Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Daring Cooks Sushi Challenge Failure and Consolation Asian Feast

The November 2009 Daring Cooks challenge was brought to you by Audax of Audax Artifex and Rose of The Bite Me Kitchen. They chose sushi as the challenge.

I had it all planned--making sushi for the Daring Cooks challenge this weekend, as well as making some other Asian inspired favorites for a big weekend feast. Unfortunately, the sushi was not a success. Thankfully though, the rest of the dishes came out well.

I want to like sushi. I've tried many times to like it, but I just can't get past the nori (seaweed). It's a textural thing. I've actually eaten, and really enjoyed raw kelp plucked from the ocean while out on a boat for a marine biology program. It was crunchy and salty, and good. But the dried seaweed just seems really "fishy" to me. It must be something in the drying process that I object to.

Anyway, I bought all the ingredients and cooked the sushi rice per the directions. All was going swimmingly, until I opened the package of nori--I just could not tolerate the smell. I tried to roll the sushi but it really just grossed me out. Had I been more organized and not waited until the last day I could have used an alternative to the nori and still made a sort of pseudo-sushi, but I was unprepared and rather discouraged.

I did go ahead and make the rest of the feast--peanut noodles, egg rolls, sweet potato tempura, and chocolate filled wontons.

The sweet potato tempura is just thin slices of raw sweet potato, and a packaged tempura mix. The egg roll recipe is from the Steamy Kitchen cookbook, though I used my own filling of cabbage, carrots, edamame, and mushrooms. The chocolate wontons are also from Steamy Kitchen, though I baked, not fried mine. The peanut noodles are my version of Shari's delicious recipe.

Peanut Noodles
1 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
1 (14-ounce or 398 mL) can coconut milk
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ tablespoon fresh gingerroot, minced
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons soya sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 16-ounce package spaghetti or vermicelli
Peanuts for garnish

Heat all sauce ingredients on medium heat until blended and warm.Follow package directions to cook pasta. Mix the sauce with the cooked noodles. Serve hot or cold

I was defeated by sushi... sad.


  1. No you weren't defeated. Sushi is an acquired taste, it's not for everyone and there's nothing wrong with that. I'm proud that you even gave it a shot.. good for you :)

    The rest looks absolutely delicious - all of my favorites!! xoxoxoxoxo

  2. OK, I was going to leave you a comment about your sushi, but then I spotted the photo of the cutest kitten as I clicked on the comment link. SO sorry this did't work. Off to see the little kitten. :-)

  3. I watched someone eat kelp straight from the ocean and had no desire to try it! Too bad about the sushi, but ll the dishes in your post look just delicious!

  4. Your feast sounds fabulous. At least you tried with the sushi!

  5. Have you tried soy paper? It's really hard to find in stores, but I usually get it from the sushi bar because nori can get really ...... chewy. And then it's just gross.

    But I'll gladly dig into the egg rolls!

  6. Thanks you guys!

    I'm going to look for soy paper! Great tip!