Now that we have covered the basics of preparing to make sushi, and making Nigiri Sushi (see Sushi Part I and Sushi Part II) it’s time to move on to more complicated sushi. We’re going to be showing you how we make rolled sushi, hand rolls, and baked roll sushi.
The first step to making a sushi roll is to lay out your Sushi Nori (seaweed). This will be the wrapper that holds your roll together. The Nori comes in a large sheet, that we cut about 2 inches off. Lay your Nori sheet onto a flat surface with the shiny side down, this will become the outside of the roll. Next, wet your hands and grab about a softball-sized ball of rice. Lay the rice in the center of the Nori and quickly spread it evenly over the entire sheet. The goal here is to get a nice even coating of rice, keeping the grains soft. Be gentile and don’t push down and compact the rice.
Next, we lay our filling in the center of the rice. For this roll we are using a little yellowtail, cucumber sticks, and avocado. Make sure not to overfill the roll or it will be difficult to close. Here’s the tricky part; lift the edge of the nori closest to you and fold it over the top of the filling. With your fingertips, push the filling back into the roll while you continue to fold the roll over the top. Once the Nori touches the other side it will stick to the strip of rice. Now you can roll the entire thing a quarter turn forward so the seam is on the bottom. Lastly, get out your Bamboo Rolling Mat an press the roll evenly on all sides to form a nice rounded or square shape. If the filling is pushing out of the ends, you can tap it in gently while forming the shape with your mat. Once your roll is together, cut it into even slices with a sharp, clean knife.
Now that we’ve shown you how to make a basic roll, it’s time to make an inside-out roll.
Cut off about 1 inch from your Nori sheet and lay it shiny side up this time. Then grab a large, softball-sized ball of rice and cover the entire sheet evenly with it. Next, take a piece of plastic wrap and lay it over the top of the rice, this will help prevent the rice from sticking to everything, and flip the rice side down on your board. Then, fill the roll with whatever ingredients you like. Here we are using some salmon, artificial Crab, cucumber, and avocado. Lastly, roll the entire thing just as we did with the previous one, taking your time to make sure that the ingredients are pushed into the center of the roll as you close it. When your rice side touches the opposite Nori side, you can roll the seam to the bottom. Remove your plastic wrap and place it evenly over the top as you shape the roll. Keep the plastic on as you cut the roll into slices, this will help keep everything together, and then remove it before you plate.
If you want to add more variety, you can top the roll with alternating fish and avocado slices to make a rainbow roll. Just lay out the fish on your already rolled sushi and then use the plastic wrap to cover it all, and shape with your mat. Then cut through the whole roll as you did before.
A hand roll is a quick and easy way to make sushi for one person to eat. Start by cutting your Nori sheet in half and laying it out lengthwise in front of you. Then take a golf-ball sized ball of rice and spread it on half of the Nori, making a V shape with the rice. Then lay in your filling, here we are using some crispy salmon skin with cucumber and avocado. Now, gently lift and put the Nori in your hand so you are cupping the rice and filling side. Lift the lower left corner and bring it across to the upper right side. This will form the cone shape of the hand roll. Then gently continue to roll the rest of the nori to form the rest of the roll. When you get to the last corner, take a few grains of rice and use them to hold the corner down.
The last type of roll we want to share is the baked roll. The base for the baked roll is typically a simple California Roll (artificial crab, cucumber, avocado) and can be regular or inside-out. We arrange 2-3 cut rolls on a foil-lined toaster-oven sheet. Then for the topping, you can choose chopped up mixed fish, crab mix or scallops. We take our topping in a bowl and mix it with a little bit of Japanese Kewpie Mayonnaise and Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce to taste. Then we spread the mixture over the top of the California Rolls to cover them. Lastly we put the whole thing under the broiler for about 3 minutes until the top turns golden brown.
Sushi at home can be fun and easy for just a couple or a whole big party. Remember to get your fish from somewhere you trust and you’ll be on your way to great sushi in no time! Remember, our Sushi Part I and Sushi Part II will give you the basics of fish and rice if you get stuck.