Stop, Chop and Roll

Lei ChicAn Ironman you are not – until the triathlon consists of shop, lunch, and nap, that is. And sadly, an Iron Chef you most decidedly also are not. Rice and the occasional frozen dinner just about max out your occasional forays into the culinary world.

And while you’re totally ok with your non-iron status, it would be nice if you could make a decent sushi roll at home.

Somewhere in the mayhem of being a Japanese cuisine demigod, a star on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America, and opening his first Hawai‘i restaurant, Morimoto Waikiki, chef Masaharu Morimoto sat down with us to give us a few tips on making Kitchen Stadium worthy sushi.

1) Your fish matters. Whenever you use raw fish get it from a trusted, quality source. Find a fishmonger you trust and develop a rapport with them.

2) When you cook your sushi rice, add a little bit of sake to the cooking water. The sake will make the individual pieces of rice fluffy.

3) If you’re making a roll using nori, spend a couple of extra seconds toasting the nori over a gas burner or in the bottom of an empty frying pan. Heating it up for just a few seconds will give it a nice smoky flavor.

4) When you make an inside-out roll (with the rice on the outside) wrap your sushi mat in plastic wrap to prevent sticking.

5) If you use wasabi from a tube, take a few extra seconds to pour it into a bowl and mix it thoroughly, so that the texture is smooth and uniform.

6) While making sushi, keep your hands wet. Wet them before you start and as needed as you work — it will keep the rice from sticking to your hands.

7) Once you’ve made spectacular sushi, don’t let it just sit there – eat it immediately!

Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s new Morimoto Waikiki restaurant opens today in the Waikiki EDITION Hotel, 1775 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, 808.941.5900. More info here.