My first taste of sushi was in a home kitchen. A boy named Marcus took me to his house – he was deliriously excited about showing me his bunk beds – and his mother made us sushi for dinner. I taught day care for a few years just after college, and Marcus was one of my favourite students.

That day, at his house, the sushi looked so odd to me: little circles of rice and seaweed on a plate. I can’t say I liked it, but I politely ate everything I was served. Since then I’ve had sushi many times and I’ve learned a few things about it.

  • Deep-fried sushi makes me feel sick.
  • Avocado-stuffed sushi is the best kind.
  • Sushi made with black rice isn’t nice.
  • Sushi is the restaurant food my husband and daughter miss the most since Covid started.

May 24th is a civic holiday in Canada and we decided to celebrate by making sushi.

Previous attempts did not turn out well. I thought black rice would make for healthy rolls, but the result was something that looked and tasted pretty unappetizing. An international student once made us homemade sushi, but the chicken and banana filling she used was exotic, and not in a pleasant way. This time would be different. Delicious.

The process began with research; you can learn to do anything on you-tube.

While the rice cooked, I mixed some spicy mayo using ingredients I found in the fridge (mayo, olive oil, salt, pepper, sugar and chile garlic sauce).

We found some old sushi rice at the back of the pantry, and prepared this with care, washing it quickly and thoroughly, spreading it out after cooking to cool, and seasoning it with a mixture of rice vinegar, sugar and salt.

My daughter made better rolls than I did. Too enthusiastic with the spicy mayo, my first roll was a squishy mess. She rolled, I rolled, and my husband took photos.

We sliced the sushi, arranged it on a plate, and Alexis – the artistic one – added a garnish of mayo to each piece.

I’m sure a sushi chef would weep to see our process and end product – but we had fun, improved as we worked, and for the first time in more than a year enjoyed popping a piece of sushi, whole, into our mouths. Delightful!

 

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