Because that’s what happens during the week.
I came in early today (before 7:30) to try my hand at making eel rolls. They’re easier than some others because all that’s in it is the eel and cucumber. And our eel is a sort of unappetizing stick of compressed eels. In any case, there’s nothing too compressible in it (such as avocado, or tempura batter for the crunchy roll) so it’s easy. Easy, but rolling sushi properly is harder than it looks. Most of our rolls are medium roll, where the rice is on the outside.
You grab a baseball-sized (approximately) wad of rice and slap it down on the rough-side-up half-sheet of nori. Then you spread out the rice (once again, a twist is that it relies on if you used the right amount of rice, and we use more on eel than on other rolls because of the relative lack of stuff inside) horizontally. Then using your thumbs you spread the rice up, and with your index fingers, down. Then, shake sesame seeds on top and flip it over. Then you throw the eel and cucumber in at the center, in this case, and get ready to roll.
You pick up the bottom edge and wrap it over the top. This is all obvious so far. The next part is critical though, as you need to get the insides compressed sufficiently without squishing the rice on the outside. Also you need to make sure none of the stuff falls out as you tuck the bottom edge in and roll the whole deal over to the top edge. If you do it right, the whole roll is tightly packed, the ingredients and rice go cleanly up to the edge, and after you cut the half sheet roll into 6 pieces they’re all the same height. The end pieces in particular may be gnarly. That’s why they go underneath the label in a 9-piece pack (secrets like this are the best part…And of course have no bearing on “REAL” sushi places).
Of course if you do a lousy job the customer will know it when they purchase it, so it’s gotta be somewhat decent.
Each half-sheet of nori makes 6 medium rolls, so a typical loadout will be 6 half-sheets laid out 3 tall and 2 wide. When rolled and cut it will make 4 packs, each containing 9 pieces which can consist of up to 3 different kinds. If you want to make one 9-piece pack for a custom order you need to use a quarter sheet of nori too.
Now, the full sheets are used for the big rolls. We don’t make a standard futomaki though, we just make “California Roll Plus.” Yeah, funny, I know. It’s a huge california roll (8 pieces per pack, the diameter is about that of a silver dollar).
I don’t even like California Roll but we sell a shitload of it. I tell customers it was developed so that white people could eat sushi. Hilarity ensues.
Today we sold a TON overall…Don’t have the final tally yet but it was more than 100. Maybe things are on the upswing…
Speaking of sales, Catherine is not happy with the total sales at this location considering she gave away some much more lucrative locations to two of her kids (not my sister in law). She may want to take one of them back in the future, which will probably not make the son managing it too happy.
Speaking of sons managing eateries, my brother Joe is supposedly impressed that I’m doing so well here, and wants me to come back and put in 16-hour days at Sent Sovi. I doubt it, but okay ;-).
I gotta go to bed earlier tonight, my hourlong walk last night which brought me back to the apartment in time to watch a cool documentary on Bruce Lee left me up way too late for a 7am waking hour. That documentary had like 20 mintues of Game of Death in it by the way, which supposedly was not in the film? Not having seen the movie I don’t know, but I have to see it now. Back onto the point, I was pretty tired today. Yeah.
I hope the sushi shit is interesting though, there’s a lot more where that came from. Like how those vietnamese-style spring rolls are ALSO harder than they look (rice paper is really easily tearable, at least the brand we have. Maybe Curtis can recommend kevlar-stitched rice paper for industrial applications).
Until next time…