Sushi bars have been around for years and they don’t just cater to those in the far east. Millions of people love sushi but think they can’t make it themselves. It takes very few instruments to make sushi, one of which is a very sharp knife. You will also need a bamboo mat or hot pad, called a sushimaki sudare or a makisu.
Finding a good market that sells sushi ingredients is important. It’s impossible to find most of the ingredients in general supermarkets. Nori, which is toasted seaweed sheets, is one ingredient you’ll need. Another is wasabi, a Japanese horseradish mustard. It’s usually found in a can, in powder form, and requires the cook to add water.
Gari or shoga, which is sliced ginger, is a condiment used with most sushi. Shredded daikon radish is another, but is optional. Su or Awaze-zu, which is sushi vinegar, is also needed. Kappa, which is a cucumber, can be substituted with European cucumbers, if desired. You’ll also need avocado, sliced thinly.
Shoyu, or soy sauce mixed with the wasabi, is used for dipping the sushi. Some people also like Japanese mayonnaise, or tamago-no-moto, found with other condiments at a specialty store.
There is rice in every sushi roll and it should be cooked where it’s slightly harder than if you’re serving it alone. Allow one cup of cooked rice for each sushi roll. Rice can be prepared in many different ways for sushi. The best rice for sushi is short-grained rice that must be cooked, rather than instant rice or converted rice. Brown rice is not preferred, either.
After cooking the rice put it into a large bowl and add sushi vinegar by pouring it evenly over the rice and mixing it together by fluffing rather than stirring. Use a tablespoon of vinegar for each cup of rice. Spread the rice out on a cookie sheet or foil to cool.
To make the basic California Roll spread a cup of rice on a sheet of nori, but not right at the edge. Leave an inch-long strip of nori uncovered for the rolling process on the opposite end. The bare strip should be the farthest away from you as you begin placing the ingredients on the nori. Place avocado slices on top of the rice but don’t stack them. Place imitation crab meat, lengthways, onto the avocado. Now place cucumber strips on top of the pile.
To roll the sushi place the nori on the bamboo mat. Fold the mat over, making sure to tuck the end of the nori to get the roll started. Roll, pressing down, but not hard, until the entire roll is complete. Cut into 8 equal pieces. Wetting the knife between cuts will prevent sticking and make a more precise cut.
Arrange the sushi on a platter with wasabi, sliced ginger, and soy sauce.