How to Make Your Own Sushi
While all that slicing and dicing by your favorite sushi chef looks impressive and intimidating, it’s actually easy to make your own sushi at home. Both maki (sushi rolls) and nigiri (raw fish secured to rice with wasabi) can be assembled up in minutes and are a surefire way to impress your friends or your next big date.
Things You Will Need to Make your own sushi:
Sushi grade fish, sliced into 1”x 2” pieces
Raw vegetables, sliced into strips
Sushi fillings (cream cheese, crackers, etc.)
Sushi rice (called shari)
Nori (Sheets of Japanese seaweed paper)
Condiments (soy sauce, pickled ginger, spicy mayonnaise)
A sushi rolling mat
1. You must buy sushi grade fish to make your own sushi. According to the FDA, there are no established guidelines that dictate “sushi grade,” but there are procedures that sellers follow to ensure food safety. Go to a reputable source- like a local fishmonger or the fish counter at a grocery store- and ask for fresh fish that has been stored at proper temperatures for raw consumption. Purchase it the day you want to make your own sushi, and refrigerate it.
2. Prepare the rice. Sushi rice, called shari, is used to make your own sushi and is available in grocery stores or Asian markets. One cup is usually enough for three sushi rolls or six to eight pieces of nigiri. Wash the rice under cold water for one or two minutes, until the water runs clear.
3. Place the rice in a pot and add roughly 1 ¼ cups of water for every cup of rice. Bring it to a boil on high heat, stirring occasionally, then turn it to low and cover the pot. The rice is ready when the water is gone, so check it after six minutes and then every minute until it’s done. Don’t forget, or the rice will burn!
4. Transfer the rice into a bowl using a wooden spoon. In a pan, combine ½ cup of rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 teaspoons of salt per 3 cups of rice and cook over medium heat until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Immediately pour this mix over the rice, and stir. Then allow the mixture to cool.
5. To make maki sushi, place a piece of nori on a sushi mat with the rough side facing upward. Then, wet your hands and gather about a cup of rice, setting it in the middle of the nori and spreading it outward. Cover the entire sheet with a thin layer that you can see through, leaving a one inch margin along the top. Do not use too much rice!
6. To make your sushi roll, place a slice of fish on the edge of the nori. Add precut vegetables like carrots or green onions, cream cheese, or even crushed crackers for a crunchy kick, placing them along the edge with the fish. Free to free to be inventive and even daring. Making sushi should be fun!
7. Fold the mat over on one side and tuck the end of the nori to finish making your sushi roll. Use medium pressure and form a square, pressing on all sides, moving outward from the middle of the roll. Continue creating this square shape, lifting the mat as you go and tightening it from above, until you reach the end of the roll. Use a wet, sharp knife to cut it into six or eight pieces.
8. To make nigiri sushi, wet your hands and gather a handful of rice, then form It into egg-shape with a flat bottom and rounded sides. Then, smear a piece of sliced fish with a dab of wasabi. Place the fish wasabi-side down on the rice and press the two pieces firmly together.
9. Serve your sushi as soon as possible after you’ve made it, refrigerating it only if absolutely necessary. Set out condiments like soy sauce and wasabi paste, then grab a pair of chopsticks and dig in!