One of my best loved memories of living in Japan is eating sushi. Even better, learning how to make sushi so we could have it at home for holidays or just anytime. We make and roll beautiful sushi for family gatherings but one of my favorite ways to have it is casual style. All it takes is good sushi rice, a few mix-ins, nori and wasabi and you are on your way to a gourmet feast that’s also responsible eating.
Recipe: Sushi on the Fly
Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 30 Minutes | Yield: 4 servings | Level: Easy
- 2 2/3 cups calrose rice
- 3 inch square piece of kombu
- 5 Tbsp rice vinegar, unseasoned
- 5 Tbsp sugar
- 4 tsp kosher salt
- 10-12 medium cooked shrimp, sliced in 1/2-inch rounds
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled and cut in 1/2-inch dice
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled and cut in 1/2-inch dice
- 6-8 sheets Nori
- Wasabi Dipping Sauce
- 6 Tbsp soy sauce
- few Tbsp wasabi powder
- few Tbsp water
- pickled ginger
Special Equipment – Rice Cooker
1 Wash the rice until the water is clear. Add enough water to cover rice by 1 inch. Submerge konbu in the water laying on the top of the rice. Cook in rice cooker until done, about 20 minutes, then let set for 10 minutes without removing the lid. Shovel all the rice in a bowl.
2 Add the vinegar, sugar and salt to the rice. Taking care not to smash the kernels of rice, stir and cool the rice while mixing together. Have a cooking buddy fan the rice with a fan or magazine while mixing to speed the cooling process. When it is just barely warm it is cool enough.
Mix-ins and Roll-ins
3 Add the mix-ins – shrimp, avocado, and cucumber to the rice mixture.
4 Put some full sheets and half sheets of nori on a plate.
5 Mix the wasabi powder with some water. Start with a little and add more water to form a soft paste. Make it a little looser than you want it because it will tighten while it sets. Serve soy sauce and wasabi separately so guests can combine to their desired heat. Serve pickled ginger on the side.
6 Serve the nori, sushi rice, dipping sauce and pickled ginger. Scoop some prepared sushi rice on a piece of nori and roll up. Dip in sauce and enjoy.
Konbu – The secret to restaurant quality sushi rice is konbu. It is dried giant kelp and is sold in Asian food stores. It keeps for a long time so one package goes a long way.
Rice Washing – To wash rice, put it in the pot or rice cooker and using the kitchen faucet, cover the rice with water. Stir around with your hand to release the powder and then pour out the water. Repeat 4-7 times until the water is almost clear. This makes a big difference in the final quality of good sushi rice.
Rice Cooker Substitute – If you don’t have a rice cooker, put the rice, water and konbu in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil then reduce fire to simmer for 20 minutes. Don’t remove the lid during cooking and steaming.
- Exchange shrimp for crab meat or salmon
- Exchange avocado for steamed pencil asparagus cut in 1-inch lengths
- Exchange cucumber for diced scrambled eggs.
- Exchange kombu for wakame.
Cook with Sauces
Written: by Helen Horton
Photographs: by Helen Horton
Updated: April 23, 2012