See the updated version of this recipe HERE.
Ah, sushi. So insanely delicious but also so insanely expensive. Sushi has a right to be expensive, seeing as fresh, sushi grade fish can be anywhere in the neighborhood of $16-$20+ per pound. Plus, you have to add in the cost of the expert technique that is involved with the intricate cutting, slicing and rolling. So, when I do shell out some cash for sushi, I feel like it’s well worth it. Unfortunately, I can’t afford to have sushi as often as I crave it. But, of course, I have a solution. These neat little sushi bowls are the perfect budget friendly fix for those days when you’re craving sushi but your bank account is not.
The main cost cutting factor here is that I used imitation crab. Yeah, yeah, I know, imitation crab is “scary”. But once you know what it is all of your fears will float away, I promise. Imitation crab is simply a less expensive fish (usually pollack) with a little crab flavoring mixed in. The “crab” that I bought, was actually a mix of pollack and real crab so it’s even LESS scary (plus it boasts sustainable fishing practices and lots of omega-3s). Besides, I’m just going for a sushi fix, not authenticity. It’s mouth-wateringly delicious and easy, that’s all that counts.
Another thing that makes these sushi bowls great is the fact that all of the difficulty has been removed. You don’t need to know how to roll sushi. You don’t need to know how to perfectly julienne any vegetables. Cut the “toppings” however you see fit, throw them all into a bowl and dive in! I cut mine into different shapes and sizes for fun but you don’t need to be fancy to have it taste great.
Okay, enough intro already…
Step By Step Photos
After cooking the short grain rice, mix in the vinegar/sugar/salt solution. This gives the rice it’s characteristic “sushi rice” flavor and texture.
This is the “crab” that I used. It can be found in the frozen seafood section of most grocery stores. It’s so tasty that I found myself eating little bits as I assembled the bowls.
Here are the rest of my toppings. You can prepare these as the sushi rice cooks to cut down on total preparation time.
This is the nori I bought. It comes in large sheets that can be cut (or crumbled if you’re me). Luckily, it comes in a resealable package because I only used 1.5 sheets out of 10. I didn’t even notice that it was organic until I took the picture!
Begin the bowl with one cup of sushi rice and then add your toppings!
NOTE: These bowls are extremely versatile so alter them to your tastes. Other proteins that you can use instead of crab include: shrimp (precooked, frozen, salad sized), tofu, hard boiled eggs or grilled chicken. I usually just sprinkle on a bit of soy sauce (which costs next to nothing) but I also found small “a la cart” dishes of wasabi and pickled ginger at the sushi counter in Whole Foods. So, if you won’t be eating this often and don’t want to buy a whole container of those, check with your local sushi vendors to see if they sell small “side portions”. If you happen to have teriyaki sauce or oyster sauce in your refrigerator, they would also make a great condiment for these bowls.
Also worth noting: I bought the crab, nori and short grain rice at Whole Foods Market because I was there and too short on time to do price comparisons at other stores. The short grain rice was a pretty good price and I got it from the bulk aisle which means I was able to buy exactly the quantity that I needed. I felt the nori was kind of expensive but didn’t notice at the time that it was organic. The crab was a really good price although I have never looked at imitation crab prices before to know if it was relatively high or low. The Super Target in my area carries a lot of sushi ingredients and they may be less expensive. So, what I’m trying to say here is: if you do some looking around, you could probably make this dish for even less than I did!
As always, I packed these bowls in resealable containers so that I can take them with me for lunch for the rest of the week. Tell me your coworkers wouldn’t be jealous if they saw you eating one of these beauties:
Then imagine what they would do if you told them that it only cost you $1.20. BAM!