The Art of Sushi-Making
One of my first jobs in the food service industry was as a server at this tiny sushi restaurant in Euless, Texas. The owners were a married couple from Korea, who had studied the Art of sushi-making in Japan. On slow days, I would spend hours watching Mr. Kim roll sushi. Occasionally, he would let me put the finishing touches on a roll, so I slowly began learning how to do it myself. I grew to love the process and the flavors, so naturally I wanted to try making sushi at home. It’s actually a lot easier than it looks, I promise! I’ll post pictures of the process next time, but for now, here is the recipe if you want to try it yourself!
Volcano Sushi Roll
This recipe made 3 large sushi rolls and one tower roll (not pictured), with some leftover ingredients.Things you’ll need: large pot or rice cooker, medium saucepan, several large bowls, cutting board, sharp knife, plastic wrap, two squeeze bottles, a package of dried seaweed (nori) and if you have one, a bamboo mat to roll the sushi.
- 2 cups white sushi rice.
- 3+/- cups water depending on your method.
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar.
- 1/4 cup sugar.
- 1 teaspoon salt.
1.) Wash the rice until the water is mostly clear.
2.) Cook the rice. I use a rice cooker, but you can use the traditional method as well.
3.) Heat the remaining ingredients over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved.
4.) Pour the mixture over the cooked rice. Stir the rice until cool. If you can, use a fan to speed up the process and give the rice the perfect texture. It should be VERY sticky. You’ll need to keep your hands wet when you work with sushi rice.
- 2 packages of imitation crab legs, 6 oz. each.
- 2-4 Tablespoons of mayonnaise or miracle whip. I use miracle whip.
- Sriracha to taste. I like it spicy!
- Red chili flakes to taste.
2.) Mix the crab with the remaining ingredients. The mix should be fairly thick. If necessary, add the mayo slowly to ensure the right consistency.
- 6 oz. sashimi-grade tuna.
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil.
- 4 teaspoons Sriracha, more to taste.
- 1 teaspoon green onion, minced.
1.) Mince the tuna.
2.) Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Spicy Mayo- 2 tablespoons of miracle whip or mayo, 2 teaspoons of Sriracha, more to taste. Mix well, and place in a squeeze bottle, or if you don’t have any, a plastic bag with a small hole in one corner will work.
- Wasabi Sauce- 2 tablespoons of miracle whip or mayo, 1/2 teaspoon of pre-made wasabi paste, more to taste. Follow the same procedure as the spicy mayo.
- 1-2 cucumbers, julienne cut.
- 1-2 avocados, thinly sliced
Finally, the actual process:
After all of that prep, you’re probably ready to eat already. You’re almost there! Snack on some cucumber if you really can’t wait.
- Start with a piece of nori. With wet hands, spread a thin layer of sushi rice on one side. Leave about half an in of space on two parallel sides. Flip it over onto a large piece of plastic wrap or a plastic wrap covered bamboo sushi mat.
- Place 2-3 strips of cucumber, 2-4 pieces of avocado, and about 1 Tablespoon of crab mix, all in the same direction, lengthwise.
- This is the moment of truth, slowly roll the nori, parallel to the ingredients inside. Try to keep it as tight as possible. The roll should overlap, like a little debbie roll. Make sure the plastic doesn’t get wrapped up on the inside, just slowly pull it off as you go. If the roll is too loose, reapply the plastic wrap and use it to form the roll. The bottom of the roll should have the exposed lip of the nori.
- Add a thin layer of spicy tuna to the top, then re-form the roll with plastic.
- Carefully remove the plastic. Using a very sharp, wet knife, slice each roll into 8-10 pieces.
- Arrange the roll on plates. I like to do a curvy roll, but you can also do straight or circle rolls. Just be careful! If you mess up, just use the plastic to re-form the roll.
- Drizzle each roll with both sauces. Add a small dot of Sriracha on each sushi piece if desired. Garnish the plate with wasabi and ginger. Serve with soy sauce and miso soup. A simple ginger salad is also nice. I’ll definitely be trying that next time!
Once you master the process, making sushi is easy, and this base recipe can be changed easily by simply adding new things. For instance, if you use plain crab mix (no Sriracha), add cream cheese, and put thinly sliced salmon on top instead of tuna, you’ve made a Philadelphia Roll. If you don’t like raw fish, or crab mix, you can use shrimp tempura inside, use only veggies (add carrots, asparagus, etc), batter and deep-fry the entire roll, or bake the roll in an oven. The possibilities are endless!
Libbi Duncan is our newest contributor on all things health and wellness. Her main blog, The Cornucopia Woman can be found here, where she lists her own personal recipes as well as progress on her very first novel! Give her a follow and read her updates here!