I have three weeks of this miserable semester left, and then two weeks after this one ends, I will begin yet another. Such is life... except that lifestyle will end for me (for now!) before the end of August.
Anyway, I have to do a project for my Japanese class. A group project. The three of us on my team are to give a presentation tomorrow about sushi, and right now I'm feeling less than confident. I put in lots of effort on my end--photoshops were made, research was done, and a slideshow has been delicately crafted of history, culture, and a smattering of my trademark acrimony. Not to brag or anything, but God damn it, I give a shit about this project, even if I think it's stupid! However, I have no idea what the Hell my partners are up to. Geography and lack of transportation prevent me from hunting them down and cajoling them in person. No amount of nagging can really force them to expend any effort though, and sadly, physical violence might prove to be counterproductive in this case.
If I'm to learn anything from the previous three presentations that were already given, the only thing that will save my grade from being dragged to Hell by my two partners will be the ultimate bribery: food. That's right, your humble servant has prepared a sample of nigirizushi for everyone in the classroom, and it doesn't taste bad at all, considering that it's my first try and all. This will not only save me from mediocre markings, but it will give the three of us an edge over all those porridge-brained oafs who half-assed it on their own presentations! Even that noisy fucker who sits to the left of me can't top this with his mangy "kawaii" paraphernalia! BWAAHAHAHAA!!
This sushi rice took so long to make! I made a test batch two weeks ago, to make notes on how to fine-tune the vinegar mix and to get a feel for how difficult it would be to work with.
It is a sticky, sticky mess, and a nightmare to work with. A delicious nightmare.
The last time I made sushi rice I didn't have any mirin at all, and as much as I loved breathing in those noxious vinegar fumes as I disolved the salt & sugar into it over the stove, my homemade batch was just too pungent in the end. Anyway, I ended up buying a pre-seasoned rice vinegar and adding hon mirin to it. That worked out pretty well; the mirin did an excellent job of muting the vinegar's bite, and the mirin's thick alcohol taste disappeared when it was tossed in with the steaming-hot rice.
I must confess, the abura-age is also pre-seasoned. In my defense, however, I could not find any unseasoned abura-age, and at any rate, making it from scratch the first time is a wonderful opportunity to fuck things up, and I could not afford to make needless mistakes. So. I bought what was available to me, and it tastes about as good as what you'd find in your average sushi restaurant. Next time, I'll try the Korean brands; there was a lemon-seasoned variety that really piqued my interest, but I wonder how it will taste when stuffed with pungent sushi rice... :/
Beautiful, isn't it? They look unappetizing now, but only because they were boiled in a plastic sac full of sweet, savory juices, and then unceremoniously dumped onto a Chinet. Don't let all the run-off fool you--this stuff is delicious! Even my mum liked it, though she wasn't excited about the texture. If you're not into tofu then obviously, abura-age isn't going to be your favorite thing.
I didn't get any pictures of the actual process, since it requires two hands and the patience of Job, especially for a newfag like me. At any rate, I used this recipe from Just Hungry. Hope I didn't completely fuck it up! :V
This picture would lead one to believe that I did not, in fact, completely fuck it up. Hooraaaay! Only nineteen more to go!
Whew! This wasn't an easy task, especially when your little brother comes into the kitchen to bug you about that one time he decided to listen to "liberal" talk radio. Thanks bro, I really needed your ideological thumb-wrestling at that moment! ~_~
At any rate, it was finished without any catastrophes, and there is one for each classmate, even for my partners, though my childhood hero probably wouldn't let them have any, but hey, I guess she just isn't a pinko social-justice-lovin' LIEberal, right guys?
But let's not end this on a petty political note. The inarizushi is complete, and provided the inner workings of the universe don't align against me tomorrow morning, this tasty tray will be delivered to my Japanese class, and I will be delivered to academic victory!
Until next time, kids! You probably won't hear from me for a while--the semester is far from over as far as my writing goes!