When we first started cooking at home, we would explain to others, “we cook the things that are quite easy to reproduce. We would still eat out for something we can’t make at home, like sushi.” Our friends nodded in ardent agreement. Then, it happened. We experimented with some recipes and found that we can make our own sushi at home! The only exception is, we don’t use raw fish. Living in NYC, we have access to raw, sushi-grade salmon and tuna, but something weirds us out about bringing it into our tiny little apartment. With a few cooked fish replacement options, we were able to still make delicious rolls, without the threat of food poisoning. We satisfied our sushi craving and got to stay home on a Saturday night!
For this blog post, the recipe posting is going to be a little bit different. I have been inspired by Bon Appetit’s Cooking Without Recipes, where you’re given a basic recipe, but without the nitty-gritty details. So, will try that here!
To make sushi, you’re going to need some tools. While there are many people use, the only non-negotiable, in my opinion, is a bamboo rolling mat. I cover the entire mat with saran wrap, to help keep anything from sticking and for easier cleanup.
To start, you’re going to need some sushi rice. Wash 1 cup of this rice thoroughly with cold water, until the water runs clear. While this is washing, boil a few up cups of water in a hot tea kettle. Next, pour your sushi rice into a little pot and add 2 cups (double the amount) of boiling water. Raise the temperature to high and cook without a lid until the water and rice are just about the same level. Then, lower the heat to low, cover and cook for about another 12 minutes, or until the rice is fully cooked. I have tried many ways to cook sushi rice, and the method I use for Middle Eastern rice works the best for me! When the rice is cooked, add 2 Tbs rice vinegar, 2 Tbs white sugar, and about 3/4 tsp salt. I got those amounts from this sushi recipe and found that they do a great job showing how to roll sushi!
While the rice cooks, you can get your vegetables ready. Cut 1 English cucumber into thin julienne “sticks.” I find it best to half the cucumber, half it again, and then cut. You also need 1 avocado, pitted and cut into strips.
For the meat, I used imitation crab meat (you can get just the meat or buy a mix) and salmon salad mix, both can be found in your local Whole Foods.
Finally, you should have some yummy sides for your sushi. Grab your favorite soy sauce, pickled ginger, wasabi powder (add water to make a paste), and mix some Japanese mayonnaise with sriracha for spicy mayo. I also love to top my sushi with black and white sesame seeds, or even use panko for some extra crunch in or on the roll!
Once your rice has cooked, you are ready to roll! Place the nori on the bamboo mat, rough side up and smooth some sushi rice over it. You should leave about an inch on the top of the nori so the rice doesn’t pour out.
Next, mix any combination of the cucumber, avocado, crab, or salmon in the roll and roll it up!
When finished rolling, plate your cut sushi, and top some (or all!) with some spicy mayo.