to Make Sushi
Dr. Ben Kim
enjoy sushi and haven't ventured to make your own, I hope this pictorial
encourages you to give it a try. It's a lot easier than you might
imagine, and the cost is minimal compared to buying sushi at a store
kim bap in Korea, sushi comes in countless varieties. Once
you learn how to make a basic sushi roll, it's a snap to churn out
all sorts of creations to suit varying tastes and setttings.
your own sushi rolls, you'll need a sushi rolling mat. Here's the
bamboo version that we use in our kitchen:
find this type of bamboo sushi rolling mat at most Asian foods stores,
or at Amazon here:
Sushi Mat with Paddle
also need sheets of roasted seaweed, which are readily available at
Korean and other Asian grocery stores.
looking for unsalted, roasted nori seaweed. If you go searching for
this at your local Korean market, you can ask for "kim that's used
to make kim bap." Kim means seaweed, and bap means rice. The "k" in
kim sounds like "ghee."
a basic vegetable sushi roll, start by converting a couple of carrots
into thin strips. We do this using an inexpensive mandoline, which
we place over a basin and hold firmly against a solid surface to keep
things stable as we julienne our carrots.
you need a mandoline, you can pick one up at a Korean grocery store
or through Amazon here:
little extra-virgin olive oil and sea salt to saute your carrots,
then set them aside until you're ready to start rolling your sushi.
beat three or four eggs and saute on low to medium heat until you
have a nicely fried egg that looks like this:
best knife to slice your fried egg into long strips.
that Koreans rarely leave out when making sushi is pickled radish.
Old school Koreans called this "dak kwang," which I understand comes
from the Japanese term for pickled radish. If you look for pickled
radish at a Korean grocery store, you can ask for "dahn moo jee."
These days, most packages of dahn moo jee are labeled in english as
pickled radish, and you'll likely have a choice between white and
yellow varieties, as well as different shapes. For convenience, you'll
want to select one that comes in long strips, if possible. If long
strips of pickled radish aren't available, you can get whatever is
there and cut them yourself.
use homemade pickled radish, courtesy of my mom.
always nice to have something green in your sushi rolls, for the vibrant
color and also for the chlorophyll, calcium, and other nutrients found
in dark green vegetables. Spinach is a common choice, and if you want
to prepare it like most Koreans do, have a look at Margaret's pictorial
to make bi bim bap.
steps to prepare spinach for sushi rolls are:
and steam spinach until it's cooked but still retains its dark
cooked spinach to a basin of cold water (with a few ice cubes,
if necessary) to ensure that cooking stops and spinach remains
a rich, dark green color.
your hands to squeeze excess water out of the spinach. The drier
you can get your spinach, the better.
with a touch of sesame oil and sea salt.
you have your vegetables ready, line them up so they're easy to pick
up one after the other as you make your sushi rolls.
keep in mind that you can use any other ingredients that you desire.
We often include avocados and asparagus, though we didn't have any
around the day we made this batch of sushi. You can prepare asparagus
the same way that you would prepare spinach. With avocados or anything
else that doesn't come in long strips, simply slice them so they're
about the same width as the rest of your sushi ingredients.
you aren't sure how to transform a whole avodcado into strips, have
a look at the following pictorial:
to Make World-Class Salads
to prepare the rice. It's best to use sushi rice, which is typically
called "calrose" rice. Put about three cups of cooked sushi rice in
a large casserole dish or mixing bowl. Add a full tablespoon of sesame
oil, a couple of pinches of sea salt, and mix well.
mess, we like to place our sushi rolling mat on a cutting board before
we do any rolling.
a sheet of seaweed on your rolling mat.
way, if you don't have a rolling mat, you can always use a sheet of
saran wrap instead, though a bamboo mat definitely makes for an easier
job of sushi rolling.
with your seaweed sheet, rice, and vegetables, have ready a small
bowl of water.
fingertips into the bowl of water, then use your hands to spread a
layer of rice on your sheet of seaweed - it should look something
like this when you're done:
note that this is no easy task. The rice is naturally sticky, and
though the water on your fingers will help you spread the rice out,
go into this step knowing that even those who roll sushi for a living
acknowledge that this can be a frustrating task.
keep in mind that it doesn't really matter if things don't look great
at this point, as once your sushi is rolled up and cut into bite-size
rounds, it'll all look beautiful.
your vegetables on top of the rice.
note the amount of seaweed space that remains to the right and left
of the rice and vegetables - this is necessary space for proper rolling,
so be sure not to use more rice than what you see here.
and gently lift up the side of the bamboo mat that's closest to you,
the side where the rice comes up close to the edge of the seaweed
all the way over so that under the bamboo mat, there lies a fully
draped roll of sushi - covered with one layer of seaweed, I mean.
hands to firmly shape the sushi roll that's taking form within the
bamboo mat - you want to somewhat knead/massage the bamboo roll to
coax the seaweed, vegetables, and rice within to become the cyclindrical
roll that it's meant to be.
a fingertip to gently slide a line of water at the far end of your
sheet of seaweed - this water will serve as the glue that will keep
your sushi roll intact.
the mat, use your hands to roll the partially finished sushi roll
over until it's fully wrapped and sealed with the thin film of water,
then roll one more time with your bamboo mat and gently knead again
to encourage it to keep form.
aside, if you have little ones who you want to make smaller bite-size
sushi pieces for, start with half a sheet of seaweed and use half
of all of the ingredients that go inside. It's a bit harder to roll
these miniature creations, but the little ones love them.
in mind that you can use whatever you wish in place or along with
the vegetables that are shown here.
folks like putting in a generous strip of kim chi. Others use tuna
or salmon salad (tuna or salmon, celery bits, and mayonnaise) as the
primary filling. Strips of marinated chicken, beef, fish - use anything
you feel like.
generally best to make all of your rolls and have them sit as a little
gathering of sushi rolls before you serve them up.
slicing into bite-size rounds, use the pads of your fingers to moisten
both sides of your knife. This will help you make clean cuts, where
the seaweed and rice don't get too messy and stick to your knife.
of my mom's vegetarian sushi:
always nice to serve sushi up with some fresh vegetables on the side.
Use whatever you have on hand.
in mind that you don't have to cut all of your sushi rolls into the
same size rounds. You can leave some as miniature logs that can be
eaten as wraps. If you're making sushi for a picnic lunch or just
for when you're on the go, you can leave them as big rolls and eat
them just as you would eat wraps or burritos - just store them in
an air-tight container while traveling.
like a dipping sauce, combine soy sauce with just a few drops of sesame
oil and vinegar - this is a super simple and mouthwatering sauce that
we use for kim bap, dumplings, and Korean
brings our look at how to make sushi rolls to a close. If you give
sushi-making a try and care to share your experience with others,
please use the comments section below. Pictures are always welcome.
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