Have you ever caught yourself staring at a sushi roll thinking: “How hard can it be to make those myself?” I say: It’s not as bad as it looks. Trust me!
Sushi Sundays have become a convenient ritual for my family. While grocery shopping I pick up a few pre-made rolls and lunch is ready to go when I get home. But it was a little too easy… So of course I thought I’d try making them myself! I’ve included a few tips below to help you on your sushi mission.
Tip #1 Wash your rice
Plan to wash the rice about 20-30 minutes beforehand. This removes the starch, giving the rice better taste and consistency. To wash the rice, place the rice in a bowl and cover with water, drain water and replace with fresh water and repeat about 2 to 3 times or until water is almost clear.
Tip #2 Have water close by
Have a bowl of water close by. Wet your hands when handling the rice, and also dip your knife in water before cutting the rolls so that the rice does not stick to your hands.
Tip #3 Experiment with filings
Once you have mastered California rolls, have fun filling your rolls with other ingredients. I use the standard avocado, cucumbers and imitation crab. Feel free to use other fillings to your taste such as smoked salmon, fried shrimp or fish roe.
- 1 cup sushi rice or short grain sticky rice
- 1 cup water
- 1 Tbsp Sake or dry white wine (optional)
- 2 Tbsps rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 to 4 sheets nori** (approx), cut in half crosswise
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled and julienned
- 1/2 ripe but firm avocado, peeled and julienned
- 2 to 3 imitation crab roll pieces, julieened
**Nori is the green sheet of seaweed used to wrap the sushi rolls
- In a small saucepan place the rice, water (and Sake, if using) and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover tightly, and simmer for 12 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
- While rice is cooking make the rice seasoning. Combine rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small pot and place over high heat. Cook until sugar and salt dissolved, remove from heat.
- When rice is done immediately transfer to a shallow bowl and spoon vinegar mixture over rice, Using a spoon, fold the rice and mixture several times–to insure that the seasoning is well distributed throughout rice. Cover dish with wet dish towel to insure that the rice will stay moist until you are ready to use it.
- Place 1 sheet of nori, shiny side down over top of rolling map. Working with wet hands, spread about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of rice over nori. Carefully turn the sheet over so that the rice side of nori is on top of mat.
- Evenly distribute a few pieces of cucumber, avocado and crab in the center of nori.
- Using the sushi mat, firmly roll nori and rice firmly over the filling and away from you to form a tight cylinder roll.
- Place the sushi roll on a plate and cover with a damp cloth while you roll the remaining sushi. Continue making the remaining rolls with the nori, rice and filling.
- Using a sharp knife cut each roll into approximately 6 pieces. I find that it is easier to cut the rolls in one quick movement and also to dip the knife and your hands into water bowl to make the process a bit easier.
- Serve immediately with wasabi, soy sauce and picked ginger if desired.