Homemade sushi (California roll)

Homemade sushi (California roll)

Homemade sushi (California roll)
Homemade sushi (California roll)

Michael and I enjoy eating Japanese food, and one of my favorites is sushi. While sushi may seem intimidating to make, it’s actually not that difficult — it just takes a little time and patience. This recipe is for nori-maki (with the nori wrapped around the outside), which is one of the easiest types of sushi to make.

I usually make California rolls, which is the recipe I’m sharing below, but we’ve also tried other varieties, like the Philly roll made with smoked salmon. The sky’s the limit — you can try any filling combination that you like!

Homemade sushi (California roll)
Serves 4 (1 roll each)
By Jane and Michael’s Gourmet Extravaganza

For the sushi rice:

  • 4 cups of freshly cooked short-grain white rice
  • 2 Tbsp + 2 1/2 tsp of rice vinegar (unsweetened)
  • Scant 2 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

For the filling (California roll):

  • 4 sheets of nori
  • 3 crab sticks, cut in half lengthwise
  • Japanese (or English) seedless cucumber, cut into thin strips
  • Avocado, cut into slices

For serving:

  • Tamari soy sauce
  • Wasabi
  • Pickled ginger

Dissolve the sugar and salt in the rice vinegar and mix well with the cooked rice. Set aside and let rice cool slightly.

For each roll, place the short end of a sheet of nori along the bottom edge of a bamboo rolling mat, shiny side down. Take 1/4 of the rice (about 1 cup) and gently press into a thin layer on the sheet of nori, leaving a 1-inch space at the top edge (farthest away from you), and a 1/2-inch space at the bottom edge (closest to you). In order to prevent the rice from sticking to your fingers, dampen them slightly with water. Place the crab sticks, cucumber, and avocado on top of the rice layer as pictured below:

Sushi, ready to roll
Sushi, ready to roll

Beginning with the edge nearest you, carefully begin to roll the sushi away from you, using the bamboo mat to provide even pressure. When you reach the end, dampen the exposed edge of the nori sheet with water and then finish rolling. If the nori does not “stick” to itself in some places, dampen with additional water in those spots. Use the bamboo mat to gently shape the sushi roll as needed.

Using a sharp knife, gently cut the sushi roll into 8 equal pieces (rinsing the knife with water between cuts will help avoid sticking). Repeat to make the remaining 3 sushi rolls. Serve with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger, if desired.

Pairs well with:
Chilled tofu
Scallion pancakes

(Recipe adapted from Japanese Cuisine for Everyone)

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