Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Homemade Sushi - with tutorial!

Here in southern California, sushi joints are about as common as Starbucks shops (read: on nearly every street corner). Fortunately, hubby & I love sushi, so we've enjoyed trying out lots of new places and different types of rolls. (One of our best discoveries was a roll with cream cheese - so good!) Though we definitely have our favorites to eat out at, we also recently started to make it at home, where it has quickly become a weekly favorite.

One of the first things I learned about sushi when I started making it is that it's not raw fish that gives a roll the name "sushi." Instead, it's the vinegared rice that you use (called sumeshi). That works out since I've yet to find a good source of sushi-grade fish here. Instead, I've just been using crab meat and smoked salmon - happy in the knowledge it still "counts" as sushi. It tastes great, too!

So, I thought I'd share one of our favorite rolls with you and give a breakdown of how to make it. First, you have to make your rice:

Sumeshi (Vinegared Sushi Rice)
Makes enough for 5-6 rolls

1 3/4 cups sushi-style rice (Japenese short-grained rice)
2 cups water
3 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. sea salt

Place sushi rice in a fine strainer. Rinse with cool water until draining water runs clear. Let sit in strainer for about 1 hour.
After rice has fully drained, place it in a medium sauce pan. Add 2 cups of water, cover and bring to a boil. Let boil 5 minutes, then reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let sit 15 minutes. Do not lift the lid of saucepan at all during boiling or this 15-minute resting period.
While rice is resting, mix rice wine vinegar, sugar and sea salt in a small bowl.
After the 15 minutes are up, transfer cooked rice to a large bowl. Using a silicone or small wooden spatula, fold in vinegar mixture. Let seasoned rice cool to room temperature before using. (You can make it up to a day ahead of time. Just cover it and keep it in a cool place - but not the fridge.)

Other ingredients you'll need include:
5-6 sushi wrappers (nori)
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup water

For filling:
3 crab legs
2 baby carrots
1/4-1/2 large cucumber
srirachi chili sauce (optional)

For dipping:

soy sauce
wasabi paste
pickled ginger

While you're waiting for your rice to cool, mix together 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar and 1/2 cup water. This will be your "finger water" to keep the rice from sticking to your hands when you go to spread it out.

Then, cut your filling ingredients (crab, carrots & cucumber in this case) into thin strips:
Lay a piece of nori shiny-side down on a sushi mat:

Scoop about 3/4 cup of cooled sush rice onto nori:

Dip your fingers into the water/rice wine vinegar mixture and spread rice out over the nori, leaving about 1/4" of nori sticking out on 1 end:
Lay strips of crab, cucumber and carrots across the width of the rice, about 2" from the fully-riced end of the nori:

I also dribbled a strip of sriracha (that red sauce above) along the edge of the crab for some extra spice - but this is totally optional.

Starting on fully-riced end (the left in the photos above) roll the sushi mat toward the clear end. Pick it up and over the filling, then tuck and roll to the end. It should look like this:

Now cut the roll into 3/4"-1" slices, using a sawing motion with your sharp knife to avoid squishing the roll. Flip each piece rice side up to see your handy work:
Finish the rest of your rolls (other fillings we like include avocado, smoked salmon and cream cheese), assemble on a patter and serve with wasabi, pickled ginger & soy sauce:



"Prof. Kitty" said...

Great tutorial, thank you! The results look delicious. I've made my own rolls before but kind of wing it, so great to have details on exactly how to handle everything! I also like to use strips of daikon radish!

Amy said...

Lovely! I enjoy making sushi and hand rolls at home too. Did you get a chance to visit the Japanese Market? They have really good sashimi grade fish all the time.

ValleyWriter said...

Amy - I know I asked you about the fish before, but never saw your response. I'll have to check our the Japanese Market soon -thanks!

Rita said...

WOW! I'm so impressed with your sushi. You sure are tempting me to try this out.

beeinthekitchen said...

nice :) i made sushi too- and it's very similar but I love mangoes, thus i made california makis :) check it out