Sushi is fun and easy to make, and yet is still a fine art at the same time.
I'm going to limit this recipe to maki (rolled), since the others are
a bit more complicated and not as fun to eat IMO.
- Prepare sushi rice. One cup uncooked seems to be enough for five
Maki rolls or so.
- Let the rice cool. This is very important. You may use a fan.
- Take a square of nori. Flatten it out, preferrably on a bamboo mat,
piece of wax paper, or other rollable surface.
- Put a layer of rice on the lower half of it. (Figure out the thickness based on experience.)
- Put some filling (such as raw or smoked salmon or tuna, cooked eel or crab,
or some vegetable) on the rice.
- Roll the nori until you have a nice tube. You may need to put some of
the rice's starch on the uncovered part of the nori in order to make it
stick. This is normal. As you roll it, be sure to get it as tight as you
can (without tearing the nori, of course).
- Cut the resulting maki into pieces using a sharp, preferrably non-serrated,
knife (it helps if it's slightly wet). Optionally, dip the ends of the pieces into a thin bed of toasted
white sesame seeds (this is particularly nice with maki filled with salmon,
carrot, or cucumber).
- Serve with soy sauce and wasabi.
After you get good
at using a full square of nori
, practice using only a half-square (i.e. 2:1-aspect rectangle
) - the rice will be in a thinner layer, covering the entire
sheet except for a little bit at top. You get a much more balanced
taste (less seaweed
, more stuff
), and it's easier to cut
and such and looks more professional
Advanced technique #2: to make inverted rolls (like how california rolls are typically), after you spread the rice and put on the filling (and optionally the toasted sesame seeds), put a piece of saran wrap on top, flip the whole thing over, and roll the maki up with the saran wrap holding it together. Cut the roll normally and peel off the saran wrap.
Some typical fillings
- salmon (maki), raw or smoked (or cooked, but it's not nearly as yummy then)
- eel (unagi), grilled, often with a light drizzle of teriyaki sauce
- egg (tamago) done as a Japanese omelet
- carrots (ninjin), shredded
- crab or krab, often with carrots
- cucumber, shredded or julienned
- tuna, raw
- caviar (an acquired taste, which I don't have any intent to acquire, personally)