Simple, homemade and fully cooked sushi rolls are delicious and easier than you think.
Life is unpredictable! You can plan every minute of your day, but unpredictable things can happen any time and throw your schedule off completely. Here is what happened…
A few weeks ago, I made beautiful sushi rolls to share with you here, but it got too dark to photograph them. Hubby and I then devoured a few for dinner, and I saved the rest to photograph the next morning. However, in the morning Garrat got so sick that we needed to drop everything and head to ER. Luckily, it wasn’t anything too serious (and no, it wasn’t from the sushi. Thank God!), just appendicitis. We spent all day in the hospital and we were back home that same night. (Thanks to amazing doctors and modern technology!)
When we were in the hospital waiting for test results, I couldn’t help but think how my day was going completely not the way I had planned. I was supposed to be photo shooting sushi rolls, testing 3 new recipes, and doing dishes, you know. I’m a huge planner, and I don’t like unexpected changes. But this incident was a great reminder not to take things for granted, be grateful for simple stuff and take it easy once in a while.
And fast forward a few weeks, here I am with a new batch of sushi rolls to share with you.
Whether you’re an avid sushi lover, or the one who prefer cooked seafood over raw fish, or even a vegetarian, you can make your own homemade sushi rolls that suit your taste. You can fill your sushi rolls with whatever your heart desires. Veggies like cucumbers, avocado, bell peppers, thinly sliced carrots are great. Keep it all veggies, or add your favorite seafood. Sushi rolls are not just for seafood lovers.
Since I love seafood, but live in the middle of nowhere with no access to sushi grade seafood, I simply make my sushi rolls with cooked shrimp, smoked salmon, or cooked crab. See, the filling is fully customizable!
Now, let’s talk about sushi rice and other essentials you’ll need. Sushi rice is made with short grain sticky rice, cooked and seasoned with rice vinegar, sugar and salt. You cannot just use any rice here, the emphasis is on short grain sticky rice, because regular rice just won’t do it. It will fall apart and bring nothing but frustration. And here is a list of essentials you need to get started:
- Short grain Japanese style sushi rice– I can never find sushi rice in our grocery store, so I buy mine on Amazon. Quick and easy!
- Sushi mat– You absolutely have to have a sushi mat to roll your sushi rolls. It really helps to form tight and neat rolls, plus it’s just $2, so it doesn’t break the bank!
- Seaweed sheets/Nori– I bought mine at an Asian market a while back. They are not just for making sushi rolls, you can totally snack on it or serve it with plain rice.
- Rice vinegar– It’s essential to flavor your sushi rice. You can find it in your local grocery store in Asian food isle.
Once you obtain these essentials, you can make sushi rolls however you want and whenever you want in the comfort of your own home. They are so much fun to make, beautiful to present and delicious to eat.
Quick tip. Don’t overfill the rolls! It’s not a burrito. 🙂
I hope you found an inspiration to make your version of sushi rolls soon. Cheers!
Homemade Sushi Rolls
- 2 cups short grain sticky rice
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 cooked jumbo shrimp
- 1 medium cucumber
- 1 avocado
- ½ red bell pepper
- 4 seaweed sheets/nori
- Black and white sesame seeds optional
- Wasabi and soy sauce for dipping if desired
- Wash the rice in a mesh sieve under running water until water runs clear. (This helps to get rid of the excess starch and makes nice and fluffy rice. So don’t skip this step.) Place the rice in a large heavy-bottomed pot and add about 2.5 cups of cold water. Cover and bring it to a boil over high heat. Once boiled, reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 10 minutes still covered. Then turn the heat off and let it sit for another 10 minutes. Don’t remove the cover while the rice is cooking.
- While rice is cooking, mix together rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small dish. Set aside.
- Once the rice is fully cooked, transfer it into a large bowl and add the rice vinegar mixture. Using a wooden spoon or a spatula, gently fold the rice to evenly spread the seasoning. Let it to cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, cut the seaweed sheets in half. Cut the shrimp in half lengthwise. And finally cut the cucumber, avocado and red bell pepper into thin long strips. Prepare a bowl of cold water to dip your fingers to keep them wet when you handle the rice. Place the sushi mat in a large ziplock bag to prevent the rice sticking to the mat. Arrange everything around the work area.
- Place the seaweed sheet rough side up on the prepared sushi mat and evenly spread about ½ cup of sushi rice on it with wet hands. Sprinkle the sesame seeds, if using, and flip it rice side down.
- Place the filling on the nearest end of the seaweed sheet. To roll, hold the sushi mat with the seaweed sheet and roll it over the filling, slightly pushing the filling with your fingertips. Slightly squeeze to make a tight roll, pull on the edge of the sushi mat and continue rolling. Give another squeeze to make an even roll.
- To cut the rolls, dip a very sharp knife in water and cut the roll in one motion. Serve with soy sauce and wasabi for dipping.