Have you ever been invited to a potluck and then panicked because you didn’t know what to bring? Is the idea of making sushi at home intimidating? It is a skilled craft, which sushi apprentices learn and practice for many, many years. In Japan you first begin as an assistant tasked with perfecting how to make sushi rice. It may not be years until you are allowed to even touch the fish!
However, on the contrary, making sushi at home or at a party with friends is a lot of fun and the rolls are eaten so quickly, there isn’t time to critique each other’s sushi-rolling skills. Depending on the types of sushi rolls you want to make, you can have as few or as many ingredients as you like. So the next time you’re invited to a party, or just need a dinner idea, try making temaki sushi (hand rolls).
Ingredients – Sushi Rice
// 2 cups short grain rice
// 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
// 1/4 cup rice win vinegar
// 1/4 cup sugar
// 2 tbsp salt
The first step is to cook the rice (preferably in a rice cooker). While the rice is cooking, in a small saucepan, combine the white wine vinegar, rice vinegar, sugar and salt and warm over moderate heat, stirring until all the sugar is dissolved.
Once the rice is done cooking, transfer it into a very large bowl. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the seasoned vinegar all over the rice: Drizzle onto a spatula while waving the spatula back and forth. Using a slicing motion with the spatula, gently separate the rice grains while mixing in the seasoning. Fan the rice while mixing it to help it dry. Cover the rice with a damp towel to keep warm while you prep the other ingredients.
Ingredients – Sushi filling:
// VEGETABLES of your choice (I used cucumber and japanese pickles): Cut the veggies into thin pieces like match sticks, about 1/8″ – 1/4″ thick. Take these slices and cut them again to create 1/8″ – 1/4″ thick sticks. If desired, trim sticks to uniform length (about 3″ long).
// AVOCADO: Cut the avocado in half. Carefully strike the pit with the blade of a heavy chef’s knife, then twist the knife to remove the pit. Peel the halves, then cut them into 1/4″ thick slices.
// RAW FISH of your choice: You may either slice the fish into thin pieces, 1/2″ – 1″ wide, 3″ long strips or mix it with mayonnaise and hot sauce to make spicy tuna. Try this recipe, here.
// CRAB: Hold the crab stick vertically in your palm. Then peel a piece from the top to the bottom, as if you are peeling string cheese.
The remaining ingredients:
// 1 pack of seaweed. Cut each sheet in half.
// Soy Sauce
Now it’s time for the fun part. Lay all the ingredients out on a table. Hold the seaweed (horizontally) in your hand and spoon a thin layer of rice on half the sheet, leaving about a 1/2″ space around the sides. Next, lay the ingredients on top of the rice at a 45-degree angle. Be careful not to add too much or it will be too full to roll and the seaweed will tear.
Now it’s time to rock n’ roll. Take the bottom left corner and roll it up towards the middle. Continue rolling and tucking to form a cone. Once all the sides are rolled in, it should look like an ice cream. Use a dab of rice on the inside corner to secure the edge of the seaweed to the outside of the cone. Dip or pour a bit of soy sauce onto the top and EAT.
The next time you host a potluck then try this make-your-own-hand roll recipe. I guarantee the adults will have just as much fun making them as the kids! Now, let’s eat!
Sushi ingredients preparation by Andy Kim & Photography by Zha Zha Liang