in partnership withwjla.com
2V7A4579.JPG
(Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/DC Refined)

A beginner's guide to making sushi at home

Preparing sushi at home can seem like a daunting task, you may not know what ingredients you need, what type of seaweed to buy, or how you get the darn thing to stick together! But we teamed up with Chef Kaz of Kaz Sushi Bistro to break down the sushi making process into some simple steps that will turn you into a sushi making pro.

So, invite your friends over, follow the easy steps below, and host a sushi making party!

Preparing Sushi Rice (Shari or Sushi Meshi)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice (makes 3-4 rolls)
  • Sushi vinegar

Rinse the rice

You are supposed to rinse the raw rice until the water runs clear, but generally California rice has less starch than rice from Japan, so it probably requires a few more rinses. These days some rice is pre-rinsed which doesn’t require any rinsing at all. It is also suggested to let the rinsed rice drain in a colander for 30-60 minutes. DO NOT use instant rice, converted rice, or brown rice. The rice you use should be short-or medium-grained rice for traditional sushi.

Cook the rice

Even though the ratio of rice to water is very crucial and varies by the season and type of rice, a fairly consistent recipe is to use equal amounts of rice (before rinsed) and water, which will make approximately double amount of cooked rice. Using a rice cooker is highly recommended but if you don’t have one, you can use a thick pot with a tight lid. The rice and water are brought to a quick boil, boiled for 1 minute, covered, simmered for 20 minutes, and let stand for 10 minutes after removing from the heat.

Add the Vinegar

Put the hot rice in a large bowl and pour sushi vinegar evenly over the surface of the rice, mixing it into the rice with quick cutting strokes. You should use 3 tablespoons of vinegar per cup of raw rice. Fan the rice at the same time to cool the rice quickly.

Preparing the Classic Maki Sushi Roll (Rice on the inside of the nori)

Ingredients

  • Bamboo mat
  • Nori seaweed
  • Sushi rice and fillings (fish and or vegetables to your liking)
  • Wasabi
  • Bowl for water to wet your hands

The rough side of the nori

Most nori that you will find at a store is a full size sheet. Unless you want to make Futomaki (big roll), you need to break down the nori sheet in half along with the lines you see on the nori sheet (or cut it in half with a knife). Feel the nori sheet from both sides and you will find one side to be a bit smooth and the other a little rough. The nori should lay with the rough side facing upwards.

Getting busy with rice

Get your hands wet just a little, and pick up about a handful of rice to a ball of rice. It's important to keep your hands wet while working with sushi rice because it is sticky. When you work with the nori though, you should keep them as dry as you can. That is why you should have a bowl of water (with a bit of rice vinegar added to it) and a tightly squeezed wet hand-towel nearby when making sushi.

The spread

Gently put the rice ball in the middle of the nori sheet, and start spreading it equally on the nori, creating a layer of rice covering almost the entire sheet except the upper margin of about ½ inch that should be kept uncovered. Later on, the margins need to be empty of rice in order to close to sushi roll properly. Be careful not to compress the rice, but merely spread it over the nori.

Can you fill this?

Now it's time to place a slice of fish (preferably no more than one) on the center of rice, along with 1-3 pre-cut slices of vegetables (carrot, cucumber, green onion, asparagus, and so on... allow yourself to get wild on this matter). The most common mistake for beginners is placing too much rice and/or filling so the roll won’t be closed properly.

Commence the rolling sequence

Move the filled nori down to the bottom of the mat towards you with a ½ ” space left of the bamboo showing. Using the closer edge of the rolling mat, close on the filling with the nori making a rectangular shaped hill and tighten it from above. (See photo gallery)

Continue the rolling sequence

Move forward, continue rolling in the rectangular hill steps, keeping it tight with every move until you reach the end of the nori. Put pressure on the roll from all three sides at all time, especially on stops to allow it to roll tightly. (See photo gallery)

And....cut!

Use a very sharp knife to cut the roll into little sushi units. 6-8 units per roll - that's your call. Each time, make sure you clean the knife (especially so that there is no rice sticking to it) with wet towels. Try not to press the knife onto the roll. Use knife with stroke motion like using saw. Putting your index finger on the back of blade makes you look like a professional sushi chef.

Preparing an Inside Out Roll (Rice on the outside of the roll)

Wrapping the bamboo mat

Cover the bamboo mat with a plastic wrap about 2-3 full rounds of wrapping. This prevents rice sticking to bamboo mat.

Break point

You need to break down the nori sheet in half, along the lines you see on the nori sheet (or cut it in half with a knife). Place the nori sheet on the rolling mat about ½ inch from the bottom edge, with the rough side of the nori facing upwards.

The spread

Gently put the rice ball in the middle of the nori sheet, and start spreading it equally on the nori, creating a layer of rice covering almost the entire sheet except the upper margin of about ½ inch that should be kept uncovered. Later on, the margins need to be empty of rice in order to close to sushi roll properly. Be careful not to compress the rice, but merely spread it over the nori. Then flip the nori over so the rice is face down on the bamboo mat.

Can you fill this?

Now it's time to place a slice of fish on the center of the nori, along with 1-3 pre-cut slices of vegetables (carrot, cucumber, green onion, asparagus, and so on.. allow yourself to get wild on this matter).

Commence the rolling sequence

Move the filled nori down to the bottom of the mat towards you with a ½ ” space left of the bamboo showing. Using the closer edge of the rolling mat, close on the filling with the nori making a rectangular shaped hill and tighten it from above.

Continue the rolling sequence

Move forward, continue rolling in the rectangular hill steps, keeping it tight with every move until you reach the end of the nori. Put pressure on the roll from all three sides at all time, especially on stops to allow it to roll tightly.

And....cut!

Use a very sharp knife to cut the roll into little sushi units. 6-8 units per roll - that's your call. Each time, make sure you clean the knife (especially so that there is no rice sticking to it) with wet towels. Try not to press the knife onto the roll. Use knife with stroke motion like using saw. Putting your index finger on the back of blade makes you look like a professional sushi chef.

col1_vertical_list_trending