Thursday, October 20, 2016


I love sushi, but I don't always love going to get sushi.  Growing up in the valley there's a lot of cheap sushi places that have very small portions 2-4 pieces. I always want to to try a ton of different things but I never want to eat the whole roll.  Moving to the OC I struggle to find the sushi place that I am looking for and I'd like sushi for lunch, debating these issue for several months I searched Pinterest and after learning how to make sushi rice and that as long as the fish is frozen before hand you should be safe I worked up the courage to make sushi myself. 
My fist time I started with a variety of California rolls because it seemed the easiest way to begin. Today I got brave enough to try tuna (it's our favorite type of sushi).  I wanted to do the tuna on top of the rolls but chickened out last minute.

Sushi Rice

Begin your sushi by making Sushi Rice.  I was ambitious today and started with two cups of rice. 
Measure your rice and place into a bowl (I use a large sour cream tub) fill with water swirl rice to rinse and then dump out.  Repeat 4-6 times.  When you are finished the water should be clear enough that you can see the rice instead of milky.  Drain rice in strainer leave for 5-10 minutes.  Place rice in pan (or rice cooker).  Place your index finger on the rice as you fill with water stop when the tip of your finger is covered.
Place pan on stove and bring to a boil stirring once or twice.  After it boils turn down to low heat cover and cook 8-10 minutes.  Turn off heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes. 

In small saucepan prepare the seasoning.  Add 1/4 cup Rice vinegar, 2 tbsp Mirin, 1 tsp sugar and 1/2 tsp salt. Heat and stir till dissolved. (If you don't have Mirin or don't like using alcohol for cooking just use all rice vinegar and and an extra 1/2 tsp sugar)
Turn out the rice into a non metallic container.  (Ideally a flat wooden Japanese rice Hangiri I usually use my trusty sour cream tub but ended up in a flat bowl as it was too small for 2 cups rice) with a rice paddle or wooden spoon (nonmetallic) cut the seasoning into the rice until thoroughly combined.  Let sit.

Prepare your Ingredients

Cucumber: I like cucumber in rolls.  You should use Japanese cucumber which have smaller seeds and nicer texture than American cucumber but American cucumber is what I had.  To make it work I cut the cucumber in half.  Then I cut that half in half lengthwise.  I peel the skin off and scrape out the seeds with a spoon.  Then I cut it into small strips. 

Avocado: I love avocado in anything and especially sushi.  I just cut the avocado in half and then slice the half without the pit into thin slices.  I let the skin stay on and just peel it back as I use the slices in the rolls.

Tuna: I used a 4 ounce frozen tuna steak I bought at Aldi.  Slice the tuna thinly.  To top your sushi slice the fish very thinly with your knife at an angle.  (I chickened out at the last minute and decided I wasn't ready for the challenge.  Didn't like my cuts or have faith in my rolling slicing capabilities to top my sushi. Maybe next time.). The long thin slices go in your tuna rolls and any miscellaneous shapes get chopped up for spicy tuna.  (Yum!! spicy tuna) Toss the cut pieces of in a bowl for spicy tuna.

Spicy tuna: Add a 1/2 tbsp of mayonnaise and 1/2-1 tbsp (to taste) of Sriracha sauce if using American mayonnaise add 1/4tsp of rice vinegar and a pinch of sugar.  Stir.

Bowl of water

Make the Rolls

OK it's go time.  Lay out your sushi mat.  Place a piece of Saran wrap on top.  Take a piece of nori out of the package fold it in half lengthwise for bite sized rolls. Place your half sheet of Nori on your mat shiny side up.  Wet your hands and grab a small handful or rice.  Spread the rice out on the nori wet your hands if it's getting too sticky.  Sprinkle sesame seeds on the rice if you like then flip. 

Make a very thin row of ingredients.  Mix it up how ever you like.  I started with tuna, cucumber, avocado.  If any of your slices seem too large cut in half.

Bring the edge of the nori over and wrap.  ( First time I rolled my plastic wrap into my roll.  The wrap is one with the mat you may need to pull it up and away.) Be careful that your edges meet so your roll closes.  

Slowly begin to squeeze evenly and tighten the roll with your sushi mat.  Open the mat and see how it went.  (Occasionally mine end up with a silly triangle bump on one side.  Just replace and roll again with even pressure to smooth it out.)

If you over fill your roll like this one where I tried some rice on the inside for the first time the roll won't close it will squish out and make a mess.  

Sometimes the nori squishes in to the roll and does close. Try to bring the nori back out and over more neatly and re-roll as best you can.  There's an art to sushi making and practice makes perfect.  So keep making sushi.

Place finished rolls on a plate in the fridge to make slicing easier.  When you're done making rolls and ready to eat slice the rolls into one inch pieces with a very sharp knife.  Have a wet towel handy to wipe the knife with whenever it feels sticky. A little bit of a sawing motion works better than just pressing down anytime the knife doesn't go straight through. 

Top with eel sauce, spicy mayo, Sriracha  or serve as is. Have soy sauce and wasabi handy for dipping.  Some pickled ginger is also nice to have on hand.

Eel sauce
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp Mirin
1 tbsp brown sugar

Combine in small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Boil for one minute then simmer till thickens slightly.  Will thicken upon sitting.

Spicy mayo
1/4 c mayonnaise
1-2 tbsp Sriracha
1/2 tsp rice vinegar
1/4 tsp sugar

Combine in bowl mix.

Sushi mat (I found one at Daiso for $1.50)
Sharp chefs knife
Saran wrap (stretch tite from Costco FTW)

Nori/seaweed (make sure your sheets are wide enough to wrap around a roll I first got ones too narrow.  Sprouts had full sheets and I've seen them at some Ralph's)
Sushi rice (how it's made more than type I use regular white rice that I buy in bulk)
Fish (tuna steaks I found mine frozen at Aldi for $4.99 for a 3 pack, Imitation crab sticks)
Rice vinegar
Sesame seeds
Cream cheese
Wasabi (found at Daiso also saw at Sprouts)

Ingredients for Sushi Rice
2 cup White rice (actual sushi rice is best but any short grain will work fine I haven't seen sushi rice in the supermarket and haven't gone to an Asian market)
1/4 cup Rice vinegar
2 TBS Mirin
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

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