Why make your own sushi?

It’s much cheaper than going out for sushi, it’s a quick easy dinner you can make after you get home from work, most people like it, and it’s a great way to use up leftover veggies in the fridge.

How to make sushi:

Start by making rice. You should use short-grain rice, but regular long-grain rice also works fine. Use a cup of rice to 2 cups of water or miso broth. Bring the rice to a boil in a small covered saucepan, then turn the heat to low and simmer until the water is absorbed and the rice is soft. Add a glug of rice vinegar, stir, and let the rice sit and absorb the flavor.

While the rice is cooking, place a sheet of nori on a napkin or clean dishcloth, with the short side towards you and the shiny side down. Put a bowl of water near the nori. Chop vegetables, meat, and/or fish into thin strips and leave them on a plate or cutting board near the nori.

Some good choices for fish are crabmeat, squid, shrimp, sardines, trout, salmon, tuna (canned is ok). For meat, maybe thin sliced pork or chicken. You can also put strips of egg omelette.

For vegetables, avocado, cucumber, radish, cooked asparagus, thinly sliced or grated carrots, red/orange/green peppers, peapods, green onions, mango, fried salmon skin, mushrooms, bok choy or cabbage, lettuce, fried eggplant, fried tofu, zucchini. Use whatever you have in the house.

When the rice is done, add a few drops of white vinegar and a large pinch of salt, and stir. Use a soup spoon or a spatula to spread the rice evenly about 1/4 inch thick all over the nori, leaving about 1/4 of the sheet uncovered at the top to seal the roll with. Make sure to get all the way to the edges.

Now at the side nearest you, put some of your fillings on top of the rice. Lay them out so they go all the way to the edges too. Your fillings should make a pile about 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter.

Place your fingertips on top of the filling and use your thumbs to lift up the bottom of the nori. Roll away from yourself gently, until you reach the part with no rice. Dip the fingers of one hand in the bowl of water and dampen the nori (you can also dampen the side you’re going to want it to stick to) and then continue rolling until it is all rolled up. Leave the seam on the bottom to keep it together.

Let the roll sit for a minute to solidify, then gently lift it on to a cutting board, and slice it. Six slices is traditional, but do whatever you want. Use a sharp knife, don’t press down much (as if you were slicing tomatoes), and make sure to cut all the way through the nori at the bottom. Arrange on a plate lying down so you can see the fillings, and serve. You can sprinkle your sushi with sesame seeds if you like.

Vegetarian or vegan?

Naturally vegan unless you put fish or meat in, and delicious with soy sauce, pickled ginger, and wasabi.

How to keep corn chips

Sushi is better the same day, but you could also eat the leftovers cold for lunch the next day, or even the next several days if it’s vegan sushi.

Published by Karen Carr

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

Leave a comment