What do you make when your gluten free friend is coming over for lunch?
It is not as hard as it looks, just takes a little bit of love, a deft hand, and multitasking. Rice is such an important part of the sushi (if you’ve had gluey rice you know what I’m talking about!), therefore a big part of sushi making is taking good care in preparing the rice. I learned how to make sushi from my mom, and to this day I still think hers tastes better than mine, but my friend quite enjoyed my version today (it beat the mall’s food court sushi anyhow!). I decided to go vegetarian, but you could add cooked shrimp, salmon, or other fish (or, if you have a good fish monger, sushi grade tuna), and a wide variety of vegetables can be used but popular ones are cucumber and avocado. One thing my mom always does is a quick pickle to the crunchy veggies (e.g. carrots and cucumber), which softens them and gives them a zippy flavour. I’ve made sushi without pickling the veggies before and it is still good, but it just has more of a raw vegetable/salad feel.
prep: 20 min cook: 10 min yield: 4-5 rolls
what you need:
- 2 cups short grain rice (make sure it’s sushi rice! others such as jasmine, basmati, long grain, etc. will not stick to each other or the nori, and will just fall out)
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 5 pieces of nori (pressed seaweed)
- 1 large carrot
- 1/2 cucumber
- 3/4 cup white vinegar
- 5 asparagus
- 1/2 mango
- 2 eggs
- 1 green onion *optional for garnish
what to do:
- Cook the rice! I have a rice cooker (brilliant invention) that makes perfect rice every time. Here’s how to do stovetop: in a pot, place 2 cups of rice and 2 cups of water, put a lid on, bring to a boil, then turn it down to low to simmer slowly until all water is absorbed. Turn off the heat and using a fork, fluff/stir the rice gently, then put the lid back on the pot for another 5-10 minutes.
- In a separate large pot, bring about 2″ of water to a boil (this is to blanch your asparagus).
- While the rice is cooking, wash vegetables thoroughly. Peel carrot and cut into long pieces. Cut cucumber into long pieces as well. Place these cut veggies in a shallow bowl or dish with white vinegar for pickling (needs to sit at least 15-20 min).
- Cut off tough ends of asparagus. Place into boiling water for about 30 seconds or so, just until it turns bright green. Remove from water and set aside to cool.
- Peel and cut mango into long strips (similar size to carrots). Set aside.
- Beat eggs in a small bowl. In a nonstick pan on medium, add 1/2 tsp cooking oil and pour the eggs in. Once the edges look slightly firm and cooked, flip it over like a pancake. It shouldn’t take too long to cook once you flip it. Remove from heat by sliding the “egg pancake” onto a cutting board and cut it into thin long pieces.
- In a small bowl, mix sugar and 2 tbsp vinegar together until sugar dissolves.
- Transfer cooked rice (while it’s still steaming/hot) into a large bowl – using a large spoon, scoop rice from bottom up (as if tossing a delicate salad) and add vinegar slowly as you do this to coat the rice. Continue to fold rice gently until most of the steam is gone. Try to avoid pushing done on the rice, you don’t want it to be dense and glued to each other.
- Finally time to assemble the sushi roll! A sushi mat makes rolling sushi much easier- however you could do it without one. Make sure all your ingredients are in front of you. You can roll it up in two ways for different presentations; 1: nori on the inside, 2: nori on the outside. Nori on the inside is a little more challenging but looks very pretty and is the way most restaurants present their sushi rolls.
Here’s how to do 1:
- *TIP* keep a bowl of cold water nearby to dip your fingers into and rub onto your knife, this will help you handle the sushi, as the rice can get very sticky
- Here’s 2:
10. Serve with a small dish of soy sauce and wasabi for dipping. Enjoy!