|I wish I had a non-blurry photo|
of this delicisousness!
First you'll need the basic ingredients. I recommend my favorite salmon roll, but you can get creative after this first try. Pretty much any roll you'd like to try (e.g., crab salad with carrots, cucumber, and radish) you will be able to make. It's just a matter of buying ingredients you enjoy, are healthy, and are easily sliced and placed into the rolls.
For Sushi Rice Wrapping:
- 10 sheets of Nori (different seasonings/qualities, find one you enjoy!)
- 3 cups short grain rice (AKA sushi rice)
- 1/3 cup of Mirin
- 3 T of sugar
- A sushi roller (It is a sheet of bamboo sticks tied together, it looks like this)
- Optional: Wax Paper and Saran Wrap
For Sushi Fillings:
- 4-8 ounces of Sashimi Grade Salmon (make sure this is the right cut/quality/freshness for sushi)
- 3 T of Low-Fat, Organic Cream Cheese (the spreadable kind; can use more if desired)
- 1 English Cucumber
- 2 Carrots
- 1/2 c Cilantro
- 1 bunch of Green Onions
- 1-2 Avocados
- 1/2 c Bean Sprouts (optional)
- Prepare the short grain rice in water, using a rice cooker or a pot. If using a pot, bring 5 cups water to boil, add rice, cover, and let it cook/simmer appropriately. Do not add salt to the water. Do not let the water boil over. It should take around 11 minutes to cook, but this time varies a lot.
- Mix the 1/3 cup of Mirin with the 3 T of sugar (you can alter the amount of sugar added based on the sweetness of rice you desire). Mix until sugar has largely dissolved. Sometimes heating the mirin slightly first can speed up this process.
- When Rice is finished cooking (and has sucked up all the water), toss it with the Mirin-Sugar mixture. You can do this in the pot or in a fresh bowl. Toss it well, making sure to spread the mixture throughout. After you have adequately mixed the mixture, the rice can sit with plastic wrap over the top to prevent it from drying out.
- *Note: the rice must be cool when rolling the sushi, so I usually make the rice earlier in the day. If you are rushed for time, you can place the covered rice mixture into the fridge. This can greatly reduce cooling time.
The Rolls Ingredients:
- NOTE: When cutting up ingredients, it is important to keep in mind that you want to chop them into shapes/lengths that will best fit in the 7 inch rolls. So, after peeling the carrots, I cut them length wise into maybe half centimeter widths and 7 inch lengths. If your vegetable is not long enough to be 7 inches (e.g., the avocados) then just cut it as long as it can go and you can string them along the inside. Remember, the thickness determines how much of that ingredient will be in each, individually cut roll. So, use your judgment on how much 'carrot' you wish to have.
- To prepare the avocado: cut in half lengthwise, around the pit, and turn the sides in opposite directions to peel them. Remove the pit. Using a somewhat dull knife, cut vertical slices in your desired thickness along the inside of the fruit. Do not cut through the skin. Then, you can run your fingers under the cut pieces, and push them out of the skin. Ta-da! If any are too thick, just adjust, but this way you can get the longest cuts possible.
- Preparing the green onions: find which part of the onion you prefer--if you like the white ends better than the tops of the greens, then make sure they're present. Personally, I cut off the whitest parts for this. I feel they are too bitter.
- Cilantro: if you like the strings of cilantro, then just separate out the bunches into individual lengths. If you prefer only the leaf, pull them off individually. If you like to mix cilantro with the added cream cheese (thus using the minimal amount) then chop/mince it and mix it into the cream cheese.
- Carrots/Cucumber/Bean sprouts: these are pretty self explanatory. Cut off parts you don't want. I advise peeling the carrots. Cucumbers can be watery, so try to get as much of the outer ring as possible.
- The fish: make sure you are using a sterile area (as meat is a grand target for germs). I always place a few layers of wax paper over a clean cutting board. This protects both the fish and the cutting board. I slice the salmon into long pieces (like the vegetables) with a good fish knife. Because I want the meat to be the focus of the sushi, I cut them into almost 1 cm thick pieces. Again, personal preference. If you have less meat, I recommend 1/2 cm, to make it last.
Rolling the Sushi:
- In a clean area, lay down some wax paper (if you prefer easy clean up) and set down the bamboo roller. Place a similarly sized sheet of cling wrap over that bamboo roller. This will keep the rice from sticking to the roller and can better prevent tears in the rolls
- Place down 1 sheet of nori on top of the bamboo roller (and the saranwrap).
- Using a wooden spoon, dish out the rice and spread it over the nori paper. Carefully, as the seaweed paper is delicate. Spoon on your desired thickness. I do about 1/4-1/2 an inch
- At the top, spread out our desired amount of cream cheese. I just barely spread some over, as I do not like it much, except it adds a great richness in limited amounts.
- Line up your ingredients along the top, in an even line. Make sure that each ingredient is present over the 7 inches. Remember, you'll be slicing this up, and if the ingredient is missing from that slice, you won't taste it. I try not to over load this amount, as you have to be able to roll it up. Generally, I do one line each of included ingredients.
- Using both hands, carefully fold over the top of the bamboo roller, rolling that first layer of ingredients into itself. The idea is you are trying to tuck the roll into itself. This can take some sliding and adjusting. Once satisfied, press down.
- After that first press, slowly work on getting the entire length of nori/rice around that initial fold. Try to use even pressure, to encourage a round shape. This honestly is a trial and error sort of thing. Hopefully, when I get some video, I can better show how to do this step.
- Eventually you will reach the end of the roll. Take that, place it at the top of the bamboo roller, and do a complete, even wrap around the roll. Press firmly, though not too hard (you do not want to spill out ingredients!).
- Unroll your bamboo roller, take a look at your first roll! Ta-da!
- Using a sharp, serrated knife, carefully cut off 1/2-1 inch rolls from the main roll, horizontally. Now you have your individual rolls! Wow!
- Repeat until you have used all your ingredients!
- *note: if you run out of most the ingredients but have left over rice and salmon, it's super easy to make nigiri sushi with that ;). Just shape the rice and plop the fish on top!
- Use what ever you like to serve/dress/eat the sushi. Personally, I like to use chopsticks, teryaki sauce, with a little soy sauce and wasabi. Enjoy your feast!
- Extra toppings: Salmon roe, wasabi, fried in brown rice flour, Sriracha sauce, soy sauce (yes, there are gluten free kinds!), cooked ginger, cooked cabbage... the possibilities are endless!