Looking for something fun to make for dinner that’s also good for you? Learn how to roll and have your own homemade sushi night! Sushi is great for you and the possibilities are endless! Here are some tips and tricks to doing it, as well as some great recipes for sushi rolls to try!
What Is Sushi?
If you’ve never actually had sushi, you probably have the perception that it’s simply raw fish. While many sushi recipes do include raw fish of some sort, that’s not all there is to it. Typically, sushi involves wrapping rice, fish, and various other ingredients in a sheet of toasted seaweed known as Nori. Only top quality fish is used and it has to be super fresh, which is why it’s ok to consume it raw. The beauty of making your own sushi is, you get to decide what goes into it! So if the idea of raw fish on your plate isn’t palatable to you, you can either pre-cook it or omit it!
What Will You Need?
The type of sushi we’ll discuss here is called Maki, as well as a variation known as an inside-out sushi roll. Like we discussed before, it’s the filling wrapped in a sheet of toasted seaweed along with rice. Aside from the filling, seaweed paper, and rice, there are some things you want to make sure you have. First off, don’t just use any rice. It needs to be sticky sushi rice so that it’s not falling out and all over the place. It may be labeled as such in the store or it may be called "shari." You’re also going to need something to complete the roll. These tools will include a rice paddle (or you can use your hands, which is easier in our opinion), and a bamboo rolling mat.
How Do You Roll Sushi?
When making sushi, each recipe is going to start out and end pretty much the same. It starts with prepping the nori sheet with the rice and ends with rolling the sushi roll. To do this, just follow these simple steps:
Step 1: Find the side of the nori sheet that is more rough. Make sure you lay the sheet out on the bamboo mat, with the rough side up. The roughness is going to help hang on to the rice.
Step 2: With wet hands to keep it from sticking, grab some rice and form it into a ball, rewetting your hands as often as needed.
Step 3: Place the ball of rice in the center of the nori sheet and start pressing it out to spread it across the sheet. You want to make sure you leave about two centimeters all around the edge free of rice.
*Note: Some recipes at this point will require you to flip the nori over. These are the inside out types and they have the rice on the outside of the roll.
Step 4: Place your filling along one edge of the rice-covered nori sheet. This is where you’ll begin rolling so that the filling is in the middle.
Step 5: Close the edge of the nori sheet over the filling. Roll up the sheet, using the bamboo mat along the way to apply pressure to it so that your roll stays tight until you reach the end.
Step 6: Cutting the sushi can get tricky because that rice likes to stick to everything. Ensure your knife is both sharp and wet.
Now that you have the basics down pat, you just need to learn the recipes of some of the most common sushi flavors and go from there! Or, you can get creative and put your own ingredients in it. Just ensure you always purchase sushi-grade meat! Never buy random meat from the supermarket and slap it raw on your sushi. That’s just asking for food poisoning.
The California roll is one of the most popular amongst western cultures. It’s easy to make and not too expensive either.
Here’s what you'll need in addition to what we discussed above:
Black & white sesame seeds
6 sticks imitation crab
½ of an avocado
Step 1: After you put the rice on the nori sheet, sprinkle it with black and white sesame seeds. Then flip the sheet over so that the rice will be on the outside when you roll.
Step 2: Layout the crab and add the avocado. Roll it up and serve with pickled ginger, soy sauce, and wasabi!
The spicy tuna roll is another western favorite! The one has a spicy tuna inside it and a spicy mayo sauce on top! If you like spice, this is the sushi roll for you! Here’s what you need other than the rice and nori sheet:
1 tablespoon Japanese mayo
4 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
4 oz. sushi grade tuna, minced
2 teaspoons chopped scallions
½ teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons white roasted sesame seeds
Step 1: Combine the Japanese mayo and 1 teaspoon of the Sriracha sauce in a small bowl. Set aside for later.
Step 2: Place the tuna in a bowl and add the remaining Sriracha sauce, 1 teaspoon of the chopped scallions and all of the sesame oil. Toss to coat.
Step 3: Sprinkle the rice with the sesame seeds and flip your prepared nori over so that the rice will be on the outside once you roll it.
Step 4: Lay your tuna mixture out and roll it up! Once you have it sliced, garnish it with the mayo/Sriracha mixture you made in step 1!
If you’re a vegetarian, or the thought of fish (especially raw fish) makes you nauseous, this is a great roll for you! The only thing in this one is sauce, seeds, and cucumbers! Here’s what else you need:
1 tablespoon wasabi
Step 1: Peel and slice the cucumbers into long strips.
Step 2: Spread the wasabi in the center of the rice on the nori sheet and then sprinkle all of the rice with sesame seeds.
Step 3: Lay the cucumbers at one end and roll it up! This roll goes great with extra wasabi and soy sauce on the side!
These are some of the most basic and popular rolls in western culture. Once you have these down pat, you can branch out and try more exotic variations like a rainbow or volcano roll! All you have to do is type it into a Google search and you’ll find tons of recipes! Let us know which one's your favorite!