The word “sushi” doesn’t refer to fish at all—it refers to rice that has been seasoned with vinegar, sugar, and salt. This delicious recipe is a great addition to a summer dinner!
Making sushi is much easier if you have the right tools and ingredients.
- Rice paddle or wooden spoon for “cutting” rice
- Rice cooker
- Sharp knives
- Tall glass to clean knives
- Rice mat
- Plastic wrap
- Large bowl for mixing and cutting sushi rice
- SUSHI RICE -Look for “sushi rice” on the label, or visit a local Asian market for the best selection.
- Nori seaweed wrap
- Wasabi Japanese horseradish (optional)
- Rice wine
- Soy sauce
- Vegetables like carrots, cucumber, avocado, radishes. Thinly sliced.
SUSHI RICE RECIPE:
Add 3 cups sushi rice and 3 1⁄4 cups water, to the rice maker and cook.
When rice is done cooking, prepare the sushi rice vinegar mix. This is what gives sushi rice its distinctive taste. Rice vinegar mixture = 1/3 cup rice vinegar and 3 TBSP sugar. Over low heat mix until the sugar dissolves.
Let the mixture cool. Take vinegar mixture and sprinkle it lightly in small amounts over the rice, and mix.
WRAP AND ROLL:
Place water and a splash of vinegar or water in a bowl so you can dip your hands when assembling your sushi. This will keep the rice from sticking to your hands, one of the biggest issues for rookie sushi makers.
Cover your bamboo mat with plastic wrap to prevent rice from sticking to it.
Position a half sheet of nori shiny side down on your saran covered bamboo mat.
Dip hands in the vinegar water mixture to prevent sticking.
Grab a small handful of sushi rice. Cover bottom three-quarters of nori sheet with thin layer of rice, leaving the top quarter of the nori sheet empty. (It is this empty section that will seal the roll together.)
Make a groove along the length of the rice and lay a thin layer of vegetables on top of rice on the bottom third of the nori.
Begin rolling your sushi roll by putting the tips of the four fingers of each hand on top of sushi ingredients to hold them in place while keeping both thumbs on the back of the bamboo rolling mat closest to you. Push the mat forward until the mat is completely around the sushi roll and until the top and bottom edges of the nori meet. Pull your four fingers out from the mat and roll. Continue to roll the sushi mat in a circle around the ingredients. Avoid pressing too hard. The mat can be used to shape your sushi into a nice long, round roll, but be gentle or you’ll have a heavy rice log. Seal the end of the roll by using a little bit of water to wet the nori.
Set your first sushi rolls on a plate. Let them set for a few minutes prior to cutting.
To cut your sushi roll, place one sushi roll on your cutting board. Using a very sharp knife, gently cut each sushi roll in half, cutting down and through. Wet your knife after each cut so it doesn’t stick. Place the two halves above and below each other, and cut each section into three pieces, leaving six bite-sized sushi morsels. Place the sushi on a plate.
Repeat until all of your sushi rolls are cut into bite-sized pieces. Enjoy with soy sauce, wasabi or just plain!
- Chopsticks and fingers are both acceptable for eating sushi. Bite-sized sushi should be eaten in one bite. Never pass sushi from your chopsticks to someone else’s chopsticks. This is considered bad luck.
- Japanese tradition calls for an odd — not even — numbers of ingredients, usually three or five items.
Plantains are from the same family as bananas. Plantains are a starchy, low-sugar fruit and are used more like a potato. The outer skin is very thick and difficult to peel when the fruit is unripe. Plantains are eaten around the world but are most popular in Latin America and West Africa, where they are a staple.
- 2 plantains
- 1.5 cups oil for frying (coconut oil is a healthy and natural oil you can use at high heat. Coconut oil is much more resistant to oxidation than other oils at high heat. The body can process it more easily and quickly turn it into energy.)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup water
- sea salt
Peel the plantains and cut them into 1-inch thick disks. Place the garlic in a bowl with the water and set aside.
Heat enough oil in a large skillet so that the disks will be half way submerged in the oil. When the oil is shiny and a drop of water sizzles across the top, add the plantains. Fry for 3-5 minutes on each side until the plantains are lightly softened and browned. Remove and place on a paper towel lined plate.
Place the plantains on a cutting board, smash with the back of a wooden spoon to make them half as thick, and let them soak in the garlic water for about a minute.
Remove, dry and wipe off garlic pieces so they don’t burn, and return to the frying pan. Fry for another 2-3 minutes on each side or until they take on a deep golden color and a crispy texture. Drain again on paper towels, sprinkle with ground sea salt, and serve with rice, beans and optional herbs like cilantro.
Choose plantains that are firm and mostly green. The yellow and black ones are sweeter, which is also good and is usually called “Fried Ripe Plantains”. You can basically use any kind of rice and beans and just add whatever fresh vegetables and herbs you have available.
Historia: Tortilla española is a dish made with eggs and potatoes. The name comes from its form, like a cake or tortilla. There are many variations but this recipe above is based on the classic Spanish recipe. The potato has its origins in South America and was spread about the world beginning with the Spanish Conquest. It is documented in 1519 as a food known around Europe. Legend says that Spanish General Tomás de Zumalacárregui invented the tortilla as a quick, simple and nutritious meal during an era of war in Spain. Another versión of the legend says that it was invented by an anonymous housewife. Zumalacárregui passed by her house during the war, and since she was poor and only had eggs, onions and potatoes, she just made those into the first tortilla. The general liked it very much, named it the “tortilla” and helped it become popular.
Ingredients for one large tortilla:
- 5 eggs
- 5 potatoes
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 onion
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- 3 handfuls of spinach (or another leafy green or vegetable)
Wash, peel and cut the potatoes in very thin slices. Cut the onion and garlic in small pieces. Saute the onion and the garlic first for 5 minutes. Then add the potatoes with enough oil so that they won’t stick. Saute until the potatoes are translucent or clear-ish.
Separately, beat the eggs together with the leafy greens and a little salt. Aparte, se baten los huevos junto con las hojas verdes y un poco de sal. Quickly add the potatoes to the eggs, mixing well.
Have the frying pan ready on low heat with two large spoonfuls of olive oil. Quickly place the egg/potato mixture in the pan. Cook on médium low heat on one side until the tortilla is firm enough to flip. Flip the tortilla with the help of a plate and ease it back into the pan so that you can cook it on the other side. Getting it fully cooked in the middle requires a bit of time and patience!
Soon enough you’ll have your Spanish Tortilla! It can be eaten hot, cold, in small pieces or even in a sandwich.
- 5 chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup finely chopped red onion
- 2 chopped hot peppers
- 2 chopped sweet peppers
- 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
- 2 finely chopped garlic cloves
- 2 tsp salt
- Fresh juice from 2 limes
Wash, chop and mix all ingredients together and you will have a bright, beautiful and tasty salsa. Buen provecho!
- 5 tomates grandes, en cuadritos
- 1 taza de cebolla, picada finita
- 2 jalapeños u otro chiles, picados, sin semillas
- 2 pimentónes dulces, picados
- 2 cucharadas cilantro, picado
- 2 dientes de ajo, picados
- 2 cucharaditas de sal
- Jugo fresco de 2 limas
Modo de preparacion:
Lave, pica y mezcla todos los ingredients. El resultado es una salsa linda y sabrosa. Buen provecho!
Recipe makes 8 servings
- 3-4 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed (can also use lemon)
- 1 tablespoon honey (or coconut nectar for a vegan option)
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, finely grated
- 1-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 3⁄4 cups beet roots, grated
- 1 3⁄4 cups carrots, peeled and grated
- 1 3⁄4 cups apple, peeled and grated
Make the dressing by combining the lime juice, honey, and ginger in a small bowl. Using a whisk, add the olive oil and mix until well-combined. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Add in the dressing and mix well. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.
Mango Lassi is a traditional South Asian beverage. In fact it is one of the most popular beverages in Northern India. The mango lassi drink is a cross between a smoothie and a milk shake and is smooth, creamy. The mango is native to South Asia, from where it has been distributed worldwide to become one of the most cultivated fruits in the tropics, however, they are used in many ways across cultures. For example, in tropical countries, sour, unripe mangoes are used in sauces, or may be eaten raw with salt, chili or pumpkin seeds. In India, ripe mangoes are also used to make curries or lentil dishes. The pulp from ripe mangoes is also used to make jam, juices or ice cream. Mangoes can be dried or cooked with rice for an Asian-style desert. Mangoes are often prepared charred in the American state of Hawaii. Honey doesn’t have the same effect on blood sugar as sugar. It keeps your blood sugar stable and is a good source of natural energy. Honey can also be good for coughs, sore throats and you can apply it to heal cuts and burns.
Recipe makes about 4 cups
- 2 cups plain yogurt
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups chopped mango (peeled and stone removed)
- 4 teaspoons honey, to taste
- A dash of ground cardamom (optional).
Put mango, yogurt, water, honey and cardamom into a blender and blend for 2 minutes, then pour into individual glasses, and serve. Sprinkle with a little cardamom, if desired. The lassi can be kept refrigerated for up to 24 hours.
Cardamom is grown in the tropics on bushes that produce little pods. This spice has lots of health benefits. It can provide energy and help you digest your food too.
Mango has vitamin A which means it’s good for your eyes!
Mango is the national fruit of both India and the Philippines.