Trying to eat out less

My husband and I love eating out. Before we had Audrey, much to the dismay of our bank account, we ate out often. Since Audrey we eat out far less and order in far less. I cook more; we eat better.

When we do eat out, my philosophy is to always try to have something I can’t make at home. I make, for example, pretty great pasta. So unless it is a top notch (read; really expensive) Italian restaurant, chances are I can make something reasonably close at home. So my favourite eating out/ordering in food are foods from other cultures then my own. Stuff that I could make, but I am not familiar with the ingredients or the techniques. Korean, Vietnamese, Indian, Chinese, Lebanese, Japanese.. these are some of my favourites. My husband prefers sometimes to check out the hot new ‘foodie’ type places and I like that too. But if you ask me what I want to eat out, 85% of the time I will say: “Sushi”.

I love me some sushi.

But let’s be honest, it’s expensive. And not easy to take a toddler to.

So I started to make sushi at home. My sushi is nothing like what you can get in a restaurant. I don’t use raw fish (although I know places to buy some) and I stick to really just one kind of roll.

Avocado, smoked salmon, wasabi mayo. See:

My version of 'sushi'

Looks pretty good, doesn’t it. And it’s not hard to make. The smoked salmon needs no work, just defrosting. All you do is cook up the rice, season with some rice vinegar and sugar and then roll up your rolls. Rolling them is not as difficult as you might think. My trick? I use a silicon spatula to spread the rice, rather then my fingers. That way, my hands don’t get covered in rice and the rice doesn’t seem to stick as much to the spatula. It actually spreads really nicely. Don’t tell any Japanese Sushi chefs, they probably wouldn’t condone this technique. As long as your don’t over fill them, rolling is easy. And putting a bit of water along the edge to seal the nori is the way to go. Then use a wet knife (slightly serrated works best for me) to cut.

It’s a dinner I can make in 30 minutes. Which on a weeknight is perfect. It’s healthy and fills my sushi craving, at least for a while.

You could totally mix it up by adding more veggies. Really thin slices of cucumber or carrot are good. You could buy some roe or raw fish from a Japanese specialty store. You could tempura batter and fry some shrimp or asparagus and then roll those. It’s up to you. I mostly stick to avocado and smoked salmon. Cause it’s good.

What is your favourite knock-off meal?


2 responses to “Trying to eat out less

  1. Cheryl January 9, 2011 at 9:01 am

    That looks great! I’ve never been ambitious enough to try sushi, probably because cooking rice is a skill that eludes me 😉 But seriously, I wish I had a go-to weeknight night meal that was this good. My easy meals involve hamburger, spaghetti sauce and whatever noodle happens to be in the pantry.
    I need to be more adventurous in the kitchen!

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