How to make sushi

27 Jan

Last night I took my first sushi-making class. I was surprised at how easy it is! I’ve read tutorials and watched videos of other people making it and I always thought it looked more difficult than it actually was.

What you will need to make your own sushi:

A rolling mat. The class I took let us all take our mats home with us! In case you don’t have one lying around, I did a quick google search and it looks like you can snag one online for under $5.

Nori. Nori is the thin, paper-like sheet of seaweed you will use to roll your sushi. Usually it is inside the rice, but you can also roll your sushi inside out if you prefer the nori on the outside. You can find nori at Asian markets or in the Asian section at most grocery stores.

Sushi rice. There’s a lot of different kinds of rice out there, but you will want to use sushi rice when making sushi, because it is stickier than other kinds of rice (basmati, jasmine, etc.) and will hold together better. You can cook your rice in a rice cooker or however you normally make rice. I usually just cook it in a pan on the stove. After your rice is cooked, add rice vinegar and sugar (2 cups rice = 2 TBS rice vinegar + 2 TBS sugar). Mix everything together well and let rice cool completely before making your sushi.

Sesame seeds. These are optional but they add a little something in my opinion.

Small amount (1 TBS or less) oil. We wore gloves while making our sushi (to minimize messiness and I suppose it is more hygienic as well). Our instructor told us to dip a finger into the oil and rub it all over our hands before touching the rice. I, of course, forgot this instruction 2 seconds later, but trust me, you’re going to want to do this.

Sushi fixins! You can put whatever you want in your sushi. Some ideas: salmon, tuna, crab, avocado, asparagus, cucumber, cream cheese, carrots, sprouts, etc. etc. etc. Be creative with it! On buying fish: buy sushi-grade fish from a supplier who gets really fresh fish. In Omaha I think Absolutely Fresh is good and I’ve heard others buy fish for sushi at Whole Foods. When cutting up fish, cream cheese, etc., cut it into long strips.

Once you’ve assembled all of the ingredients, you’re ready to go!

There are two sides to your sushi rolling mat (obviously). On one side the panels are flat and on the other side they’re round. You will want the flat side up. Next, place your nori on the rolling mat and begin pressing rice onto the nori. Make sure you have a thin layer of rice that completely covers the nori. This is where the oil comes in hand! A tiny bit of oil keeps the rice from sticking all over your hands. If you’re using sesame seeds, sprinkle them over the rice now.

Now, carefully flip your rice-covered nori over. Here comes the fun part! Place your long strips of fish on your nori horizontally. You want to make sure your ingredients go horizontally and cover the nori from end to end. Otherwise, when you’re finished you will have pieces with nothing in them! If you’re using small ingredients like avocado slices just make sure the pieces go all the way across your nori.

When you’ve placed all your ingredients on the nori, lift the edge of your rolling mat and begin rolling. Roll your sushi until one end has created a “seal” and you can’t see the ingredients inside anymore. Make sure it’s a good seal and then continue rolling.

Voila! You’ve got sushi!

To cut your roll, dip a sharp knife in water so it cuts easily and slice into pieces (should make 6-8 pieces). Enjoy!


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