I thought I would share how this idea turned out, as it was way easier and yummier than expected! Homemade sushi maki! What a great treat to bring to my friend’s party, and what a fun thing to get to make again and again. Here’s how it went down:
I went to the local Asian market. I don’t know if you have one in your town, but if you have and haven’t been I highly recommend it. I hadn’t been to this one – and it was really exciting. So different than my traditional grocery store. I felt like I had not only been transported to a different country, but also a different era. I bought a 5 lb. sack of sushi rice, two packets of 10 Nori (seaweed sheets), a jar of pickled ginger, a tube of wasabi, and the biggest cucumber I have ever seen. I happen to have a bamboo rolling mat – but if I didn’t, I could have picked up one here on the cheap.
I have made sushi rice one other time, years ago. I remember it being a big ordeal, and there was lots of fanning of the rice with a towel to keep the temperature just ever so. For this, a little research turned up the incomparable Alton Brown’s EASY recipe that turned out GREAT. I will never go back. I looked at this great blog to help with the assembly of the sushi. Here we are! Please enjoy:
(Recipe makes 5 rolls; or 24 pieces of sushi.)
2 cups sushi or short grain rice
2 cups water, plus extra for rinsing rice
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
bamboo rolling mat
5 nori sheets
one large cucumber
one ripe avocado
soy sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger to serve
(For the gluten free folks – use wheat-free soy sauce.)
Place the rice into a mixing bowl and cover with cool water. Swirl the rice in the water, pour off and repeat 2 to 3 times or until the water is clear.
Place the rice and 2 cups of water into a medium saucepan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Once it begins to boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cover. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
Combine the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl and heat in the microwave on high for 30 to 45 seconds. Transfer the rice into a large wooden or glass mixing bowl and add the vinegar mixture. Fold thoroughly to combine and coat each grain of rice with the mixture. Allow to cool to room temperature before using to make sushi or sashimi.
Prepare the cucumber: Wash and cut the cucumber into quarters then de-seed it. Cut into long thin strips along with the avocado. (No need to peel the cucumber. The dark green adds a nice visual to the end result.)
Lay a sheet of nori on the rolling mat. Sprinkle about a snowball size ball of rice over the nori, leaving 1/2 inch at the top. Wet your hands frequently and press the rice nice and tight to about 1/4 inch thick. (Wetting your hands will keep the rice from sticking to them.) Place cucumber strips and or avocado in the center of the rice-covered nori.
Begin rolling by placing your fingers under the bamboo mat and rolling the nori in on itself. Keep rolling, letting the mat fall back as you go. Make sure that you don’t roll too tight or the nori will split.
When you are finished rolling, wet the 1/2 inch edge with a little water and press to seal. Let the roll sit for a minute, then transfer to a cutting board. Wet a sharp knife with a little hot water and cut the roll into 1 inch pieces. You may have to re-wet and clean off the knife every few slices.
Serve rolls at room temperature with some soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger.