I apologize in advance that I do not have a final picture, I am really trying to remember to actually record everything!
Creating your own sushi can seem daunting at times for the, to quote Julia, servant-less home chef. However, with the right equipment it’s easily managed. If you’re like me and think, “oh I don’t have all the stuff, the fancy mats, the special knives, all the fancy ingredients, I can’t do it.” I’ll tell you what I told my students today, “if you tell yourself you can’t, then you won’t! You have to tell yourself you can, therefore you will!”
The piece you’ll need to focus on is figuring out what sort of filling you want. I will be doing a basic, cream cheese, cucumber, avocado, and imitation crab.
I’ll get right to it, you’ll need the following hardware:
A rice strainer Rice Cooker/instapot, or pot to cook your rice. Rice strainer. Duct tape, yes you read that right. Plenty of Saran Wrap/plastic wrap. Sturdy, hard, and cleanable surface. I used a plastic cutting board. A very sharp knife. See the setup I have below to show how I was able to make my rolls.
2 cups short-grain white rice. Rice seasoning sauce: 2 tbs sugar dissolved into 2 tbs rice wine vinegar and 2 tbs water.
Large nori sheets (obtained at your local Asian market. If you are unsure which kind to get, do ask your friendly store employee!) I have mine pictured below. |
Cream cheese, one cucumber, and imitation crab in batons/sticks.
Rinse your rice in a rice strainer, with cold water, until it runs clear, about 2 minutes. Cook your rice according to manufacturer instructions for your machine. If you are using your instant pot, like me, you just place your strained rice in the basin and will add equal parts water, in this case 2-cups. Press start!
While rice is cooking, I got my large plastic cutting board out and took a large sheet of Saran Wrap, about a foot, and taped it to the cutting board. I placed two pieces of strong tape on one edge. This will serve as the under wraps for the nori sheets and allow you to make wonderful rolls!
Now you are ready! While your rice is cooking, peel your cucumber, slice it into thin strips and slice your imitation crab and avocado. I also like to have a bowl of cold water at the ready to clean my knife, or a towel as things can get sticky. The most important part is having what is called your “mise en place” meaning that everything you need is ready to go as soon as you’ll need it. Preparation is everything, much like a lesson plan.
Once you have your fillings on a plate and your rice is done, take your rice into a large bowl, the larger the better. You may have a nice rice spatula that came with your pot, this is the time to use it, or a wooden spatula is fine. Gently break up the rice and allow it to start cooling. As it cools add in your dissolved seasoning liquid. Keep moving the rice around gently until it reaches room temperature.
On the Saran Wrap, before putting the nori down! Place a few droplets of water onto the plastic, they will act as glue and hold your nori in place. Lay down a sheet of nori with the fibrous side up. You will notice one side is slightly rougher, you want that in contact with your food. Using your rice spatula you will want to break apart and spread thinly your rice layer. You can also wet your other hand with cold water and use it to spread the rice. Water acts as a non-stick agent for rice as long as the rice isn’t too hot and the water is very cold.
Once you have your rice spread out over the entire sheet add your fillings in a line at about 1/4 away from the bottom of the sheet, and stack your fillings somewhat to create a later tighter roll. Once layered, you’re ready to roll!
Gently raise your Saran Wrap and fold your roll in on itself. Don’t be afraid if your wrap tries to get under you, just pull it out as you go and continue rolling with your hand. The plastic is merely a guide, and the first roll is the hardest. I learned quickly to no overfill my rolls as it would split my nori. Minimalism is a good rule of thumb.
Let your roll sit a minute or two before you try to remove it, and always keep the seam down, if it is trying to lift, apply a small amount of water with your finger to the seam and it will seal. Slice rolls into equal parts, clean knife between slices, and enjoy !
The nori I purchased.