(I apologize if this is the second time this post has shown up. I am having technical difficulties with editing and publishing drafts of posts.)
When I first thought of rolling my own maki rolls (colloquially referred to as sushi rolls) it seemed like a daunting and overly complicated task to undertake. Having done it for a number of years now I feel that I have grasped at least the basics of what to do. Now I can roll a pretty decent maki roll. And if I can do it, so can you. All you have to do is realize that like anything else in the kitchen, practice is essential.
Items you need before you start:
- a rolling mat
- a sharp knife
- a bowl or large tupperware with water
- a dry towel
- A clean rolling surface. (You can simply use the same cutting board you use to cut the ingredients, just wipe it down after you finish cutting.)
- Plastic wrap
- 1 1/2 C sushi rice (We use Nishiki brand.)
- 2 C water
- rice vinegar (optional)
- 1 small or medium cucumber (skinned and seeds remomved)
- 1 avocado
- Nori (This is the seaweed wraps. Use whatever you can find. We usually use Nagai’s Roasted Seaweed Sushi Nori.)
The How To
***If you can, start the rice early so that it has time to cool before you work with it. I always make the mistake of waiting too late and then have to quick-cool the rice—this usually involves setting it on a porch or, last time, outside on the recycling bin. Either way, give yourself time to cool the rice down before you handle it.***
Rinse the rice first until the water coming off it is no longer white. Add the rice and the water to a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and coook until the water is absorbed by the rice. The rice should still be a bit wet/sticky looking. I then add a few dabs of rice vinegar and gently incorporate it into the rice. [This is the quick way to make sushi rice. It is certainly not the auethetic way. For that, check out the recipe over at The Pioneer Woman on how to make a proper sushi “su” (the vinegar solution).] Once the rice is finished, set aside to cool.
Preparing the vegetables
Skin the cucumber and cut the entire cucumber in half lengthwise. This should expose the seeds on the inside. Take a spoon and drag out the seeds. Depending on the size of the cucumber, cut it into thirds or fourths. Then cut each section into matchstick size portions. Set aside.
Take the avocado and run a knife through it until you feel it hit the pit. Run the knife around the pit until you have cut the avacado in half. Twist the two pieces apart. Set the pitted side down and carfeully remove the pit by smacking it with the knife, twisting, and pulling the attached pit out of the avocado. (Be very careful taking the pit off the knife.) Depending on the size of the avocado you should try to cut the avocado into 8ths. As you go along you can remove the avocado peel if it starts to come off, or wait until the end to remove it. I then like to cut the avocados slices in half or into thirds (it doesn’t really matter, you can experiement to find which is best for you).
Three Tips: (1) Wrap your mat in plastic wrap! This is essential to not only extending the life of the mat, but it also helps to keep the rolled maki from sticking. (2) Keep your hands wet while you press the rice onto the nori. When done correctly you shouldn’t have any rice stuck to your hands. (3) Keep your knife clean after cutting each roll—this means dipping it in water and/or wiping it off with a towel.
- Put the nori sheet down on the mat with the rough side facing up.
- Take a hand full of rice and press and spread it out on the maki so that the rice is about 1 cm high; be sure to cover the nori all the way to the edges. I make sure to leave at least a 2 cm gap at the top of sheet without any rice.
- Line your ingredients across the edge of the nori: e.g., put down the cucumber from just inside one edge of the nori to just inside the other edge; then put the avocado on top of the cucumber, and so on.
- Fold the mat and the nori over the filling—pulling any of the filling back in the roll and pressing down at the same time to tighten the roll. Continue rolling and tightening until you reach then end of nori. I then wet the last bit of exposed nori sheet and finish completely the role.
- Drape the mat over the roll and press down on all three sides to ensure that it is tightened.
- With a sharp knife, cut the roll in half. Cut each half in half, and then again. This should leave you with 8 rolls.
[Written instructions can only do so much. Seeing an actual demonstration will help. Here is a video as a helpful tool.]
ALL recipes can be located again (once they are not the main post) by clicking on the Recipe Sunday Menu, and then selecting the recipe you want to view!