I’m seriously on an Asian kick this week. I had Vegetable & Shrimp Tempura for dinner one night, Fancy Q’s Sushi Bar & Grill (which I don’t recommend) for lunch, and now homemade Sushi for lunch. The good part is sushi is a lot easier to make than you think, novice or not, and it’s pretty cheap. Remember, you can fill a roll of sushi with anything you want, but we went with something simple. The recipe here makes four rolls of sushi for two people.
1 block cream cheese
1 grilled chicken breast (or other protein of your choice)
1 pack of Nori (dried seaweed, you can find it in the oriental isle at any grocery store)
1 bag of Japanese rice, you can use any rice, it will just need to be over cooked to make it sticky
Soy Sauce & Wasabi (for obvious reasons)
If you have actual Japanese sushi rice, it takes a second to prepare. First, put it in a colander it won’t go through and rinse the mess out of it. I mean, rinse it until the water isn’t cloudy white anymore, takes a few more times than you think, and after let it sit in a colander for 30 minutes before steaming. The ratio of water to rice when steaming Japanese rice is also different. With most white rice the ratio is 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water, but Japanese rice is 3 cups of rice to 3 1/4 cups of water. Let the rice boil, then steam for about 15 minutes – or just buy a rice cooker and then you don’t even have to worry about it.
The main thing you need in using white or long grain rice, is just to make sure it’s sticky. The Japanese rice will be sticky, but if you just over-cook some white rice, it will be just as sticky. There is no real trick from keeping the rice sticking to your fingers, maybe a little vinegar, but it’s going to stick either way.
Alright, while the rice is cooking, cut your ingredients. The best part about cutting for sushi, is everything just needs to be in long strips. Like this:
Yes, I know it’s on a neon green plate decorated with sandals – thank SaltwaterChef for the plate ware! She also cooked the rice and cut the vegetables!
Notice, we aren’t using a sushi mat (because we lost it) but aluminum foil worked just fine, and the rice didn’t stick to it. Now there are two ways to start your sushi – do you want the rice on the inside or the outside? Either way, spread it comfortably over one side of your Nori. There are two different sides of the Nori, a matted side and a glossy side. Use the matted side if you want rice on the inside of your sushi (solely for appearance purposes), but if you want the rice on the outside, it doesn’t really matter.
The one tricky party to rolling sushi is not over stuffing the inside. If the veggies and (or shrimp!) are about 1/4 an inch thick, it should work out just fine. Lay all your ingredients in the middle and roll one end to the other. Use the aluminum foil and squeeze the ends nice and tight so the ends adhere to each other.
How do you make all the pieces of sushi the same size? Cut your roll in half, then cut those two halves in half – giving you 4 pieces per role. If you want, before you cut it, batter it in some tempura mix and fry it first!
Your final product might look similar to this!