If you knew how cheap, easy, filling, and YUMMY homemade sushi was, you'd be making it on a regular basis. First of all, you need to know this important fact: "sushi" just means vinegared rice with some other stuff, NOT "raw fish". Yes, raw fish can be that "other stuff" but it doesn't have to be. Good raw fish can be expensive, and there are many tasty alternatives. Prepping the fillings is what takes the longest, but it can also be done a little in advance (and can be a chance for older kids to get involved).
This is a great "hang out with friends" meal, since you can talk and roll and talk and roll. :) Just wash your hands thoroughly ahead of time and have a reeeeally good friend on hand to pop sushi into your mouth every now and then. ;) For my husband's and my 30th birthdays, we had a joint "Sushi and Tie Dye Party" and taught our friends how to do our favorite things. That was fun. And funny.
Here's what you need:
- Assorted Fillings - avocado, cream cheese, julienned raw veggies (carrots, cucumber, green onion), krab, bbq eel (my fave!), smoked salmon, shrimp, sushi-grade raw fish from a fish market (NOT just raw fish from Kroger), etc.
- Bowl of Water & Rice Vinegar - to keep fingers and knives from sticking
- Snap-Open Bib (OR Sushi-Rolling Mat wrapped in plastic wrap)
- Sheets of Nori - yes, it's dried seaweed (pretend you're a mermaid and get over it)
- Sushi Rice (which is not the same as regular rice) - prepared according to package directions, then mixed with rice vinegar and sugar
- Cutting Board & Sharp Knife
Before we bought an actual sushi rolling mat (which are really cheap at your local Japanese grocery), we discovered that a flexible bib worked pretty well. For nori-on-the-outside rolls, lay a sheet of nori on your rolling surface and top it with rice. For rice-on-the-outside rolls, do the same thing, then flip it over rice side-down before you add the other fillings.
There's no picture of the most difficult step, which is the actual rolling. Your goal is to roll it tightly and uniformly without squishing stuff out the sides. And without rolling the mat in with the sushi. ;) I'll get a pic next time, I promise. When you're at the very end, dampen that extra edge of nori with a fingertip of vinegar water to help it stick closed.