Jiro Dreams of Sushi is the most inspirational movie I’ve ever seen that doesn’t involve a ragtag group of college kids who come together at the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid to take down the most feared hockey team in history and topple an entire political ideology in the process. But not everything can live up to D2: The Mighty Ducks,
For the uninitiated, the hyper-stylized documentary features Jiro Ono, owner of the three-Michelin-starred sushi restaurant, Jiro, in Tokyo. He sources fish from dudes who are fourth and fifth generation specialists and he’s such a master of his craft that he can tell if a sushi chef’s hands are too hot or cold just by the texture of the rice. Anthony Bourdain said he wants his last meal to be omakase at Jiro.
But I can say with 100% certainty that I’m going to die without ever tasting sushi that’s even close to being on that level. And I’m completely ok with that. There’s a sushi joint near my apartment called Ugly Roll that bangs out consistent $3.50 rolls and doesn’t have a delivery fee. That’s more my speed, and, for today’s sake, they’re going to be our muse. This is how you make really inauthentic sushi.
Here’s What You’ll Need:
- Sushi Rice
- Rice vinegar
- Assorted raw fish
- Fake crab meat
- Whatever else you feel like rollin’ up
They say the mark of a true sushi master is in their rice, not in their fish. You’re not a sushi master, so just try your best not to fuck it up too badly. I believe in you. Take one cup of sushi rice, rinse it thoroughly, then place it in a small sauce pot with 1 cup of water. Bring it to a boil over high heat, then cover, drop the heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes. Let the rice stand for ten minutes, then transfer to a large mixing bowl where you’re going to toss it with one tablespoon of rice vinegar, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of sugar. Seasoned rice is essential to sushi — even Ugly Roll knows that.
Lay out a sheet of nori — seaweed, for all intents and purposes — and, when the rice has reached room temperature, place a thin, even layer over the sheet. Flip your nori over onto a layer of plastic wrap so the seaweed is exposed, then lay down all your favorite fishy ingredients. Personally, I’m a big fan of those grotesque, over-stuffed, bullshit rolls filled with fake crab and mayonnaise and avocado whatever other scraps of raw fish the sushi chef had laying around. You just get the most bang for your buck that way.
I made a delicious paste from chopped up imitation crab meat — dubbed surimi in Japanese — and mayonnaise, then laid that down next to some batons of cucumber, slices of avocado, and raw tuna. Roll that bad boy up tightly in the plastic wrap, then, if you feel like buying a sushi rolling mat for $2.99, use that to firm up the roll. If not, just kind of mash at it with your hands a bit. Like Jiro said in the movie, “Just, like, fuck it, man. Whatever.” (That’s a rough paraphrasing.)
You could easily stop there, but why would you? It’s your right as an adult to keep piling more fish and other bullshit on there. Lay out alternating raw salmon slices, avocado, and butterflied shrimp on top of the roll, then firm it up again in plastic wrap.
Still have the urge to throw more totally useless garbage onto this big-ass fake-fish-stuffed rice log? Me too! Slice it up, lay it down on a plate, and start getting weird with it. Top it with toasted panko crumbs, squiggles of dueling Sriracha mayo and eel sauce, and throw a little slice of jalapeño on there so the heat masks how not-fresh your fish is.
Hop your ass onto Netflix, light up some Jiro Dreams of Sushi, and mash that abomination of a sushi facsimile into your face while coming to terms with the fact that that you’re a disgusting human being, and this is why you can’t have nice things.
Still hungry? Check out the other installments of Bite Club here.