Sushi Made Simple

Beginner Sushi Guide: Making Norimaki

Whether you’re hosting a party at your own home, or you’re invited to attend a potluck dinner, you often need to make crowd-pleasing appetizers. One creative hors-d’oeuvre that’s always bound to impress is sushi; however, making sushi can seem like a daunting task for the non-culinary among us. The easiest form of sushi to make is probably norimaki – the simple, traditional rolls (think California rolls). These are great, easy appetizers and can be filled with non-raw ingredients for squeamish party guests.

Ingredients & Materials: (all can be found at your local Asian food grocery)

-sushi rice (the best kind is short-grain oval rice, I prefer Nishiki brand)

-nori sheets (one sheet per roll of sushi)

-Powered wasabi

-Rice wine vinegar

-Whatever ingredients you choose for the filling- anything from raw fish to cooked fish, shrimp, radish, cucumber, or carrot.

– Bamboo maki-su (rolling mat)

Step 1: Make the rice

First take 1 ½ cups rice and wash it in a bowl to remove the extra starch.
Then, put it in pan with 2 cups water, and bring to a covered boil.
Turn the heat to low and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed.
After that, turn off the heat but leave the rice covered and let it stand for 10 minutes.

Step 2: Prepare the vinegar

While the rice is cooking, take ½ cup vinegar and add salt and sugar to it (alternatively, you can buy pre-seasoned vinegar at the store).

Step 3:

After the rice is done, and while it is still warm, spread it out on a wooden plate or bowl using a wooden spoon and drizzle the vinegar over top. The rice sticks less to wooden utensils, and saves you from a big sticky mess.

Step 4:

To help the rice dry and absorb the vinegar, fan it with a stiff piece of paper. This process will also give the rice a nice shine.

Ta-da! The rice is done, and it is now time for the fun stuff.

Step 5:

Make wasabi by taking a tablespoon or two of dry power and putting it a bowl with a little cold water to form a paste.

Step 6: Making the rolls

Use the bamboo sushi mat by laying down with the flat sides of the wood facing down. Set a sheet of nori on the mat, rough side facing up and smooth side facing down.
Next, spread about a 2 inch wide band of rice across the bottom of the nori sheet.
Dab in some wasabi all cross the middle of the rice (for spicy rolls)
Then, place your ingredient in the center of the rice. For instance, if you are making a simple cucumber roll, take a long thin rectangular piece of cucumber and center it in your roll.

Step 7: Rolling the norimaki

This is the trickiest step! Once you are satisfied with the ingredients in your roll, begin to roll the norimaki by using your hands to simultaneously roll the nori sheeting over the filling while using the mat as a tool to help you roll. Watching YouTube videos may help you get the rolling motion down, but remember that practice makes perfect!
Before you have fully rolled the sushi, dampen the edge of the end of the nori sheet with a little water, which will act as an adhesive to ensure the roll sticks together.

Step 8: Cutting the roll

Use a sharp knife with a moistened blade to cut the roll into pieces. S
Slice down the roll in half first, and then create 3 pieces from each half.
Each roll should make about 6 equal pieces.

Serve with wasabi, pickled ginger and soy sauce! Display your sushi on a large glass tray or platter in a visually appealing way to really impress guests.

I hope this helps those brave enough to try making sushi for the first time! It is an art that will get easier with experience.