Posted by: Brian Andrew Davis | August 29, 2009

Did you just say ‘Sushi?’

DSCN3205Bethany planned a wonderful date night yesterday evening that revolved mostly around sushi!  We both enjoy sushi (and even have a running joke with one of our favorite IMPACT students, Mark Barrett, about sushi and thus the title!) and decided that we wanted to try to make our own.  On our wedding registry we registered for a sushi kit that comes complete with a bamboo mat (the most important part), a press, and a knife.  We also picked up a recipe book for sushi concoctions at a great used bookstore called ‘The Strand’ in NYC (I think we blogged about this place).

dongbangThe trip started with a journey to a place called–no lie–Dong Bang Market.  It is a VERY authentic Korean grocery mart that is only five minutes down the road from our apartment (near the Marietta Diner if you’re a local).  Inside we were greeted to some great smells, packaging and signage that we couldn’t read, some very friendly Korean women who were talking and using hand gestures, a whole aisle of Korean movies for rent, and the stuff we came for…

Sushi ingredients.
1. Sushi’s most important ingredient is NOT what is in the middle, but the stuff that holds it all together: the rice.  While our recipe book called for a short grain rice (usually white, but you can use brown or even multi-grain I believe) we found a nice medium-grain rice that did the trick just fine.  While Dong Bang offered up to 50 lbs bags, we chose to go with the smallest we could find, a five pound bag. It ran $6.99, but we won’t be running out of it anytime soon.  It’s important to note that they way you COOK the rice is extremely important and that it must be steamed very well and cooked with the lid on for a long time or it will not have the right kind of stickiness to stay together.  The best and easiest way to accomplish this is using a rice cooker, something we picked up about a month before our wedding for just such a purpose.  Ours is an ‘Aroma’ from Sears and it ran about $20.

DSCN31972. What goes around the sushi and also helps hold it together is toasted seaweed, which is called nori.  We found a bag that contains five packages that each contain five sheets for $5.99.  That’s enough seaweed to make 25 sushi rolls!

3. Most sushi lovers have a certain knack for the kick of wasabi, either on the roll itself or mixed in their dipping soy sauce–or maybe both like us.  I think it was $3.

We also bought some tempura batter mix and some seasoning for the rice, but actually only used the tempura on some of the rolls and forgot about the seasoning altogether.


We didn’t buy things for the middle but decided to improvise.  We had a cucumber, a salmon fillet leftover from the week before, mayonnaise and cream cheese.  We cooked the salmon in a little oil and actually cooked the cucumber in water so it was soft to eat.  You can basically put whatever you want in a sushi roll as long as it could taste good with rice.


We were amazed at how simple yet fun the whole process is.  Using the bamboo mat, we placed a nori sheet shiny side down, covered it in a thin layer of rice (using wet hands so the rice doesn’t stick to you), then added wasabi and mayonnaise (or cream cheese on one), then the cucumber and the salmon.  Then all you have to do is wrap the roll up, making sure the ingredientsDSCN3202 get tucked into the middle as you roll.  It’s best to leave some room at the end of your nori sheet so you can make it stick (using some water) to the other end of the roll and seal it all up nice and tight.  Then you simply cut the roll into sections using a wet knife and you have beautiful sushi rolls.  The recipe book told us to chop the rolls into four pieces, but we realized that it was better to cut them into 8-10 pieces.  The latter is about the size pieces you get when you order sushi at a restaurant.

The meal was great and quite filling.  We made three rolls (about 20 pieces) and there was actually some leftover for a lunch for Bethany to take to school on Monday.  We ate it with steamed and salted edamame.  We can’t wait to make some more and experiment a little more with it.  It will also make a great appetizer when guests come over.

All in all, we did spend almost $25 on buying the initial supplies for making sushi.  If you add the rice cooker and the sushi press kit it might be up to about $60.  But considering a good roll of sushi costs you between $6-10 in a restaurant, and we can make 25 of them if we have ingredients on hand to put in the middle (you don’t need much), I would say it’s a pretty good investment!DSCN3212

DSCN3215The nice Korean lady at the checkout of Dong Bang also gave us two curious little bottles, on which the only English read “Frozen Dessert”.  It wasn’t frozen.  While we were skeptical, we drank them at the end of the meal and it tasted like 2.5oz of liquid orange Flinstones push-up pops.

We then went to Marietta square to enjoy a concert night on the square while we played a game of cribbage (Bethany’s on a really hot streak at this point, Jon Jon).



  1. I love,love,love sushi! scrumptious. I had all you can eat Sushi at a restaurant called Posh in Laredo Texas. Underbar!*

    Ha, since I’ve returned I’ve learned that my little brother Ben (11) has learned to play. He almost beat me. If my second to last hand hadn’t been 22 points, with a 12 point crib, and 6 points pegging, I would have lost.

    *that’s Swedish for Wonderful. Pronounced Vunder ball

    • Sounds like an intense game of cribbage…all you can eat sushi? wow. i think I would transform into a five foot ten grain of rice.

  2. this is awesome! i’ve been wanting to make sushi for months! thanks for the tutorial! 🙂

    • You’re so welcome! Let us know how you enjoy it.

  3. Hey guys! I love yall!
    I miss having SLC’s in my life.

    Brian, I owe you 8 dollars still.
    It has been weighing heavy on my soul.

    God bless you two servants,

    • Lighten your load sir…eight washingtons you owe is nothing compared to the warm feelings you provide when I think of your spirit. I miss having students in my life. Especially ones such as yourself.

  4. fab! we should do a sushi night when don and i come to visit again…can we make the visit longer next time?

    • Of course! We’ll pull out some lobster sushi or something for such an occasion! Let’s make it happen soon!

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