How To Make Sushi



Ingredients:

- 3 cups rice
- 3 1/2 cups water

- 2/3 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 package (about 20 sheets) of roasted nori/seaweed

- 1 package of crab sticks (8 sticks)
- 1 cucumber
- 2 avocados

- (optional) 2 cans of crab meat
- (optional) 1 salmon filet
- (optional) 1 bag of salad shrimp
- (optional) 1 bottle of lemon juice
- (optional) 1 bottle of soy sauce

Supplies:

- 1 very sharp knife, about 5 inches long
- 1 bamboo mat to roll sushi with
- 1 bowl to fill with water
- 2 to 5 hand towels
- 1 cutting board, glass recommended.
- 1 pot with a lid
- 1 frying pan
- 1 large bowl
- 1 pair of shoes with rubber sole

- The knife needs to be at least 4 inches long, I prefer the blade to be 5 inches long. This length makes it easiest to cut the sushi rolls. Also dip the tip of the knife in the bowl filled with water before cutting, which also makes the rolls cut easier and look better.
- You can buy a bamboo mat online in many locations, you should have no difficulty finding one.
- The bowl of water is both to dip the knife in, and to dip your fingers into before touching any rice. You will have to gently push the rice against the seaweed sheets to make it stick, and to evenly spread it across the seaweed sheets.
- I am a clean freak, so I use about 5 towels in the course of a few hours of making sushi. 1 or 2 will always be dry towels, to dry your hands and to wipe off the cutting board after having first used a wet towel to clean off the cutting board. You will clean the board every 1 or 2 sushi rolls, depending on how messy you are. You must clean the board otherwise what remains on the board will cause the seaweed to stick to the board itself, possibly ripping and shredding and even ruining some seaweed sheets. 1 wet towel will also be regularly used to wipe off the knife blade, as it will easily build up rice gunk on it.
- The cutting board can be wood, and this may even be what most other places recommend. However, I prefer glass because its easier to clean off. Rice sticks to wood better than it does to glass, at least in my experience.
- The pot will be used to cook the sushi in. I recommend using a pot simply because most people will not have an electric rice cooker. Cooking with a pot isn't too difficult, and the rice turns out almost as good as it would in an electric rice cooker. The pot, if filled to the rim with water, will need to be able to hold at least 2x the total 'cups' used between the sushi and water. (If you cook 2 cups rice and 2.5 cups water, the pot needs to be able to hold 9+ cups of water) The reason for this is because when cooking with a pot, at some point the water will boil up, and if the pot is too small the water will overflow and cause a huge mess. Also keep in mind that the rice will expand and take up a much larger amount of space after it has absorbed the water.
- The frying pan can be small, you will simply need it to cook the rice vinegar with the sugar and salt, mostly because you want to 'melt' the sugar into the vingar so the end result is a little thicker and stickier. I strongly recommend to not skip this step of cooking the vingegar and salt: You will be eating sushi that tastes like it might have sand in it, if the sugar is not dissolved.
- The large bowl will be used to put the rice in when its done cooking.
- Since you will be making sushi from your own home, odds are you will be standing in your kitchen for several hours. Most kitchen floors are hard with no padding. You will want some good shoes to wear so your feet and back aren't killing you after you're done making sushi.


Sushi Recipe
Part 1: Cooking the Rice:

- Put all of the rice you will be using into your pot. Put the pot under the sink and fill it with warm water (while the rice is in it) up to about half way. Put your hands in the pot, move the rice around. You are cleaning the white powder off of the rice. Dump the water out, and repeat this step one or two more times. When you are satisfied with the rice cleaning, get as much water out of the pot as you can (hand against the side to keep the rice in the pot while the water drains out). Now that you have somewhat wet rice, go to the next step.
- Measure and put in the correct amount of water. It should be about 6 parts rice to 7 parts water. Do the math. Now that the correct amount of water is in the pot with the rice, put the pot on the stove and turn the stove on its highest setting for about 5 minutes. The amount of time various from stove to stove, you are wanting it on its highest setting only until the water starts to boil: several bubbles appear each second.
- Once the water begins to boil, turn the stove down to about 1/3 of its total power. My stove is marked "Low,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,High". I turn it down from "High" to right at the "4" mark. This will be the one and only time you will need to take a large wooden spoon and mix the rice around a little to help it not stick and burn to the bottom of the pot. (I use a plastic spoon, the kind you cook spaghetti or noodles with - easier to clean and hot sticky rice doesn't stick to plastic as easily as wood.) Know that when the rice is done, there will be some rice that is overcooked and sticks to the bottom. Partially cover the pot with a lid, off center the lid so the water's steam can vent out.
- Once at this step, I usually set a kitchen timer for about 15 minutes.
- Once the 15-minute kitchen timer goes off, take the lid off of the pot, turn the stove off, and let the pot sit there while the rest of the steam vents out of the rice. I let the pot sit there for another 5 minutes or so.
- When the rice is done cooling, take a large wooden spoon or you can use chopsticks, and gently move the rice from the pot into a large bowl. Once its in the bowl, you can add the vinegar to it.

How to Make Sushi
Part 2: Preparing the Rice:

- While the rice is still cooking, during the 15 minute wait, put the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt into the frying pan. Turn the stove on its lowest setting for the frying pan, and let the vingear slowly warm up. Occassionaly mix the vinegar and sugar around to help them mix.
- The frying pan will be slowly warming up all the way until your rice is done sitting. After the kitchen timer goes off, and after waiting for about 5 mintues to let the rice vent a little more steam, this is when you will be mixing the vinegar and rice together.
- When ready to mix vinegar and rice, (by this point the sugar should have mostly dissolved into the vinegar) turn the stove onto its highest setting for the vingear frying pan. After about 15 seconds, the vingear will begin to boil, all the while you want to be mixing it. After about 5 seconds of the vinger boiling, take it off of the heat and pour it evenly over the rice. After all vingegar has been poured over the rice, take chopsticks and gently pick up portions of the rice from the bottom of the bowl and move them to the top, almost like a blender would do, to try and make sure the vingear is as evenly distributed as possible.
- Just a nice fact to know: With the boost of heat of boiling the vinegar right before applying it to the rice, the sugar is surely to have melted, and the heat also temporarily breaks up the chemical bonds between the sugar and vinegar. This way when you pour the hot-vingear onto the rice, it wont be until the vinegar cools that it forms new bonds with both the rice and sugar, making the rice even tastier and stickier to use.


Sushi Recipe
Part 3: Preparing Ingredients:

- You will definately want to use crab and cucumber for your home made sushi rolls. They are the easiest to use, and the hardest to screw up.
- Crab sticks: Microwave them until they are room temp. Cut them in half so you have 2 long crab sticks that are thin. You will be placing the flat-side of the crab stick down against the seaweed sheet.
- Cucumber: Cut off the tips of the cucumber. Peel the cucumber so the dark green skin is completely gone. Then cut it down the middle so you have 2 long peices. Cut these in half, and those in half, until you have 16 peices. Then, on each of those peices, cut off the seed-inside part of the cucumber so you dont have slimy crap in your sushi roll.
- Avocados are something I used to use, and are definately my favorite vegetable in sushi, but I don't use them anymore. They are the only ingredient which must be perfectly ripe before using. Sometimes they are too fresh and taste bitter and aren't very soft. Sometimes they are too ripe and way too mushy. Regardless of this minor inconvenience which is known to happen, when using avocado in a roll, it is so slippery that it usually 'squirts' out of the roll while rolling it, typicaly resulting in a ruined or nearly ruined roll because avocado gunk has gotten everywhere and re-rolling it may not be possible because the seaweed has gotten too wet or has been mashed up. For people new to this, you may not want to use avocado. Also, the reason for avocado squirting out is because too much pressure has been applied on rolling it, which is very common practice for people new to making sushi.
- Avocados: Cut in half. Remove the large seed. Cut both of those in half so you have 4 equal sized peices. Cut those in half, and those in half, until you have 16 peices. Remove the skin off of each one.
- I recommend spending the extra money on cans of crab. It is real crab and you can fill up a roll with just canned crab and 1 or 2 cucumber slices and it tastes great.
- Canned Crab: use a can opener, get the crab out. Take 1 can of crab, take the crab and put it in your hands. Treat it like a sponge and ring out all of the juice into the sink. Put the remaining crab onto a paper towel.
- This may not sit well with most people. Buy a filet of salmon. Buy it from the grocery store, in a pre-cut plastic wrapping. What you are looking for is basically a very thinly cut salmon slice. It costs about as much as 2 cans of crab would. This thin slice of salmon is probably 2 cm thick, and is on a cardboard sheet about 12 inches by 8 inches. I've found this to be the easiest to use, and also tastes the best when used with sushi. The larger peices of salmon usually don't sit as well after eating them, and can make you sick...
- Take the sheet of salmon and cut it up into 8 long peices that are about 1 inch wide. Then cut those in half so you have 16 peices that are about 1 inch by 4 inches by 2 cm.
- A bag of salad shrimp is fairly easy to find. The only hard part of using this ingredient is that thawing it can be a little tedious. You want all of the ice and melted ice removed from the shrimp before using it. - Salad Shrimp: Microwave thaw it, then spread out each individual shrimp ontop of a paper towel so the towel absorbs the water. Get them as dry as you can before using them.
- Lemon juice goes very well ontop of any sushi roll, or on top of salmon.
- Soy sauce and sushi go hand in hand. I only listed it as optional because some people don't like soy sauce.

Sushi Recipe
Part 4: How to Make Sushi:

- Infront of you is a cutting board. To its right is your sharp knife. To its left is a bowl filled half way with water. Ontop of the cutting board is your sushi mat to roll with. On top of that is 1 unused seaweed sheet. 1 wet towel is next to the bowl of water, and 1 dry towel is hanging out of your pocket so you can easily dry your hands. Infront of the cutting board, or elsewhere if you like, is all of your ingredients.
- Find a large plate or platter to put all of your finished sushi on. When all sushi is done being made, you will refridgerate your sushi for about 20 minutes.
- If you did it my way, you should have 16 crab sticks, 16 salmon slices, 16 avocado peices, 16 cucumber slices, and 3 cups of cooked rice. If your seaweed sheets are 'restraunt sized', about 6 inches by 3 inches in size, you'll have 16 sushi rolls when you're done.

- The seaweed sheet should be ontop of the bamboo mat, which is on top of the cutting board. The seaweed sheet is positioned such that the longest side is horizontal, the shortest side is vertical.
- Take about 1 golf ball sized amount of rice out of the rice bowl, use chopsticks to move the rice. If the chopsticks are 1 inch apart when lifting the rice, getting that amount of rice clumped together shouldn't be difficult to pick up and move. Just don't spend all day moving it, it will fall apart.
- Put that rice ontop of the seaweed sheet. Dip your fingers in the water bowl and then proceed to gently press the rice to the sheet so there is an even amount of rice spread out among the seaweed sheet.
- I prefer to leave the upper and lower edges of the seaweed sheet, the last 1/3 inch or so, to have no rice at all. This way when you roll it, the blank seaweed parts will be easier to mesh together, easier to roll it.
- Once the rice has been applied, flip over the seaweed sheet.
- The side closest to you, 1/3 of the way up from that edge, place your ingredients on the seaweed. First put the crab stick, its flat side against the seaweed. Then place the cucumber and avocado on top of it. Note: The rice side is already touching the bamboo mat.
- Take the bamboo mat and roll the sushi. It may be intimidating if you are new to it, but trust me it is very easy to roll it. It might take up to 3 or 4 tries before you get the hang of it, but it is just like throwing a baseball: it doesn't take much practice to figure out how to do it correctly.
- If you are using salmon, take 1 salmon strip, and place it ontop of the roll. Take your bamboo mat and press against the top of the roll to make the salmon stick.
- If you are using canned crab, you will find that you have 16 rolls of crab stick, but have 20 sheets of seaweed. On the 4 leftover peices of seaweed sheets, use your canned crab. 1/2 a can of canned crab will be the right amount for one roll. If you have any left over scraps of cucumber or avocado, you can use them as well for these canned crab rolls.
- Once the sushi has been rolled, dip the tip your knife into the water bowl and proceed to cut it. I like to cut it into 4 equal peices, 1/2 and then 1/2 of those 2 peices.
- Once it has been cut, use your knife to move the peices to your plate or platter. Put the knife blade under the sushi peice(s) and touch the top of the peice with your fingers to make sure it doesn't fall off.
- You can use lemon juice and/or soy sauce and coat the top of a roll to add flavor. If using salmon, I strongly recommend using lemon or lemon juice on top of the salmon peices.

- When you are done making sushi, put the made sushi thats on your plate, into your refridgerator for about 20 minutes. This will chill the rolls and the cold will make the salmon taste a lot better, as well as absorbing any 'fishy' smell. The cold dry air will also help to 'dry out' any rice that is still a little damp.


Other things to know:


- When eating your sushi, you will get thirsty pretty fast with all that rice you are consuming. Make a large pot of tea while your sushi is being chilled in the refridgerator.
- I usually eat about 6 to 10 rolls in one sitting (and I am not fat or overweight). Most people only eat 2 to 5 rolls. Keep this in mind for if you are making sushi for other people: The suggested ingredients (3 cups rice, etc) listed here feeds 3 to 10 people.