22 May 2013
How to Make Sushi
Last weekend we threw a party. An 80s themed party. It was our last house party before we leave, so we wanted to go big, but I also didn't want to spend too much money on food. I was thinking of 80s-esque food and instantly thought of sushi (we had just watched Valley Girl). I needed to do something cheap that could sit out for awhile without being chilled, so I went with cucumber rolls and vegetable rolls with cucumber, avocado and carrots.
I went online to find instructions on how to make sushi and was surprised to not see a lot of very good recipes. In the end, I followed the instructions on the back of my Niko Niko Calrose rice bag for sushi rice and loosely followed the instructions on this vegetable sushi recipe on Epicurious. Luckily, my sister and her husband have made sushi a few times, so they were able to loan me their bamboo mats for rolling and the fan for cooling down the rice. Cooling down the rice is an important step as warm rice will create steam, which causes the seaweed to tear when you're rolling it.
And a little note on the seaweed. When I went to Uwajimaya to purchase it, there were a LOT of choices with prices ranging from $1.99 to $12. For seaweed. I chose to grab one that was on sale for just under $3. It worked. Don't lose sleep over this decision.
Mom helped me cut the vegetables into thin strips. I got a little crazy (not really) and threw in some cilantro leftover from her homemade salsa, just to see if the flavor would work well. It did. It gave a little extra freshness to the vegetable rolls.
3 cups short grain rice, such as Niko Niko Calrose rice, washed very thoroughly
3 1/4 cup water
Seasoning for rice
5 Tbsp rice vinegar (unseasoned)
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
Nori (seaweed) sheets
English cucumber (I chose not to peel mine)
Small bowl with a half and half mixture of vinegar and water
Bring water and rice to a boil, turn to low, then cover and let cook for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, combine ingredients for seasoning in a small bowl until sugar has dissolved.
Cut vegetables into long, thin strips (they should be long enough to run the length of the seaweed sheets, with the exception of the avocado, clearly).
Once rice has finished cooking, transfer to a large bowl and add seasoning. Mix carefully until combined. Fan the rice until completely cooled.
Once rice is cool, cover the bowl with a clean, damp kitchen towel until ready to use. Place a bamboo sushi mat on a work surface with the bamboo strips facing you horizontally. Place the nori sheet horizontally, shiny side down, on the mat, aligned with the edge nearest you. Dip your hands into the vinegar-water mixture and spread the cooled rice in an even layer over the nori sheet, leaving the top one-fourth of the nori uncovered. Arrange the cucumber and carrot sticks and the avocado slices in a horizontal strip across the bottom portion of the rice (not too close to the edge or it'll start to slip).
Starting at the edge closest to you, lift the mat, nori, and rice over the filling to seal it inside, then roll up the sushi into a tight cylinder, being careful not to tear the nori. Use your finger to lightly moisten the outer edge of the nori with the vinegar-water mixture to seal the roll. Dipping a sharp knife in water before each cut, cut the roll in half crosswise, and then cut each half crosswise into 3-4 equal pieces.