Saturday, February 19, 2011

Vday Part 2: Sushi Rolls

Sushi rolls seem like they’d be very difficult to make, but they aren’t – come on, even I can do it.  For Valentine’s Day dinner, I made two different kinds of sushi rolls for my husband and me: a California-esque roll with imitation crab, cucumber, egg and a smoked salmon avocado roll.  When I was in high school (a long time ago), I would often make sushi rolls for lunch with my mom during summer breaks.  Basically, my mom would prepare all of the ingredients and the only thing I actually did was roll them (and I did a great job eating them too).  This is the first time I went through all of the steps on my own.  

I referenced the below recipes when making my sushi rolls, but I really just winged it based on what I remember from making them with my mom.  I cooked my rice normally as I do in a rice cooker, and once it was finished I tossed in the sugar, vinegar, and salt.  It really all depends on your own personal taste, but I like my rice a bit more on the sour side, so I added more vinegar into the mixture.  For the sliced cucumbers, I also tossed them in sugar and vinegar to give them that slight pickled flavor.  When scrambling the egg, I spread it out in the pan so it was almost as thin as a crepe then sliced it up into strips.

After that, you’re ready to start rolling.  Unlike the recipe below that only uses half a sheet of nori per roll, I use the entire sheet.  I tend to make my rolls twice as large as traditional Japanese sushi rolls (don’t judge me…I need my nourishment).  Rolling them up is a challenge, but the key is making sure you roll them tightly so they don’t fall apart on you when you slice – plus, they turn out much prettier.   

Next time, I’m thinking I’ll go all out and get my hands on some sushi grade salmon and tuna! 

Sliced cucumbers

Crepe-thin egg

Nori seaweed

 Crab, egg, cucumber roll

 Salmon avocado roll
Ready to be sliced

Ready to be eaten


Sushi Rolls
Recipes from

Time: 1 hour
Yields: Lots of rolls


Smoked salmon
1 cucumber, sliced thin lengthwise
Imitation crab meat
1 egg, scrambled, thinly sliced
1 avocado, sliced
Pack of roasted-seaweed (Nori)

Sushi Rice
2 cups Japanese Short-Grain Rice
2½ cups Cold Water
4 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
3 tablespoons Superfine Sugar
2 teaspoons Salt

Equipment Needed

Bamboo sushi-roll mat
Clean cutting board
Sushi knife or very sharp knife
Wood spoon or wood or plastic rice paddle for spreading rice


Sushi Rice

1. Place rice in colander, rinse thoroughly with water until the water runs clear.

2. Drain well (up to an hour). Place rice and cold water in medium saucepan bring to boil over medium heat.

3. Cover sauce pan, turn heat down to very low, cook for 15 minutes without removing the lid.

4. Turn off heat, allow to stand additional 10 minutes, still covered, spoon rice into large bowl.

5. Mix vinegar, sugar and salt in small bowl until the sugar dissolves, then drizzle over the rice.

6. Mix gently to coat the rice with the sushi vinegar.

7. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

8. Keep the rice covered with a damp cloth at room temperature until ready to make sushi. Do not refrigerate.

Sushi Rolls

1. Cut nori sheet in half and place it on bamboo mat, shiny side down. Dampen your fingers in water. Spread a thin layer of sushi rice over the seaweed, do not cover completely. Leave a 1-inch margin at the ends uncovered to seal the roll.

2. Lay your preferred fillings lengthwise on the rice.

3. To roll; slowly fold the end of the mat closest to you over the filling and tuck it in.

4. Use medium pressure to create compact tube. Remove the mat from around the roll, press in the loose ends and place it on a cutting board, seam side down.

5. Using a wet, sharp knife, slice the roll in half then in 6 equal pieces.


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