Crafting the art of Sushi

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Dragon Roll Sushi by Louie Anthony Cortez
Story and photos by Ricardo Reyes

St. Mary’s University has and continues to bring a diverse set of students through its doors over the years, each with their own set of skills. Louie Anthony Cortez was one of those students, skilled in writing and cooking.

Cortez graduated from St. Mary’s with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2000 and a master’s degree in English Literature and Language in 2010. For over 15 years, Cortez has served as the office coordinator at the Blume Library. His passions have always included writing and cooking. While writing is a prominent activity in his life, the skill of cooking came later.

Cortez’s love for cooking began after he graduated with his bachelor’s degree and returned to live at home with his parents.

“Cooking provided me the opportunity to foster a relationship with my mother I did not have before college. It also made me much more independent,” Cortez says.

Like many Hispanic families, food is a way of communicating and bonding. While his first dishes were traditionally Hispanic recipes like enchiladas or tamales, Cortez has also taken a fondness for Asian cuisine.

The dragon roll sushi is one of Cortez’s favorite entrees because of its simplicity and versatility in combining some of his favorite seafood: crab and shrimp.

“Not only is it delicious, but I love making this dish with friends. It is a lot of fun teaching someone how to make their own sushi,” he says.

Dragon Roll Sushi

Ingredients

  • 4 cups sushi rice
  • 4-6 nori sheets
  • 20 medium size shrimps
  • 1 cup Tempura
  • 2 Avocado
  • 2 Cucumber
  • 100gr Tobiko
  • 100gr BBQed eel or Crab

Directions

  1. First, mix the tempura with a little bit of water and stir until combined to a thick even mixture. Cut off shrimp tails, and dip the shrimps, one by one, in tempura mixture and deep fry for about 30 sec or until the outside gets golden-brownish.
  2. Slice the cucumber into long slices, and use a peeler to peal thin avocado layers.
  3. Spread the rice on the nori sheet, and flip it over the mat so that the rice is now facing upwards. Lay the avocado the cucumber sticks you have cut in advance, and line up some tempura shrimps and on top of that slices of eel. Roll it inside-out style and cut the endings, but leave the rest whole for now
  4. Elegantly, cover the top of the roll with the layers of avocado you made with the peeler, and use the bamboo mat to tighten it to the roll.
  5. Use a little spoon to carefully spread some Tobiko on the roll.

Makes 2 servings

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