Three Rolls, One Love


I love sushi.  And I mean LOOOOVE it.  We have our favorite spots around town, but also enjoy perfecting the art of sushi making at home.  Last Friday Will (fiancé) and I tried to fancy up our skills by making our own variations of our favorite “special rolls” around town.  Last time we ‘rolled our own’ we ventured to the inside out roll (rice on the outside), which was a leap we were pretty excited about.  This time, we attempted to make three different rolls. We even named our final products: 

• Mexican roll (cilantro, avocado, green onion roll topped with ahi tuna and spicy sauce)
• Hot Alaska Roll (garlic <I know its strange, but just try it>, green onion, and avocado roll topped with salmon and thin lemon slices)
• Nacho roll (salmon, avocado and cream cheese – this one we did right-side in, and named it after our cat, Nacho, who was circling our feet like a shark waiting for scraps of fish).

Bamboo sushi-roll mat
Clean cutting board
Sharp knife (to cut fish)
Wood spoon or wood or plastic rice paddle for spreading rice
Plastic wrap

Essential Ingredients:
5 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoons salt
3 cups uncooked medium grain rice
5 sheets of nori (roasted seaweed sheets)
Wasabi (Japanese horseradish)
Soy Sauce
Pickled Ginger (if desired, I personally pass)

Optional Ingredients – here is what I used for the three rolls mentioned above, but these ingredients can be swapped out depending on preference and creativity
1 large avocado
½ lemon, thinly sliced
3 green onions
1 bunch cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
4 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
½ lb fresh raw salmon
½ lb fresh raw ahi tuna
Spicy sushi sauce (available at Bel Air markets, in the sushi section)

The Rice
The most crucial part of making sushi at home is the rice:  always use a medium-grained rice because it gets sticky when cooked and will hold your roll together.  After cooking the rice add rice vinegar and salt, toss to coat and set on a cookie sheet to cool to room temperature.

The Prep
While the rice is cooling, prepare the ingredients.  The fun of sushi is experimenting with ingredients, and anything goes!  Because I’m addicted to avocado, I tend to add it to every roll, but other common ingredients include cucumber, green onion, imitation crab meat, fish, etc.  Cut all inside ingredients into long thin strips.

The Roll
Lay the bamboo sushi rolling mat on a cutting board with bamboo strips going horizontally from you. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on top of the bamboo mat, then place the nori on top of the plastic wrap . Spread a thin layer, 3/4 to 1 cup, of rice over 3/4 of the nori leaving approximately one inch of uncovered nori at each end.  If you want to make inside out rolls, flip the sheet of nori (with rice) over.

Arrange strips of “inside ingredients” at the center of the rice.  Using the bamboo mat, roll the sushi and pull back the mat and plastic wrap, as necessary.  Gently squeeze the rolling mat around the sushi roll until it is firm and forms an even roll. Remove plastic wrap and add toppings (I like to add the fish, lemon slices and spicy sauce to the top, rather than include within the roll). Cut the roll into 6-8 pieces and serve with wasabi, ginger and soy sauce.

By Christine Moravec

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4 Comments so far ↓

  • Kim | Oct 1, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    I am super impressed! The Mexican roll sounds delicious!!!!

  • Brittany | Oct 2, 2008 at 8:48 am

    My homemade sushi NEVER looks this fancy! So impressed.

  • Christine | Oct 2, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    Yeah… I must say, we got INTO IT 🙂

    And I won’t tell you how long it took for us to create these three little rolls. At least we got to snack on sashimi during the process!

  • Eileen | Oct 2, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    I’m impressed! It looks and sounds delicious!