Sushi has become popular around the world, symbolizing Japanese food in many people’s minds. In the United States you can find sushi trains and restaurants all over the place. It is typically associated with raw fish but it actually encompasses all foods that have sumeshi(vinegared rice). Common forms include nigirizushi (strips of fish over a ball of vinegar rice), temakizushi (hand rolls of rice and fillings stuffed inside a cone of nori seaweed) and makizushi (rice and fillings rolled inside a piece of nori seaweed and cut into pieces). Sushi is great for dinner parties and fun, interactive family meals. Set a table with all of the ingredients and let each person create their own sushi.
Making makizushi (rolled sushi) is easier than you think and you can use your imagination, disguising many healthy foods within each roll. Sushi is also very kid-friendly because your kids can help make different rolls, with or without seafood, according to each person’s tastes. Some kid-friendly favorites are our Philadelphia roll with smoked salmon and cream cheese and our Spicy Scallop roll with seared scallops and avocado.
White or brown* short-grained rice, cooked
Sushi vinegar or rice vinegar
Salt and sugar if using rice vinegar
Sushi filling options:
Cooked or raw sushi-grade seafood
Carrots, lightly boiled and julienned
Bell peppers, julienned
Sriracha hot chile sauce or any other spicy sauce
To make the vinegared rice, cook the rice according to the instructions on the package. *Short-grained white rice is traditionally used but a friend introduced me to making sushi with brown rice to add whole grains and nutrients. While the rice is still hot, fold in the vinegar dressing (using sushi vinegar or a mixture of rice vinegar, sugar and salt). A ratio of 1 3/4 cups uncooked rice, 3 Tbsp rice vinegar, 2 1/2 Tbsp sugar and 2 tsp salt is recommended. Let the rice cool to room temperature. (Don’t place it in the refrigerator or else it will become hard).
To make a basic form of makizushi, place a piece of nori seaweed on a square of plastic wrap. Spread several heaping spoonfuls of vinegared rice onto the nori seaweed, leaving about one inch on one of the sides of seaweed bare. Position the seaweed so that the side with the bare edge is at the top. Place your fillings on the bottom of the seaweed. Roll up the seaweed until it completes one roll and the seaweed is tucked underneath. Using your hands or a bamboo mat, gently form the roll and then continue rolling the seaweed until you reach the bare spot. Dab your fingers in water and spread the water on the bare seaweed so that the roll will seal together. Then finish rolling up the sushi. Set the rolled sushi on a platter and then when you are ready to serve them, cut them into slices, arrange them on a plate and serve them with soy sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger.
Click here to view a guide for selecting seafood.