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A "Yanked" Sushi Party
By Jim Bailey, a.ka. "The Yankee Chef"

Here is a great idea for upcoming New Year's Eve parties. I came up with this
recipe while watching my favorite chef, Masaharu Morimoto, swirling up one
of his creations on television. But this "yanked" version is lot easier on the host
and the guests will love it as well.

There are many ways sushi rolls can be prepared, even an American version
called California Rolls, but I believe by giving party goers to create their own
sushi cones (using nori, or seaweed sheets) will not only get more people to try
it, but have fun as well, especially knowing they can add whatever ingredients
they desire.

For a successful "Yanked" Sushi Party, put out some low lying tables  
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.

And here's a list of items you should have spread on a serving table:

> Warmed Sushi rice available for all to fill their cones. The recipe is below.
> A couple of bowls of wasabi. This is a hot, flavorful 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
> 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 crab meat, lobster, cooked salad 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.
> Shredded beef, pork or julienned cooked sausage if desired.
> 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.
> Thin slices of various vegetables.

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.

About the author: Jim Bailey is The Yankee Chef™. Bailey is a third generation chef, a
New England food historian and food columnist. His first in a series of cookbooks is due
out in January of 2013, titled The Yankee Chef. He would love to hear from anyone about
their old family recipes. Email Jim Bailey any questions or comments:
The Heart of New England
Celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine ~ New Hampshire ~ Vermont
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