$12 Sushi on Valentine’s Day

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That’s my marble slab. You’ll see it a lot.

This week I read that the average amount spent by Americans on Valentine’s Day in 2014 was $135.10. I recently learned from my friend, who was born on Cupid’s birthday (that’s what the holiday is right?!), that most places in town have a fixed menu and it ain’t cheap. My husband and I had reservations at Red Medicine for about four minutes until learning they were charging $85/person plus drinks, tax and tip.

We rarely cook together, so we thought making sushi would be a more satisfying choice than a $300 night on the town. It was our second attempt, the first being a total disaster. We started by taking advantage of our close proximity to Thai Town and went shopping at an Asian market. Let me tell you: the prices were amazing! We found a five pound package of sushi rice for $3.99. Just for perspective, if you were to go to Sur La Table for a cute little sushi kit and got suckered into buying their rice…

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4.4 pounds of rice for $14

You’d be spending almost four times as much as I did for half a pound less rice! I saw Vons was having a Friday special on lobster tail and so I got one four ounce guy for $5. Making sushi requires fewer portions than you’d immediately think. We only needed to boil one cup of rice for four rolls; a lesson learned from over preparing last time. We bought some seaweed and a small avocado and the rest we had at home. My husband boiled the lobster while I whipped up a mayo based concoction, heavy on the sesame oil, threw in some green onions ($.29 with a coupon!) and some sriracha.

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The improvised lobster and avocado roll

The moral of the story is you can celebrate any occasion in ways that don’t break the bank. Cooking is always cheaper than eating out. Four lobster sushi rolls at a decent restaurant would cost around $48-55. We made all of them for the price of one. Happy birthday, Cupid.

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