Homemade Sushi in Houston: No Class Required!

I’ve failed to mention it thus far, but Mark and I have our honeymoon booked. We’re heading out to visit his father and extended family in Manila and a couple of other Philippine Islands, but on the way we’re stopping for five days in Kyoto, Japan.

In my research for things to do in Japan, I found classes on how to make sushi. It seemed like an awesome idea: I’d learn how to make it the legit way, from REAL Japanese people. How cool, right?! But come to find out, I don’t need a class at all. And neither do you! We have resources here in Houston, and it is SO simple to make sushi, the hardest part is stepping out of your comfort zone.

Just outside of Beltway 8 on Westheimer, there’s a tiny Japanese market called Nippan Daido USA. Coming from the inside the loop, you’ll take a right into the shopping center directly after Wilcrest. The outside of the Market looks like this:

Image courtesy of Google Maps
Image courtesy of Google Maps

In searching for the precise address, I found this pretty silly but very helpful video tour of the store. At 3:33, it shows where the sushi grade fish is!

Now that you’re at the right place, there’s only a couple of ingredients you need.

  1. Rice. DUH! But not any ol’ minute rice you’d get from the American store. You have to get special rice. The brand I got looks like this:make sushi at home Houston (3 of 4)
  2. A bamboo mat, to roll the rice with, like this:make sushi at home Houston (2 of 4)
  3. Some dried seaweed sheetsmake sushi at home Houston (4 of 4)
  4. Whatever you’d like in your sushi. The market has a variety of meats, from Yellowfin Tuna to imitation crab to octopus, and each that I’ve bought same with a packet of wasabi. There is plenty of Japanese produce as well. The most extensive I’ve done so far was only Japanese cucumbers and tuna, wrapped in rice and seaweed. Simple, and just as they do at the restaurants!
  5. I good knife! I don’t have one yet, but I know fort certain it’ll make all the difference.

After I made sushi, I realized that the only thing that was holding me back before was that I didn’t know where to find ingredients and I would feel uncomfortable asking questions once I found out. But Daido is a small, family run market and they will happily answer any questions you may have regarding placement or preparation of items. Plus, they have punch cards, so the more you go, the more you’ll save!

And here’s the thing. My super sweet mother-in-law was the one who took me around the store and showed me what I need. I kept feeling like there were a lot of questions that I wasn’t asking, that I was going to cook the rice wrong and royally mess up the sushi–that the process couldn’t be as simple as she and the woman at the store made it seem.

But it really is. So, I won’t insult your intelligence by giving you a step by step, I’ll just tell you the one direction I was told: “Cook the rice like it says on the bag.”

make sushi at home Houston (1 of 4)

Postscript: I forgot to mention! The prices of the fish are generally between $4 and $7  and will yield 3 times the amount of sushi you would get for that price at a restaurant, or more, depending on how you slice it.

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