Don’t get intimidated – rolling sushi is 100x easier than it looks! Your rolls might not come out 5-star restaurant worthy on the first try but it won’t be long before you’re creations are so pretty you’ll want to instagram them!
HOMEMADE SUSHI STAPLES:
- sushi rice (Nishiki is my brand of choice!)
- a bamboo mat
- plastic wrap
- nori (seaweed sheets)
- low-sodium soy sauce
- toasted sesame seeds and/or chia seeds
- sriracha chili sauce
- wasabi + pickled ginger (optional but yummy!)
You can pick up your staples at your local asian food market or in your grocery store’s international food aisle. Nearly every store I’ve been to carries all the above ingredients and some even arrange them next to the store-made sushi for easy stock-up! Sweet!
Once you have your pantry staples, all you’ll need is some fresh produce!
SOME OF MY FAVORITE VEGGIES FOR HOMEMADE SUSHI ROLLS:
- green onion
- bell peppers
- red onion
- sweet potato
Fruit-wise, pineapple, mango, apple and pear are all insanely good.
As for protein options? Anything you’d like! I typically use shrimp tempura and/or sashimi grade tuna, since that’s what’s available near me. When I lived in Virgina I was able to get fresh salmon from local Asian markets, but here in coastal NC my options are limited. You can also add tofu or cream cheese to the rolls if you’d like!
Be creative and add anything that floats your sushi boat.
STEP 1 – MAKE THE RICE:
Combine 1+1/2 cups of rice with 2 cups of water in a medium sized pot and bring to a boil. Once the water begins to boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Let the rice simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Remove from heat after 20 minutes but let the rice stand, covered, for 10 minutes or so to ensure that the rice is fully cooked. The best way to ruin the sushi is to roll it in crunchy rice. I have TOTALLY done this before — whoops! A taste test will ensure that your rice is perfectly fluffy.
Feel free to use a rice cooker or for shortcut sushi in under 2 minutes; quinoa also makes anexcellent substitute for rice!
Cooking the rice is the only time-consuming part of the entire process. While it cooks, save time by prepping your fish, veggies, and sauces!
STEP 2 – SEASON THE RICE:
If you don’t already own rice vinegar, feel free to opt for the pre-seasoned variety to save yourself a step. If you already have a bottle of rice vinegar or have white vinegar on hand, simply season with salt and vinegar to taste. For the rice measurements above you’ll need 1/3 cup of seasoned rice vinegar or 1/3 cup of vinegar seasoned with one teaspoon of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Pour over your rice, fluff with a fork, and taste. Adjust salt/sugar as desired. Remove rice from heat, add to a bowl and cover with a paper towel.
STEP 3 – JULIENNE YOUR VEGGIES:
While the rice cooks + cools – prep your veggies! Slice vertically into matchsticks and set aside. Once the rice is done you’ll be ready to roll!
STEP 4 – WRAP IT UP:
To avoid messy clean-up and scrubbing, wrap your bamboo mat in plastic wrap. Lay a sheet of nori on top and grab your rice!
STEP 5 – INSIDE-OUT OR OUTSIDE-IN:
The two most popular techniques are inside-out rolls with rice on the outside or rolls wrapped with nori on the outside and rice on the inside.
Since it’s easiest to make rolls with seaweed on the outside, that’s what we’ll start with for this homemade sushi tutorial! Grab a spoon and spread a thin layer of rice on the seaweed sheet. For large rolls, add an extra layer. I like my pieces bite-sized, so I add a thin layer and leave a little extra space at the end. Totally up to you!
STEP 6 – LINE IT UP:
Place your toppings in the center, very close to one another. If you have large slices or an abundance of ingredients you may want to pile some on top of each other.
For rice on the inside: line your veggies +/or seafood on top of the rice
For rice on the outside: flip the sheet of nori so the rice touches the plastic wrap and then add your vegetables to the seaweed-only side.
STEP 7 – ROLL, SQUEEZE, REPEAT:
This one’s hard to explain… but it’s easy to do! The first roll will bind the ingredients into the center. Roll approx 1/4 of the mat and gently squeeze (so it sticks) and unfold the bamboo mat. Repeat the process until you’ve rolled the sheet of rice, seaweed, and veggies into a spiral. Give it one last squeeze to seal the deal.
STEP 8 – SLICE AND SERVE:
Slice into bite-sized discs with a freshly sharpened chef’s knife. If you’re topping your sushi with sashimi or avocado, first tightly wrap the roll in plastic wrap prior to slicing. This will keep everything neat and pretty an avoid the horrific act of flinging avocado slices all over the kitchen. Though if that sounds like fun to you, fling away! I’ll stick with the saran wrap ?
Next pile on your toppings (see below!) and set up a few sauces for dunking.
Well, do that after you steal the end pieces off the roll (they’re always the messiest!) and shove them in your face!