Yes…I know this might sound strange, but it is absolutely delicious! I simply thickened the crawfish étouffée so that it would remain firm without the consistency of a gravy, and then rolled it in traditional sushi style.
Sushi (すし, 寿司, 鮨, 鮓, 寿斗, 寿し, 壽司) is a Japanese food consisting of cooked vinegared rice (shari) combined with other ingredients (neta), usually raw fish or other seafood and vegetables. Neta and forms of sushi presentation widely vary, but the ingredient which all sushi have in common is vinegared rice called sushi-meshi.
Sushi rice is a preparation of a short-grained, white Japanese rice. It is usually mixed with sugar, salt, and rice vinegar, and may also include sake. Sushi rice must be quite sticky to function as required. This is especially true in dishes such as uramaki, where the rice is on the outside of the nori, and so must cling to it. Good rice should have a level of stickiness where all of the grains stick firmly together, but it should not be so sticky that it becomes an amorphous mash of rice. Because long-grained rice tends to be fairly dry, it is not appropriate for use in sushi, since the lack of moisture makes it insufficiently sticky. Short-grained rice is wet enough that, when properly prepared, it sticks together well.
The black seaweed wrappers used in sushi are called nori. Nori is a type of algae, traditionally cultivated in the harbors of Japan. Originally, algae was scraped from dock pilings, rolled out into thin, edible sheets, and dried in the sun, in a process similar to making rice paper. Today, the commercial product is farmed, processed, toasted, packaged, and sold in sheets.
The type of sushi roll I prepared is URAMAKI. Uramaki (裏巻, “inside-out roll”) is a medium-sized cylindrical piece with two or more fillings. Uramaki differs from other rolls because the rice is on the outside and the nori inside. The filling is in the center surrounded by nori, then a layer of rice, and an outer coating of some other ingredients such as roe or toasted sesame seeds. It can be made with different fillings, such as tuna, crab meat, avocado, cucumber, or carrots. In Japan, urimaki is an uncommon type of roll because of the outer layer of rice can be quite difficult to handle with fingers.
For the sauce, I followed through with the East meets Creole theme by combining powdered wasabi with the “bite” of Louisiana spice in the form of a remoulade. Louisiana remoulade can vary from the elegant French-African Creole, the rustic Afro-Caribbean Creole, or the Classic Cajun version, and like the local variants of roux and bordelaise sauce, each version is quite different from the French original. Invariably, it is red (bright red to ruddy-orange) and is usually very piquant. Louisiana-style remoulades fall generally into one of two categories — mayonnaise based and oil based. Most are made with either Creole or stone-ground mustard.
And to take it up a notch further, I had to add some hot sauce!
The result was a very eclectic and elegant dish that I think even the most finicky eater would enjoy…