So once in a while (actually more than once in a while) I succumb to the siren song of Pinterest. You know when you see a pin and it looks SO fabulous, SO amazing, SO…easy. I saw such a pin. I was happily scrolling around my Pinterest main page when I saw it — “How to make California Rolls” posted by either Martha Stewart or Spoonful (Disney kids’ online magazine). You know, those people (companies? entities?) have beautiful photography and lighting set up and a lady who looks like a typical (well-kept, neat) mom (always with amazing hands — oh the hand models!) jauntily and happily rolling up a california roll with a smile that so very obviously says, “Oh yeah, I got this. My kids will be thanking me in Japanese tonight!” Well, I’m here to tell you one thing.
It’s all a lie! Or, you know, just really good photography.
So I get it in my head that I want to make California rolls for my California roll-adoring daughter. My Kiddo1, she LOVES Cali rolls. She would rather go to sushi than any other restaurant (including the ones that give out toys with the meal!) and I spend DAYS watching videos on youtube, gathering supplies from different places, deciding that I would make maki for the children and for the more adult, discerning palates I would make nigiri with salmon. I ended up over-researching this and, a bit intimidated, start to make the maki.
I’ve survived the experience but not unscathed. It was an ugly, terrible ordeal. The rice was ok but really really sticky (yes, obviously, as it is sticky rice) and for some reason my stuffings kept falling out of the insides (my rolling technique?). My nori sheets seemed like they were getting too moist, the imitation crab (for safety reasons for the kids) was grossing me out and I didn’t have a knife sharp enough to slice through in one cut (which I learned was absolutely essential as per a youtube restaurant owner). The kiddo1 was gracious enough to try two maki rolls (one without mayo and one with — ugh don’t ask, some guy on youtube convinced me it would be amazing… sorry man, it was really NOT good) and to lovingly tell me that they were good but that she didn’t want to eat more because she wasn’t hungry… but she left with a naked crabstick in her hand that told me otherwise. Ugh. Two rolls later and the kids weren’t hiding the fact that they couldn’t get enough of the crabsticks and eating them straight from the package, I wasn’t hiding the fact that the whole process was not going according to plan (thus driving me crazy) and my husband WAS hiding the fact that he could tell I was going to make the biggest mess in the kitchen since my highly detailed dragon bento of earlier in the year.
I gave up on the maki after that, a bit bummed that it didn’t work out. It was so bad that I thought to take pictures too late, after the kiddos had ransacked all of the rolls for the crabsticks, leaving their sad, seaweed shells behind 😛 They were so bad, they probably would’ve cracked the camera lens anyway.
Unenthused, I moved on to the nigiri which I had decided to make into temarizushi. Temarizushi is sushi that looks like balls rather than the usual rectangular shape. It’s actually the easy way to do it since the regular way requires skill and talent. I was going to do a tutorial but then I just thought, hey, I’ll link up the tutorial that I used. They did come out much prettier, which is why they got a glamour shot up in the beginning of this post. Unfortunately, I too had been eating while I was making the rolls (comforting myself ) and so I lost my appetite for sushi for tonight. I made them, photographed them and presented them all pretty to my husband. In return, he took the rest of the salmon that I just couldn’t bring myself to make into sashimi or nigiri and cooked it up for me with veggies. Good husband, will keep.