Like most people with working tastebuds, I am someone who is weak for sushi rolls! I order them whenever I can but until recently, I was too nervous or daunted at the idea of making it at home. Nerves are good though or at least a bit of respect for the task at hand when attempting at home. When eating raw or undercooked fish it really needs to be the freshest you can get your hands on and aught to be “sushi grade”. Don’t hold be to this but I’ve read different things about sushi grade fish and it seems there is no quantifiable threshold the fish needs to surpass in order to be classed as sushi grade. But I read that once it is super fresh and you freeze it for a few hours to kill any possible parasites it should be fine. I strongly recommend that you read up on this more yourself before attempting it. In the meantime, the sushi rolls below are authentic, delicious and safe!
For these Crab and Asparagus rolls, I just used a packed of cooked crabmeat, some blanched asparagus tips and a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds. For all the rolls here I used this recipe for sushi rice. It’s not hard but does take a while but you can always do it the day before and cover it with cling film overnight.
If you’re making the sushi rice the day before you might as well get started on the quick cure for the salmon in these Salmon and Avocado rolls. This is one small effort I make to insure that the raw salmon I use is parasite-free. I just use the freshest salmon I can find, slice it finely, steep it briefly in a sugary, salty brine, dry it, cover with cling film and store it in the fridge overnight. This doesn’t impart some weird flavour onto your sushi but just makes it safer to eat raw.
These California rolls are actually neither Japanese or Californian but were first made in Canada! Crabmeat is sometimes used but this imitation crabmeat, surimi, is used more often, along with cucumber and avocado. It tastes just like the real thing but is way cheaper and comes already in stick shapes which is really convenient for rolling sushi. Which is handy seeing as these are a little tricker as they’re rolled inside out. So cover the nori sheet with sticky, cooked sushi rice, flip it quickly but carefully, lay the filling on the upturned nori and roll like before.
A number of different kinds of sushi rolls or sashimi are usually served together with many different kinds of fish so sushi ginger is usually served with then to act as a palette cleanser between fish types. I also served the obligatory soy sauce and wasabi to let people dip as they pleased. Chopsticks were provided but not enforced.
- 1 portion of cooked sushi rice (recipe above) and can be made the day before
- 6 sheets of nori seaweed
- 1 fat squid of wasabi paste
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sushi ginger
- 700ml cold water
- a third of a cup of sugar
- a half a cup of sea salt flakes
- 2 salmon darns
- half an avocado
- asparagus tips, one per roll
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 150g cooked crab meat
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 6 surimi (crab sticks)
- 10 cm piece of cucumber
- half an avocado
- Combine the water, salt and sugar and stir to dissolve. Then remove the skin, membrane and fat from it and cut it into 1 eighth of an inch thick strips. Then tip them into the salty, sugary water, stir for 4 minutes and then drain and dry on some kitchen paper. Once dry, lay them on a tray, cover with cling film and store in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, add the trimmed asparagus to a large pot of boiling water for 3-4 minutes before transferring to a bowl of icy water to immediately stop the cooking.
- Add the sesame seeds to a dry pan and toast over a high heat until they start to turn golden and remove from the heat.
- Remove the flesh of the avocado and slice it up.
- Cut the cucumber in half lengthways, remove the watery seeds and slice into thin batons.
- Line a bamboo sushi mat with cling film and place a sheet of nori on top of it, shiny-side down.
- Spread the cooked sushi rice onto the nori leaving an inch bare at the top. Have a finger bowl of water handy to keep your hands wet and stop the rice from sticking to you.
- Lay a strip of your filling along the side of the nori opposite to the strip that has been left bare and holding the cling with one hand, fold the nori, rice and filling onto itself. Compress it by squeezing it back onto itself. Keep rolling removing the cling as you roll to stop it from being rolled up in the sushi until you come to the strip that has been left bare. Dap that strip with a little cold water to help it stick.
- Line the bamboo mat with cling and lay the nori shiny-side down, just like before but this time cover the nori completely with sushi rice without leaving a strip bare.
- Sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds onto the rice before carefully flipping the nori, rice and sesame seeds so it it nori-side up and rice-side down on the cling film.
- Lay the avocado, crab sticks and cucumber along one edge of the nori and roll over, just like before, squeezing it back on itself and removing the cling as you roll.
- Once each roll is completed, keep it wrapped in the cling film until just before serving. Then remove the cling and cut each roll in half, then each half into quarters, discarding the rough edges if you like.
- Keep a clean towel handy to wipe the knife after each cut.
- Serve on a platter with the wasabi, say sauce and sushi ginger.