Ryan and I share the month of August as our birthday month, with our birthdays only a week apart. For our birthday, my brother-in-law, Justin, gave us all the fixings to make sushi at home: sushi rice, nori, soy sauce, wasabi, rice vinegar, and the bamboo sushi-roll mats.
A month later, we finally worked up the courage to tackle such a daunting meal (aka we finally had a few free hours on a Saturday night). The day before, we went to the grocery store and bought some crucial filling ingredients: cucumber, avocado, carrots, bean sprouts, imitation crab, and sesame seeds. Note, we are staying away from the raw fish...we'll still hit up the Drunken Fish for the salmon and tuna rolls ;)
As you can see from the pictures, they turned out much better than expected! (I can brag because Ryan did the rolling and cutting) We were so excited to be sitting in our kitchen in our sweats (okay, I was the only one in my sweats) eating sushi that looked like it was made in a restaurant!
This actually was not as difficult as we anticipated and it probably only took us a little over an hour, start to finish.
For the rice-
-1 1/2 cups sushi rice
-1/3 cup rice vinegar
-2 tablespoons sugar
-1/2 teaspoon salt
For the sushi-
-Sushi rice, prepared as described below
-sheets of Nori (seaweed paper)
**note: the fillings go farther than you would expect, you don't actually need a ton! We had plenty of leftover filling ingredients
-Wasabi (we used wasabi paste that came in a tube)
1. Cook plain rice in a rice cooker or on the stove (we used a rice cooker which was fabulously easy).
2. While rice is cooking, cut and slice your filling ingredients. If desired, toast your sesame seeds in a skillet.
3. Once rice is finished, pour into a wooden bowl and allow to cool. Rice will be sticky!
4. In a separate bowl, mix the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
5. Slowly pour the vinegar mixture into the rice, folding the rice to mix well (be careful not to crush the rice and ruin its consistency) .
6. Lay out a sushi-roll mat and place a piece of nori on it, shiny side down.
7. Spread a thin layer of rice on the nori, leaving about an inch free on one edge.
8. In the middle of the nori sheet, lay your filling ingredients so that they stretch from one side to the other (we mixed and matched our filling ingredients. We did some traditional california rolls with cucumber, avocado, and crab, did some rolls with all of the veggies, and did some rolls with all of the ingredients).
9. Using the bamboo mat, carefully roll the nori over the filling, tucking it in once it's past the filling.
10. Continue rolling the nori in a tube shape, tucking and squeezing as you go to maintain its shape.
11. Once the nori is completely rolled, make sure the end is sealed by pressing along the seam.
12. Using a wet, sharp knife, cut the roll into as many pieces as desired.
13. Repeat steps 6-12 until you've made as many rolls as desired.
14. Chow down! We ate our sushi (dipped in soy sauce and wasabi that made our nostrils burn!) with edemame (we bought the frozen edamame at Trader Joe's--takes 5 minutes to make and it's so good!).
15. Pat yourself on the back for making such an impressive meal!
Lots of steps to this recipe, but definitely worth the effort!