I absolutely love sushi. Now even more so than ever since I’ve learned the simplest way possible to prepare it. No sushi mat needed (seriously, why do I own two of those!). No excessive ingredients. Just nori sheets, steamed white rice and fillings of your choice.
Let’s do this!
Up until a couple of weeks ago, I would always add rice vinegar and sugar to my steamed rice after it cooked. I would then dip my hands in warm water and try to manipulate the super sticky rice to cover my nori sheet. Then I would try to awkwardly use a bamboo mat to roll up my sushi roll, only to have the mat make things more difficult.
I know now that making homemade sushi can be so much easier than I was making it to be. I’ve found that the plastic spatula that comes with your rice cooker is the best tool for spreading out the hot, steamed rice onto your nori sheet. Also, I feel like I enjoy my sushi just as much when I use plain rice as when I add rice vinegar and sugar. So why not keep it simple and skip that step?! (P.S. rice cookers are such an awesome kitchen appliance to have, even if you don’t live in China!) Then, when it comes to rolling up the sushi roll, just use your hands. They work better than any sushi mat in my opinion and you have more control over your sushi roll.
When I lived in New York City, I would always by my nori sheets at the Asian market across from our apartment. If you don’t live near a store that sells nori sheets, on-line is a great place to look! Even I can’t find nori sheets here in China, but I just buy mine off Taobao (“Chinese ebay”).
As for fillings, you can use a variety of vegetables, avocado, tofu, tempeh, etc. Get creative. Brett and I love carrots, cucumber, bell pepper, dried tofu and cilantro. Colorful and simple. What are you favorite sushi fillings?
See the image below for a step-by-step process to follow when making your Super Simple Homemade Sushi! And as always, let me know if you give this method a try! Leave a comment or take a picture and tag #theconscientiouseater on Instagram!
- Using a rice cooker or a stove-top method, start cooking your white rice. I've found that two rice cooker cups (3/4 cup each) provides enough rice for 4-5 sushi rolls. While your rice is cooking prepare all your vegetables and clear a space for rolling up your sushi rolls.
- When your rice has finished cooking, lay out one nori sheet on a flat surface. Using a plastic spatula (preferably the spatula that comes with your rice cooker), scoop out some hot, steaming rice onto your nori sheet and spread it out to cover almost all of the nori sheet, except for about 1 inch on the end farthest away from you. (See photo). You want your rice to be as thin as possible, but fully cover the nori sheet. Use the back of your spatula to smash down the rice and spread it out thinly.
- Next, lay some of each filling ingredient in the middle of the spread out rice. Not too much or you wont be able to roll up your sushi.
- Using your hand, get the part of the nori sheet that doesn't have rice on it wet. This will allow the nori sheet to seal together. Then, starting with the end closest to you, fold the nori sheet over your fillings and roll the sheet tightly until it seals at the end, pressing down hard at the end to help the seal stick.
- Set the sushi roll aside with the seal face down so that it continues to seal.
- Continue until you run out of rice or fillings.
- With a very sharp knife, cut each roll into about 8 pieces.
- Serve with soy sauce or your favorite dipping sauce.