the finish line looms into view…you’ll know who I’m talking about.
Yup. That’s Toad, the useless light-weight eunuch with the vocal range of a high soprano.
He loses a balloon in battle mode when he gets rammed by anyone by Yoshi (the other light-weight). A bump from Bowser pretty much guarantees a visit from that obnoxious cloud-dweller who fishes you out from the water when you fall off the track.
He looks like more like a eunuch than any real-like eunuch does. I mean, how much more eunuch-like can you get, really?
He has only two catch-phrases that are worth remembering: “I’m the best!” and “Ow-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow!”
Both of them are equally obnoxious.
He is what Aladdin would look like if he was a midget, if his head-wear contracted chicken-pox, and if he became a queen.
He is also my character from Mario Kart 64. Mine, mine, mine.
Why? I have no idea. Probably because I got stuck with him as a very young kid playing with my older cousins. As we grew older, my self-esteem defense mechanisms kicked into overdrive and convinced me that I really just have an irrational love for the adorable eun–I mean, anthropomorphized mushroom. Not that the latter is much better.
Seriously, people get paid good money to come up with this stuff?’
They should start paying me. I come up with wacky, useless, and slightly eyebrow-raising stuff like that all the time. Decorative flower-shaped flour bags in 36 different garden varieties?
Yeah, we really need those.
In the meantime, though, you’ll really need these tempura mushroom sushi rolls for your next get-together, potluck, on-the-go lunch, or LAN party.
Tempura Mushroom Sushi Rolls
For sushi rice:
- 2 cups rice (standard measuring cup; not the cups that come with most rice bags)
- 1/3 cup white sugar; you can adjust to taste
- 1/3 cup vinegar (I used half rice vinegar, half white distilled); you can adjust to taste
- Pinch of salt
- Rinse rice by swirling in a pot under running cold water. Pour out murky water, taking care not to pour out rice in the process. Repeat once more.
- Pour rice into rice cooker and cover with enough water to rise 1.5 cm above the rice. Cook rice in a rice cooker as usual. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, combine sugar, vinegar, and salt. Pour over cooled rice and gently mix together until rice is completely coated. Your sushi rice is ready to go!
For tempura mushroom:
- 4 oz. mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1/2 egg, beaten (other 1/2 will be used in filling)
- 1/2 cup flour
- Pinch of baking soda
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a bowl, combine water and beaten egg. Add flour and baking soda; mix until combined. Dredge mushroom slices in tempura batter and set aside on a plate. Cover another plate with a paper towel (this will be used to drain the oil after you finish deep-frying).
- Heat up oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat (oil should be about one inch deep). When oil is hot, carefully drop in mushroom slices and deep-fry until each side is golden. Turn off heat, remove mushrooms from pan, and set on the paper-toweled plate. When the mushrooms cool slightly, pat dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
For sushi filling (you can substitute any ingredients depending on what you have on hand):
- 1 1/2 eggs, beaten
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cucumber or carrot, julienned
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- Oil for frying
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Tamago (sweet egg): Heat up oil in a pan. Pour beaten eggs into pan, then sprinkle with sugar. When the bottom has begun to set and can be easily flipped, turn egg over and cook other side until set. Remove from pan.
- Onion: Heat up oil in pan. Cook sliced onions in pan until caramelized. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
To arrange sushi:
- 6 sheets nori (dried seaweed)
On a sheet of nori, gently spread a layer of sushi rice so that entire sheet is covered.
Line up your ingredients along one side of the covered nori in columns.
Starting from the end with ingredients, tightly fold the nori over all of the ingredients–it should form a tube shape. Roll the rest of the roll tightly as you would a sleeping bag, occasionally stopping to press down firmly on the roll so it will retain its shape.
If you have a sushi mat, great! If not, don’t fret–you can still do this no problem.
Make sure you’re nice and firm with your sushi, but don’t push so hard that the toppings come popping out!
Your sushi should have no problem sticking if you have enough sushi rice. Cut with a very sharp knife and serve as desired! I cute mine in half and served them masubi-style.