Executive Chef Adison Lee of KUU restaurant has more than 20 years of experience in the sushi industry, but you don't have to be a pro to try your hand at making sushi at home. Here are the basics:
Start with the Right Equipment
You don't need a lot of fancy equipment to make sushi at home, but you will need:
- a very sharp knife or two
- a bamboo rolling mat covered with plastic wrap (to keep the rice from sticking)
- a bowl with water to wet your hands (to keep the rice from sticking to them)
- a rice cooker helps, but it's not necessary
Gather Your Ingredients
- Rice - The rice is very important to sushi. Look for "sushi rice" or round, short grain rice. After it's cooked, sprinkle with a solution of rice vinegar, salt, and sugar (for 3 cups of rice, add cup rice vinegar, 2 Tbsp sugar, and 2 tsp salt).
- Fish - As a guideline, ask for the freshest fish (shouldn't smell fishy). Make sure it's firm (mushy fish can be older, depending on the variety). Look for brightly colored fish that hasn't been sitting long enough to oxidize. You can freeze your fish for at least 24 hours to kill any bacteria. Lee only freezes salmon, but says the most important thing is to keep all fish chilled until you're ready to make the sushi.
- Seaweed (Nori) - If you don't like seaweed, there are other options like soy paper.
- Veggies/Other - Other ingredients are julienned carrots or cucumber, sliced avocado, or crab. Use your imagination and have fun!
- Wasabi and Ginger - Sushi staples. They can be homemade, but are also readily available at grocery stores.
Assemble Your Rolls
- Spread, don't mash the rice into a thin layer on the seaweed paper (you want a little air in between the rice). Wet hands work best.
- Add wasabi if you like. (If making nigiri, use wasabi sparingly on rice after patting it together.)
- Slice fish thinly using a sharp knife.
- Add ingredients to the first third of the seaweed paper so you have room to roll. Don't over-stuff or your roll might fall apart. Wet the far edge of the seaweed paper so it will stick after it's rolled. Use fingers to hold the ingredients in place and your thumbs to pick up the edge of the bamboo rolling mat, then roll tightly by sliding and pressing flat hands over the top of the bamboo mat as it rolls your sushi inside (this could take some practice).
- Slice your roll with a very sharp knife and enjoy! (If your knives aren't sharp, try wetting the blade before slicing.)
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