Thursday, September 13, 2007

For The Love Of Sushi

Takara Sushi Bar Restaurant

It was in February of 1989 when I had my first scrumptious taste of sushi. I remember exactly where I was when I decided to try my first piece. It was at my nephew Michael's Christening party.....first bite and I was instantly hooked forever. I recall the party as being a pot luck and one of my brother's friends brought two huge platters of sushi....enough to feed an army I thought. I was amazed how absolutely lovely everything looked on the platter and so beautifully presented with the colorful and neatly organized layout on the trays and all the marvelous sushi combinations that made it all look so appetizing. I immediately sensed an urgency to have a go with the sushi, wasabi and all. It was then that I realized that sushi was definitely"my thing", and I try to have it as often as I can, but still not often enough. Another wonderful recollection was the night another brother took my husband and I out to a Japanese Restaurant on Long Island when we were visiting the family in New York in May 2001. Well I never saw so much sushi in my life, and to be honest I ate so much of it that night that I almost had to roll out of the restaurant. It was the best sushi I had ever had. I wish I could remember the name of the restaurant so I could give them credit. Everything was so wonderfully fresh and it was a very special treat being able to watch the chefs make it right in front of us. I will have to speak to my brother and get the name of this place because I would recommend it highly to anyone who enjoys sushi and lives on Long Island. The interesting thing is though that I have never made it myself. I am dying to do so but I just do not have the supplies needed such as the sushi rolling mat. I am definitely putting it on my Christmas wish list for this year though. I think one of the best things about sushi however is that it is so easy to prepare, and providing that you have all the proper ingredients at hand you can actually put something together in less than 2 minutes. My favorite of all the sushi is the California Roll. Not only is it one of the most colorful, but I happen to adore avocado which is one of the ingredients that can be used in making it.

ADDENDUM TO THE ABOVE: September 15, 2007

It has been a few days since I posted about "For The Love Of Sushi", and since, I have been in contact with my brother in New York and he was kind enough to send me the link to the fantastic Sushi Bar Restaurant I spoke of above of which I could not remember the name the other day off hand. I just felt that I wanted to post the link so much for sushi lovers in New York that may not have been to TAKARA before. It is the finest Japanese Sushi Bar Restaurant I have ever been to, and well worthy of receiving the credit here for their superb Japanese Cuisine. I have quite a number of readers from Long Island, so whether you are a local resident on Long Island or planning on a visit to Long Island, TAKARA is not to be missed. I have uploaded a couple of additional photos since I lasted posted as well from TAKARA. You are surely in for a wonderful treat at TAKARA'S....the cuisine far surpasses that of most of the restaurants I have ever been to in the past, and the ambience at TAKARA'S as well as the culinary skills of the brilliant masterchefs is worth every moment of your dining pleasure. At TAKARA'S Japanese cooking is an art worth feasting your eyes on.

Here is their address

1708 Veterans Memorial Highway in Islandia
(In the Islandia Shopping Plaza)

Take the Long Island Expressway west to exit 57 (Route 454, Veterans Memorial Highway). At the light make a left, heading south on Veterans Memorial Highway. Stay in the right lane and continue south for about a quarter mile. You will see the Islandia Shopping Center to your right. Make a right into the shopping center. Takara is on the far right section of the shopping center next to Starbucks.

Here is a good recipe for the California Roll.....very simple and straightforward. I will also include here for you my favorite web sites for sushi and also a link to a video for making a quick and easy preparation of the California Roll.

How To Make A California Roll Uramaki

The most popular sushi dish and a favourite with the Japanese. California Rolls are the perfect introduction to the healthy fast food that's here to stay.

Uramaki is a sushi roll made with the rice on the outside and the seaweed on the inside. Uramaki can be made with a number of different fillings. This recipe uses a crab, avocado and mayonnaise filling. This is known as a California roll Uramaki.

You Will Need:

Crab meat

2 Avocado strips

1 nori/ seaweed sheets

1 knife

1 bowl of water

Lay It Out

Place the rolling mat on a flat surface, we have covered it in cling film so it can be cleaned easily.
Lay the nori, that's the seaweed, on top, closest to edge that is nearest to you.
Moisten your hands in the bowl of water. Then spread a thin layer of the specially prepared sushi rice on top of the nori. Make sure the rice evenly covers the nori and press it down firmly, ensuring the rice has stuck, without mashing the kernels.

Arrange The Fillings

Flip the nori over so that it is laying rice side down.
Lay the avocado strips horizontally across the centre of the nori. Squeeze a line of mayonnaise next to this. If your mayonnaise is not in a squeezy container you can use a knife to spread a thin line instead.
Arrange the crab on top of the mayonnaise. Make sure the fillings lie evenly as this will make for a better roll.

Carefully lift up the side of the mat nearest to you and fold it over to make a cylindrical shape. Tuck in the edge of the nori with your fingers to make a complete roll
Continue pressing the roll gently, using your fingers to compress and shape the Uramaki. Make sure not to press it too hard but do ensure it is of a good even size.


To complete the roll place the Uramaki in a container of roe and keep turning it until it is covered. If you don't have such a large amount of roe, you could use your hands to press the roe into the roll.

Slice It Up

Cut the roll in two. Lay the two sides parallel to each other and slice them into 6 pieces.
TOP TIP Dipping the end of your knife in the water bowl will make it easier to slice cleanly through the roll.


Turn each slice on its side allowing you to see the colours and pattern of the fillings, and display on a serving plate.

Video: Making a California Roll


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