I made sushi rolls for the first time this past week! My best friend Hana is Japanese and she is the first person who introduced me to the deliciousness that is sushi rolls when I was in high school. Her dad supplies Uni (Sea Urchin’s Roe) to restaurants all over the US and abroad. On Halloween he would make several platters of sushi to share with friends and family. It was awesome!
So, I decided to give it a try! Here in landlocked Colorado we don’t have the freshest fish available, so I went for a veggie roll and I bought some packaged smoked salmon for a Philly roll. I watched a few youtube videos on how to roll sushi while the rice was cooking and then got to work! It was a success and so delicious!! (I apologize for my grainy photos, I took them with my phone.)
- Nori Seaweed Paper
- Sushi Rice
- Package of smoked salmon (cut into 5-6 inch strips)
- 1 avocado (sliced)
- 2 carrots (quartered lengthwise)
- 1 block of Philadelphia cream cheese (chopped into 5-6 inch strips)
- Sesame Seeds
- Soy sauce (for dipping)
First you want to cook the rice, I found rice at my local grocery store, in the ethnic aisle, that is labeled for Sushi. I have an Aroma Rice Maker that I love and recommend it if you are looking for a cheap rice maker. Otherwise cooking it on the stove always works too! In the meantime, if you’ve never rolled sushi before you should watch this video, it was very helpful for me. You will also need a bamboo mat, or I found that a flimsy placemat will work too, I wrapped plastic wrap around mine to keep it sanitary.
Once the rice is finished, cool it down in the refrigerator in a bowl for 5-10 minutes so that you are able to use your hands to spread it out. In the video he talks about using a half or a whole sheet of Nori. I used a half sheet and found it a lot easier, and used less rice as well, which meant more rolls! Once the rice has cooled down to touch take it out of the refrigerator and set beside your rolling area. I used a medium sized plastic cutting board for my rolling surface.
Tear the Nori in half and put the shiny side down. Spread the rice out on the Nori sheet, not too thickly but just enough to get all the corners. Take your bamboo mat or placemat and press the rice down flat into the Nori sheet and then flip it over so the rice is on the bottom. Next, place a strip of your cream cheese and a strip of the salmon (or whatever ingredients you’re using!) in the middle of the Nori sheet.
Now, it’s time for rolling! I rolled away from me, even though in the video he said to roll towards you when you first start. I found rolling away more comfortable for me. I flipped the near side over the salmon and cream cheese and tucked it in, then kept rolled it over one more time. Next, take your bamboo sheet and lay it over the roll, and squeeze both sides so it takes shape. I did this on two or three sides.
Lastly, take a sharp knife and cut the roll into 5-6 pieces, and sprinkle the sesame seeds on top. Now you have a delicious roll to eat piece by piece! Repeat with other ingredients, I also did one with avocado and carrot, and another with avocado, carrot and cream cheese.