Friday, March 8

How to make sushi

A bit of Asian influence and taste again in this post.
I have mentioned Japanese food often before and its traditions, but never really explained how you can make your own sushi at home.

Friday is a day when I often buy and prepare sushi ingredients (except the fish), so that my kids, especially the youngest one, can work on her creative sushi designs whole weekend.
The sushi rice can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge for a couple of days. You can cut vegetables and prepare cooked parts (if there is any) and keep them in the separate storage containers or bags until the moment of making.
Have nori (seeweed wrappers) sheets, sesame seeds etc.. at some dry place. And don't forget the soy sauce and wasabi, usually, keep that in the fridge as well.
People usually think of sushi as a raw fish rolled in rice, but sushi can be very creative dish made to accustom almost anybodies taste buds.
Let's take for instance Korean type of sushi - Kimbap, that can be made with many cooked ingredients, like a "dinner in a roll".

 How to make sushi rice (su-meshi):

1. Wash the rice thoroughly changing the water several times until the water runs clear, then drain the rice in a fine mesh strainer and set aside for 1 hour.
2. Put the rice in a deep pan and add 15 per cent more cold water than rice (for 200g/7oz/1cup rice you will need about 250ml/8fl oz/1 cup water). The water level should not be more than a third from the base of the pan.
3. Cover the pan, place over a high heat and bring to boil; this may take 5 minutes. Turn the heat to the lowest setting and simmer for 10-13 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed.
4. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside, still covered, for 10-15 minutes before serving.

TIP:  To cook Genmai (brown rice), wash and drain the rice, then put 2 parts water to 1 part rice into a pan. Bring to the boil, cover, then simmer for 40 minutes.

Su-meshi (vinegared rice is the base for all kinds of sushi and it is essential to correctly cook the rice.

As a guide to make hosomaki (thin nori-rolled sushi), 350g/12oz/1 3/4 cups short grain rice should make six rolls (about 36 pieces), sufficient to serve 4-6 people.

5. Cook the rice following the method, opposite. For extra flavour, add a 5cm/2in square of konbu (dried kelp) to the pan of rice and water, removing before the water reaches boiling point.
6. In a measuring cup, mix 45ml(3 tbsp) Japanese rice vinegar (or white wine vinegar), 37.5ml(1 1/2 tsp) sugar and 10ml(2 tsp) sea salt to the above amount of rice and stir well until dissolved.
7. Transfer the cooked rice to a wet wooden sushi tub or a large  mixing bowl, and sprinkle the vinegar mixture evenly over the rice. Using a wooden spatula, fold the vinegar mixture int the rice; do not stir. Leave to cool before using to make sushi.

How to roll sushi

After preparing sushi rice, now is good time to learn how easy is to make sushi rolls.

nori sheets,
cooked rice (su-meshi) - previous recipe,
filling : fresh raw fish(tuna, salmon etc.. cut into strips), cooked fish, seafood or meat, cut raw vegetables(cucumber, avocado, carrot, lettuce etc..)
dip: wasabi paste and soy sauce up to taste


 Take one sheet of nori (seaweed) - shiny side down, and cover with thin layer of cooked rice up to 2/3 of the width (moisten your fingers wile doing that ) .

Lay the filling down around 1/3 of the way up from the bottom of the seaweed. Roll from the bottom pressing down to make the fillings stay in. As you continue to roll, pull the whole roll down towards the end of the bamboo mat. Spread a tiny dab of water along the top seam to hold the roll together. Set aside and continue with other seaweed sheets.

Roll (with your hands or with a traditional bamboo roller find in Asian food stores)

Roll is ready to cut!

Cut the roll with a sharp knife dipped occasionally in water.

Types of rolled sushi - maki style 

This is original Japanese style sushi roll, that can be made with many different fillings of your choice. I am bringing here two traditional styles.

Futo - maki (Thick rolled sushi) - 16 pieces 
2 nori sheets
1 quantity of cooked rice (1 cup)

2 eggs beaten
2 tbsp dashi*
2 tsp sake
1/2 tsp salt

4 dried shitake mushrooms soaked overnight into water and dashi*
1 tbsp soy sauce (shoyu*)
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp mirin*
6 large shrimps, cleaned and boiled for couple of minutes
4 asparagus cooked
10 chives cleaned

Hoso- maki (Thin-rolled sushi)

2 nori sheets
1 quantity cooked sushi rice (1 cup)
3 tsp wasabi* paste
100g fresh tuna/salmon stake
or cucumber cut in strips (for veggie version)
1 tsp roasted sesame seeds to roll in finished sushi

Korean roll - Kimbap/Gimbap:

It is similar to sushi, as it has been derived from Japanese futomaki during Japanese rule  (1910-1945), but the filling can be really rich and versatile!
It can be nice replacement for a traditional lunch or dinner or great for a pot lock or how they usually make it in Korea for a picnic!


Dried seaweed (nori) - 4 sheets
2 cups cooked rice
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp salt

1 carrot, cut into strips
cucumber, cut into long strips2 eggs
1/2 pound of spinach, parboiled
pickled radish, cut into strips
imitation crab (optional)
fishcake (optional)
battered shrimps (tempura* style)

smoked salmon and cream cheese
kimchi and cheese
spam, mayo, and veggies
ham and cheese
tuna salad with romaine lettuce and cheese
fresh or seasoned vegetables for vegetarians
When rice is almost cooled, mix with sesame oil and salt. Stir fry: carrots and cucumber briefly with a dash of salt. Whisk eggs until evenly yellow and fry into flat omelet.Cut cooked egg into long strips. Cook beef as desired. Using a bamboo sushi roller or a piece of tin foil, lay the dried seaweed-nori shiny side down.
Spread about ½ cup of rice onto 2/3 of the seaweed, (if you moisten your fingers or a spoon to pat down the rice, you'll get less of a sticky mess). Lay the first ingredient down around 1/3 of the way up from the bottom of the seaweed. Lay the other fillings down on top. Roll from the bottom, pressing down to make the fillings stay in.  Spread a tiny dab of water along the top seam to hold the roll together.  Cut each roll into 7-8 pieces, and enjoy with soy sauce and  wasabi mix.

Tempura Batter Recipe


1 large egg
1 cup - all purpose flour
1 cup - cold water
1 tsp salt
ground black pepper

Some of the ingredients explained:
nori - black seaweed wrappers

kimchi - traditional fermented Korean dish made of vegetables (mostly napa cabbage) with a variety of seasonings

dashi - cooking stock used in Japanese cuisines

shoyu - Japanese name for soy sauce

sakean alcoholic beverage of Japanese origin that is made from fermented rice

mirin -  kind of rice wine similar to sake, but with a lower alcohol content

wasabi - is also called Japanese horseradish, used as dried powder in large quantities, or as a ready-to-use paste in tubes ready to consume

tempura - batter used for frying seafood, meet and vegetables

Here are some ideas for your rolls and styles popular all around the world:

Sushi roll types:

B.C. roll- British Columbia roll contains grilled or barbecued salmon skin, cucumber, sweet sauce -sometimes referred to as salmon skin rolls outside of British Columbia, Canada.

California roll - avocado, kani kama (imitation crab/crab stick) ( can contain real crab in 'premium' varieties), cucumber, often made uramaki (with rice on the outside, nori on the inside)

Alaska roll - a variant of the California roll with raw salmon on the inside, or layered on the outside.

Dynamite roll - yellowtail (hamachi) and/or prawn tempura, and fillings like bean sprouts, carrots, avocado, cucumber, chili, spicy mayonnaise, and roe.

Spicy Yellowtail  (Hamachi) roll - yellowtail , green onion chili sauce
Hawaiian roll - shoyu tuna (canned), tamago, kanpyō, kamaboko, and the distinctive red and green hana ebi (shrimp powder).

Philadelphia roll - raw or smoked salmon, cream cheese, cucumber or avocado, and/or onion.

Rainbow roll - California roll with 6–7 types of sashimi (yellowtail, tuna, salmon, snapper, white fish, eel, etc.) and avocado wrapped around it.

Seattle roll - cucumber, avocado, and raw or smoked salmon.

Mango roll - avocado, crab meat, tempura shrimp, mango slices, and topped off with a creamy mango paste.

Spider roll -fried soft shell crab and other fillings such as cucumber, avocado, daikon sprouts or lettuce, roe, and sometimes spicy mayonnaise.

Shrimp tempura roll- battered shrimps, avocado, cucumber

Michigan roll - spicy tuna, smelt roe, spicy sauce, avocado, and sushi rice. Is a variation on Spicy Tuna Roll.

And don't forget to use always only very fresh raw fish! 

1 comment:

Senka I said...

We’ve recently launched the website It’s a search engine that aims to gather all the best recipes from US websites and blogs in one place. We’ve noticed that you have a lot of great looking recipes on your blog that we would love to feature on our site. To read more about how it all works and to sign up with your blog, please visit: or send us an email on We look forward to hearing from you!

Kind regards,