A Yankee New Year Party

Yanked Sushi Rolls

After spending countless hours pulling this together, here is a great idea for the upcoming New Year’s Eve parties that are bound to bring out the festive of appetizers. I thought of this idea when watching my favorite chef, Masaharu Morimoto, swirling up one of his creations on television and he inspired me to give you a New England Sushi Party for the New Year. It is a heck of lot easier on the host and the guests will love it as well.
There are an abundance of ways sushi rolls can be prepared, even an American version called California Rolls, but I believe by having party goers make their own Sushi Cones will not only get more people to try it, but have fun as well, especially knowing they can add whatever ingredients they desire.
First, have some low-lying tables scattered throughout a room if feasible, if not just use what you have. If you do end up using these low tables, scatter some throw pillows in front of each. Otherwise, here is a beginning list of items you should have spread on a serving table for your friends and family to help themselves to.

Have some warmed Sushi rice available for all to fill their cones. The recipe is below.
Have a couple bowls of Wasabi. This is a hot, flavorful and green condiment that is a must for sushi. If all you can find is wasabi powder, simply mix it with water in the ratio of 1 part warm water with 2 parts powder. It should be thick, not runny.
Soy sauce, need I say more?
Pickled ginger can be found in most supermarkets. Have them ready at room temperature.
A couple small bowls of sesame seeds adds flavor, color and texture to these Sushi cones.
Thinly sliced cucumbers, with or without skin.
Your choice of seafood, such as crabmeat, lobster, cooked shrimp, cooked baby scallops or smoked salmon, thinly sliced.
Peeled, pitted and thinly sliced avocado.
Splurge on some caviar, it’s not as expensive as you might think.
Cooked whole kernel corn
A couple stacks of nori, the black seaweed sheets, for people to grab and roll into a cone and fill.
Have some shredded beef or pork if desired. Set out a small bowl of warmed chili sauce as well.
Spring onions, or green onions, roughly chopped is a great addition.
Put some chopsticks next to some of these bowls and watch who can use them to pack the rice into their cones.
Squares of tofu for the adventurous.
And above all, have some sake for everyone to enjoy. Heat the sake in a very clean saucepan before pouring into a teapot for your guests.  Don’t forget the sake cups or small teacups and napkins. If you would like, substitute the sake for Japanese beer.


Sushi Rice:

5 cups short-grain rice
6 cups water
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Rinse the rice in cold water while stirring briskly to remove any dirt. Drain the rice completely. Place the rice and the 6 cups of water in a medium-sized saucepan and cover it with a tight-fitting lid. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Allow the water to boil for 3 minutes and then reduce the heat to low and continue cooking 15 minutes without removing the lid. Remove the rice from the heat and remove the lid (the water should no longer be visible). Turn the rice out evenly on a well-greased cookie sheet using a spatula or you can use a large bowl. Sprinkle the rice with the vinegar, sugar, and salt while mixing with a spatula or rice paddle until the rice reaches body temperature. Keep the rice covered with damp paper towels or napkin until the rice is ready to put into bowls. I recommend waiting until the last minute before making and bringing it out to the tables.

When ready to show everyone how to do it, tell them to take a sheet of nori in the palm of their hand and scoop whatever condiments onto it, spreading it out. Then just roll it up cone fashion and EAT!