Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dinner: Sushi! How To Make It At Home


We love going out for sushi. In fact Mr.C and I had our first date over sushi four years ago! Who knew we'd be rolling it ourselves in our own place back then? We've made sushi a handful of times and it's usually a joint dinner making as it's on the time and labour intensive side. The last time we made sushi was at Thanksgiving, I suppose this will be our Easter dinner since we spent Good Friday flying across the country vacation-bound!

We've always gone by this guide for a few pointers in cooking sushi rice (not simple!) and have yet to have any bad sushi rice. If you have the ability to make the rice earlier in the day (long before your meal) do it. Sushi is much better with cold (rather than warm, "fresh") rice.

The short(ish) version:
Only use designated sushi rice. Okay, so I'm just saying that because I have no experience using other rice to make sushi, however I have seen brown rice sushi in the grocery store before. You would want to be using short grain brown rice if you were going to try this though.

Wash the rice thoroughly first. I find it easiest to put one cup of dry rice into a mesh sieve and rinse it under the tap until the water runs clear. This much rice does the two of us just fine.

As the guide suggests, use 15% more water than rice. 1/4 of a cup measure is 25% of a cup, so just estimate.

Boil the water (without the rice) in a pot, adding the rice once the water is boiling ferociously. Only boil it for 2-3 minutes, and stir (with a wooden/bamboo or other non-ceramic utensil) it a few times while boiling so that it doesn't stick to the bottom. When your time is up turn the burner to low, and take the pot off until the burner has adjusted. If the burner is too hot the rice will stick to the bottom! Let it cool.

Throw the lid on the pot and set the timer for 10 minutes. Let the rice simmer until all of the water has been absorbed (check it at 10 minutes, it may need a bit more time). When it's done, take the pot off the stove and let it sit for 20 minutes.

While you're waiting, mix up some sushi vinegar.

1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar

This is enough per 2 cups of dry rice that is cooked. Mix it up in a glass or ceramic dish (a pie plate or baking dish works well) until the sugar has been dissolved. This is the one thing that I keep white sugar in my house for (other than guests that may wish to have it in their coffee or tea I suppose) but you could certainly try alternative sweeteners.

Once your 20 minutes is up, put the rice into your pie plate/baking dish containing the vinegar & stir to mix the vinegar into the rice, again using preferably a wooden or bamboo utensil. Spread it out as thin as you can along the bottom of the dish you're using so that it can cool. If you've got a bit before you're going to be rolling your sushi put the rice in the fridge covered with a damp tea towel so that it doesn't get crunchy.

When you're ready to make your rolls, get a few tools out to aid you:
-Bamboo rolling mat
-Saran wrap to cover the mat (I know.....)
-Small dish or glass of water to dip fingers & knife in
-Sharp knife to cut the rolls

And a few ingredients:
-Nori sheets
-Crab, salmon, shrimp, tuna etc (sushi grade or cooked meat of course)
-Gluten free soy sauce/tamari (optional)
-Sriracha mayo (optional)
-Sesame seeds (optional)

Assembling your sushi rolls is best left to a video, so here ya go!


  1. Wow, I've always just used short grain brown rice and it works great. I don't bother with any fancy cooking process, I just cook in like I normally would and add the vinegar & sugar.

    I also don't have a bamboo mat, I just use my fingers and it works great.

    My very favorite ingredients are (I realize this is not even close to traditional) smoked salmon, avocado, red bell pepper and - believe it or not - cream cheese. Totally yummy!

  2. I too am a fan of smoked salmon & avocado (although we can't do the cream cheese any more, I used to love my philly rolls!). Next time we'll try out the brown rice & see how it differs from the white rice, but I think there's something to be said for preserving traditional methods of cooking. So much culture is formed around food!

    On a side note, it makes me SO mad when I see people eating sushi with a knife & fork!