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