As I wrote in a previous post, I made sushi on Valentine’s day. I usually just use salmon and tuna for sushi, but since we were watching District 9, we decided to have shrimp (because they looks like “prawns” ) as well.
Shrimp is probably easier to get than a good block of salmon and tuna sashimi, and it is also very easy to prepare it for sushi. I’m sure a lot of people cook shrimp at home, and the only difference between regular shrimp and shrimp for sushi is that shrimp for sushi is straight and flattened. I’m not even sure if you can call this a “recipe”, but I thought it’d be nice to know a little trick like this.
[How to prepare shrimp for sushi]
- raw shrimp with shell (not cleaned or cooked)
*If you’re interested in making sushi rice from scratch, check out “How to make sushi rice.”
1. First you have to de-vein the shrimp. I usually use a toothpick instead of a knife. Stick a toothpick on about 1/4 inch from the back of shrimp between the first and second shell from the tail, and pull it outward.
2. Stick a toothpick on 1/4 inch from the back of shrimp, and slowly pull it outward.
3. Wash the shrimp after removing the vein.
4. Stick a skewer straight into the shrimp. Don’t stick it through the tail. I cut a regular skewer in half and use it because you’ll use fewer skewers and it’s easier to fit in a pot that way. (If you’re using metal skewers, make sure you use a pot deep enough for the whole shrimp to submerge in water.)
5. Put shrimp into boiling salted water, and cook it for a couple of minutes.
6. Drain the shrimp and let it cool off.
7. Gently hold the shrimp in your hand and pull the skewer out as you twist it. Then remove the shell. You usually don’t remove the tail for shrimp sushi, but if you want to remove it, that’s fine too. The tail is just for a decoration.
8. Cut the shrimp along the belly side. Be careful not to cut it all the way to the back. Flatten it and pat it dry.
And you have shrimp for sushi!
I’m certainly not a sushi chef, and I don’t really care how finished should sushi look.
If you have problem shaping the sushi, you can make it into “temari-zushi.” Which means “hand ball sushi.” You can just put shrimp/fish on a piece of plastic wrap, and put a bit of rice on top and wrap it tightly to make it into a ball. Because they’re all same shape and tightly held together, temari-zushi is great for kids.
Half a pound (about two dozen medium shrimp) was under $5 at the market by our place. I live in Brooklyn, and I’m sure it’s a lot cheaper if you buy them at a real fish market. So even with the cost of rice, 20~24 pieces of sushi shrimp for somewhere around $ 6~7. Not too bad for a small party, huh?
If you have any questions about any of my how-to’s, please feel free to leave a comment or email me!