Northern Sask Sushi: A First?
A group of culinary adventurers gathered at Kikinahk Friendship Center in La Ronge, Saskatchewan on Thursday June 21 for what may have been a world first: the blending of northern foods with the trendy Japanese food sushi. And no, we didn’t use raw fish. Although sushi sometimes includes raw fish, the group made vegetable rolls and rolls using cooked local pickerel. For added northern flavour, chanterelle mushrooms were included and local wild rice was added to the sushi rice mixture. Extra crunch and nutrition came from fresh vegetables including cucumber, avocado, pickled carrots, peppers and asparagus. There were talks about using other wild vegetables but most have to be harvested in the spring, so that idea is on hold for now. After creating sushi rolls in the afternoon, we dined on our creations. Satisfied, everyone went home with a few rolls for later. The northern sushi class was led by Food Secure Saskatchewan and the Canadian Prenatal Nutritional Program as part of Our Food Our Health Our Culture.
If you want to make your own northern sushi, try this recipe:
1/3 cup wild rice
3 cups sushi rice or sticky rice or any short grain rice that is sticky when cooked (minute rice will not work)
4 ½ – 5 cups of water
1/3 cup rice vinegar (or other vinegar)
3 Tbsp sugar
vegetables and fish of your choosing (local smoked fish would be delicious!)
Cook 1/3 c. of wild rice in 4 1/2 c. of water. Bring to a boil then turn down heat to a simmer. Cook for approximately 30 min. Add 3 c. of sushi rice to the wild rice and water. Cook for an additional 20 min. or until both rice are tender.
Prepare sushi vinegar by mixing the vinegar and sugar in a sauce pan. Put the pan on low heat and heat until the sugar dissolves. Cool the vinegar mixture.
Pour the sushi vinegar over the cooked rice and gently fold it in until it is mixed. Be careful not to smash the rice. Cool the rice mixture until it is room temperature.
To make sushi spread rice over 2/3 of a sheet of seaweed. Try to make it as even as possible and make sure the rice goes right to the edges. Place your sushi ingredients (vegetables, fish, whatever else entices your taste buds) in the centre of the rice and roll. Seal the roll by smearing a couple grains of cooked rice or water on the edge, roll and press. Cut the roll into bite size pieces when you are ready to eat. You can try dipping your sushi pieces in soy sauce or adding pickled ginger or wasabi (a type of horseradish) for extra flavour.