Saturday, a few friends dropped by to just hang out, play a little rockband – that is before my drum pedal completely gave out. The poor thing has literally been stomped on to death. We went up to Frank and Sons for some comics and other random junk. Afterward, we decided to hit up a local Pho restaurant, but upon getting there, they were closed. So the group decided they wanted to do the food court in Mitsuwa – in Costa Mesa, about 25 miles away. So we pile back into the car and head over. Having our fill, we went into the market to look around, and looking at all the fresh fish, we decided to do sushi. So we grabbed the raw materials and headed home.
I picked up cucumber and figured I’d try my hand at making one of those cucumber rolls that some of the sushi restaurants I’ve been to make. Seeing the chef do it, monkey see, monkey do, it’s actually not too difficult, the important thing is to have a VERY sharp knife. You want the knife to slide easily through the cucumber as you hold and rotate the phallic vegetable. A dull blade would slip and all sorts of bad things will resort. Carefully rotating, and sliding the knife up and down, a thin sheet of cucumber is created.
With the sheet of cucumber set, it just a matter of pressing down some sushi rice, and piling in various raw meats such as yellow tail and salmon. The meats are placed on one side of the sheet, then carefully rolled. The bamboo sushi roll mat isn’t really employed until the sheet is rolled up. Once rolled up, the bamboo mat is used as a tightening tool, to create a uniform and tightly rolled roll. The roll is then cut with a very clean and very sharp knife, then plated.
I am a big fan of inari-zushi(footballs) or Beanie eggs as Terry would have them called. They are fried tofu pieces that are opened up and stuffed with sushi rice. They have a sweet taste to them. The huge plate of the stuff was actually finished off by everyone with the exception of the few that Terry refused to eat, Beanie ended up eating them as he was stuck on the couch playing an idiotic game later that evening – more about the two and a half hour long battle of wits amongst morons later.
Shrimp was dipped into tempura batter then fried to make tempura rolls. Just deep friend, drained and ready for rolling.
Another first for me was the rainbow roll. Some shrimp, yellow tail, avocado, cucumber strips, and salmon strips were laid on top of a sheet of seaweed that had rice layered on the opposite side. The sheet was rolled up and tightened using the bamboo mat. Once tightened, strips of yellow tail, salmon, shrimp, and avocado are laid on top of the roll. A sheet of clear plastic wrap is placed on top then the bamboo mat is again employed to tighten things, this time making the meats and avocado on top conform to the shape of the roll. Then the roll is cut.
The key to cutting a rainbow roll is the sheet of clear plastic wrap. With the clear plastic wrap still in place, the roll is cut with a very sharp knife. The wrap will keep the roll in shape while cutting, and is simply removed after the roll is cut and then plated.
Here is just a standard run of the mill roll, using the rice as the exterior.
The rest of the raw meats were cut for sashimi.
This was Angel’s first time making sushi, and he made a spicy tuna roll, and a little variation on the tempura roll as I did.
Since Terry had to run off to take care of his family’s dog, we started dinner without him, but made him a plate out of the kindness of our hearts. Well, sort of. We then went and touched all his food. I think Jay also licked some of his food too. Well, he ate it anyways.
The group of us are sitting in the living room just watching tv. Terry is on the single arm chair with his plate of food. The tv remote doesn’t work, as sometimes there is some interference and the bloody thing just doesn’t resonate with the tv, so Jay gets up and manually flips through the channels for a little while, and then comes to a channel with Armenian folk dancing. He decides he wants to watch this and sits down. Everything spoken is in Armenian. No one in the room understands a word. Angel picks up the remote and tried to fiddle with it, removing the batteries, replacing them, etc etc. All the while sitting down. Nicky says that Terry should get up and change the channel as he’s the closest. He refuses. So from this little request, a game of attrition begins. With the person who finally breaks down and gets up losing this game if pure idiocy.
I’m ok, as I have my laptop and I’m online chatting with Charlie. Nicky is fine as she has her books. Terry is ok, since he has his manga books too. But he’s also holding up a plate with a few inari-zushis left. He cannot put it down as Beanie and Hugo would get to it, nor can he get up and put it away as it would mean he loses the game. But he figures a way to read and hold the plate. Jay doesn’t give a shit and is enjoying the well endowed bouncing of Armenia folk dancers. Angel is sitting there with nothing to do but watch; so we conclude that it will be either Angel or Jay that will break first. 45 minutes pass and the folk dancing program has ended. No one gets up.
Terry is now done with his manga, I’m still chatting with Charlie, and the other three are starting to twitch a little, except Jay. He’s nice and relaxed. The show on TV is now some variety comedy show. Again, all in Armenian. This is after all, the Armenian Russian Television Network. I send Charlie the link as well. The show is underway, and I grab the remote to randomly check to see if it works. It does. I’m able to change the channel. But why end the game. I change the channel back and raise the volume from 15 to 30. And put the remote out of reach from everyone in the room but myself. I’m still on my computer. Angel reaches back, and unplugs my computer. So now I’m limited to the life of my computer battery. At least I’m still online.
The variety show ends, we’ve been at this for a hour and forty five minutes now. Terry has started to seriously twitch. A few others are also twitching. The show is now a call in show for a product called Dermona some Korean skin product; still in Armenian. It is just an older lady taking calls and talking about the product. Angel pushes Jay off the couch, and Hugo decides that Jay, in his pink shirt, is in the perfect position to give him one of those “hugs” he gives to Beanie every so often when he gets really excited. So, Jay is sitting on the floor, and Hugo has his little front paws around Jay’s back, and his hips are thrusting like mad. Hooray for Hugo the rapist.
We decide that pushing someone off the couch doesn’t count. Earlier, Angel was going to leave and go home, but upon realization that getting up for any reason, even if it is to leave, means he loses. So it’s now been two hours of Armenian television. Nicky finally breaks, she needs to pee, and just wants to go home. I want those two and a half hours of my life back; but then we returned the favor to Nicky with dragging her out to Valley Con the next day….