If you read my bucket list post, you saw that “make my own sushi” was high up on my list. Sushi is one of my favorite foods and trying to make my own is someting I’ve been dying to try. So with my birthday being just around the corner and a sushi-making kit newly acquired I thought it was a great time to do it!
While this process is not that hard to do, it’s definitely not as easy as it looks in the restaurant. It’s kind of like when I wanted to ride a motorbike in Thailand and I thought, “hmmmm that looks so easy! Like riding a bicycle but with a motor” and I was SO WRONG. I even crashed.
Well… I tried… and though it wasn’t restaurant quality, it was delicious… and humongous… and so it was more similar to a sushi-ritto, which is pretty on-trend. If I was able to continue eating, I would’ve continued trying, but my stomach was way smaller than my enthusiasm. So… sushi making will just have to happen again. So far, here is what I learned…
What you need:
A sushi making kit which typically includes…
-Bamboo sushi mat**** NECESSITY
-Rice spoon* IMPORTANT
Your choice of fish
Your choice of vegetables
Soy sauce, sriracha, mayo etc…
How to make sushi rice:
You can buy specific “sushi rice” or save and use plain white rice (like Minute rice). I did the latter.
1 cup of uncooked rice is enough for about 3 rolls… Per 1 cup of rice you’ll need to add to it:
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar (adjust to taste preference)
1 Tbs. Sugar
1 tsp. salt
As you prepare the rice according to package directions, heat the vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan over low heat, until they dissolve.
Once the rice is done, transfer to a bowl using a wooden spoon and then pour the vinegar mixture on top of the rice, mixing together with the same spoon. Let cool to room temperature then stick it in the fridge. You should prepare this at least a few hours in advance.
“Sushi-grade” means that the raw fish was frozen for at least 3 days and then thawed to remove the parasites. However, tuna is considered safe to eat raw regardless. Make sure you choose a clean, fresh and reputable place to buy your fish and always ask questions to determine whether it’s sushi quality… better safe than sick.
Wash, peel and chop your vegetables into matchsticks.
For about 6 sushi rolls we only used half of one carrot, cucumber and avocado… with some leftover.
The most difficult part was cutting the fish, which you are supposed to do at an angle against the grain, very thinly. I think we could have used a sharper knife… it was very hard to get it right.
Get your rice, seaweed sheets, fish, veggies and other toppings all together in one place.
Putting it all together:
Roll out your bamboo mat and cover it with plastic wrap. This is something we forgot but is very important! It not only helps roll tighter but also assists when you want to make an “inside-out” (rice on the outside) roll.
On top of the mat place either a whole or half sheet of seaweed, depending on the size you want. Then using your hands and/or the wooden rice spoon, cover the sheet with rice about 1/2 inch thick, leaving just a few centimeters open on each side.
Next, layer your vegetable and fish in the center of the rice in a neat row. Place all the cucumber pieces in one row, the avocado in the next and finally a row of the tuna. Add any sauce inside that you’d like… you can layer the rice with mayo or spicy mayo before the veggies, if that’s your thing.
Finally… the fun part! Begin with the side closest to you and pick up the mat from the edge. Begin to roll it tight and pull it towards you simultaneously until it’s complete. This takes some practice so expect to have a few fall apart and become “rice bowls” before you get it right. It’s a fine ratio of rice to filling that takes some experimentation!
When your roll is complete, wet your knife (that’s important) and cut it in half. Then wet the knife again, between each cut, and cut each half into four even pieces. There you have your *perfect* sushi roll.