First you have to buy all the ingredients. The initial sushi time can be expensive. You might want to get a bamboo mat, a wooden paddle, chopsticks and little bowls to put the soy/wasabi mixture in. You'll also need to buy specific rice and some nori paper. For the rice (we make) you'll want to also grab some sugar and rice vinegar.
This is the rice we used.
What you put in your sushi is up to you. We had some smoked salmon, tuna, crab, shrimp, octopus, avocado, carrots, peppers, cucumber, sprouts, and cream cheese. There was also some straight wasabi to put in the rolls and sesame seeds to put on the rice on the outside.
Another consideration is to have a snack! Sushi rice takes a while to make, and it takes a while to make rolls too. These two things can make some very hungry people. We had some brie cheese, smoked salmon, capers and crackers. And beer.
Okay, so now that all that is taken care of let's make sushi!
The recipe for the sushi rice is for 1 pound of uncooked rice (We made 3 pounds to feed 14 people - I think we had 18 rolls with maybe a little too much rice per roll. Two of us figured we could have made at least 24 ish rolls had we portioned out the rice more.)
This is our recipe book.
First step for the rice is to wash it really well. We used two colanders because the rice is so small. We need a mesh one for next time. It needs to be washed until the water runs clear.
The rice is then supposed to drain for like an hour or more. Yeah, we don't do that. Straight to the pot they go!
For every one pound of rice add 2 and 1/2 cups water.
The rice now needs to be brought to a boil.
Once the rice is boiling, turn it down and let simmer for 5 minutes. After that turn the rice way down and just let it steam for another 12-15 minutes. THEN cover the rice with a towel for an additional 15 minutes.
During this time, it is beneficial to have people cutting and prepping the things you bought for in your sushi.
Also, while you are cooking your rice (we did this during the "steaming" part that takes 15 minutes) you should start on the "sauce" for the rice. I don't know what else to call it. It is what you use the rice vinegar and sugar for. I suppose you could skip this step, but then the rice would be really bland.
For every one pound of rice you've cooked, you need 5 tbsp rice vinegar and 3 tbsp sugar. Stir until boiling (the sugar should be dissolved). Then remove from the heat and let cool a little bit.
The next step for the rice is fanning to cool it. This is supposed to be done in a wooden bowl. We didn't have that. So we think creatively. We simply move the rice from the pan we cooked it in to another pan in sections adding the "sauce."
This is the pan we transferred to while adding the "sauce."
So our host started fanning the rice while we stirred it around to cool it down.
This wasn't working.
Yep, that's a fan on a chair. It did it's job. The rice cooled down.
And here is the final product... STICKY RICE!!
A tip to make rolling easier is to wrap the bamboo mats in plastic wrap. The mats will wrap a roll with rice on the inside "relatively" easily, but the plastic wrap makes rolling smoother (and keeps your mat clean!
Okay, lets start rolling! We had three mats because we had 14 people. Each mat had a cup of water. The ingredients were surrounding the rice.
We made three different kinds of rolls and I'll describe each with pictures. In order they are:
- a roll with the rice on the inside, nori on the outside
- a roll with rice on the outside, nori on the inside
- an experimental roll with JUST RICE (for all your non nori/seaweed people this one is for you!!)
The cup of water is super important. You have to make sure your fingers are really wet when getting the rice out or the rice will stick all over your hands!
ROLL #1 - roll with rice on the inside, nori on the outside (I made this one. It is a Philadelphia Roll - smoked salmon with cream cheese.)
Start by laying the nori paper shiny side down on the bamboo mat.
Spread the rice out evenly.
I don't like a big roll, so I spread the rice really thin (about a one rice depth).
This is where the wooden paddle comes in handy.
It helps flatten the rice more consistently.
Add what you want to the roll.
Place it about in the middle of the roll.
I actually made my roll "upside down" and had to flip the bamboo mat around.
This left that little lip of nori towards my hands. Like I said, I don't like too much rice.
Let the rolling commence. You fold the mat over and "tuck" the nori back under.
Keep using the mat if you want to make the roll more consistent.
You have to pull the mat back (like the picture above) so you don't roll it into the roll!
I like rolling the last of it myself.
I find it easier, but most other people use the mat.
Tada! Here is the first type of roll!
ROLL #2 - Roll with rice on the outside, nori on the inside. (This was a veggie only roll with cream cheese.)
You can do this two ways, but I'm going to show the easier way.
Start this roll the same way with nori paper shiny side down. Spread rice just like above. Now, just flip the paper over and put the rice down on the mat.
Add what you want to the middle of the nori paper just like before (you can JUST see at the front of the nori paper the rice peaking out.
Fold over just like before "tucking" the ingredients into the bamboo mat.
And here is the final product.
The rice is on the outside and can now be rolled in some sesame seeds.
You can see four hands here, the person making the roll was a first timer.
Rolling can take some getting used to (especially this kind because you have to use the mat so you don't stick to the roll).
Don't get discouraged if it doesn't roll well the first time.
It all still tastes good even if it isn't pretty!! :-)
ROLL #3 - Just rice, no nori. This was an experiment...
What I said before about a thin layer of rice, forget.
With no nori paper you need a lot of rice
to keep this roll stable.
The guy making this put stuff in it.
I wasn't paying attention to what all it was.
I couldn't eat any of this anyways.
Because you can't "tuck it,"
you have to keep the interior stuff close to the edge.
Rolling this roll you have to use the bamboo mat.
You don't want to "tuck" it or you'll just squish the rice.
So just roll and pull back the mat.
And here it is. A nori-less roll. The ends were too thin so those fell apart a little, but where the rice was thick, this roll stayed together just fine.
So there are all three types of rolls.
Final step before enjoying is the use of a REALLY SHARP KNIFE.
Now it's just time to display and enjoy.
Thanks to Jason and Kandice for picking up the ingredients (and for bringing their "expertise" lol!); thanks to Barry for providing a place for us to make this meal; and thanks to all the participants!! It was so much fun and it looked great!! Yeah for a successful sushi night!
One final photo to leave you with. I couldn't eat any of this (not on my diet yet - although I did grab a bite of of smoked salmon which was yum). I was getting hungry (I had brought a shake) and really tired (this was the most I'd done in a while). Josh was late, but not too long after he got there he got this picture.
Yep I fell asleep. *sigh*
*hugs and kisses*