We made sushi together for the first time the other night. I felt like I needed some fresh in my life (with all this snow around) and there’s a spot in my tummy only sushi can fill. I find it incredible that I can purchase everything I need to make sushi (including fresh fish) within literally 15 yards of my regular route home. Is this the cultural melting pot I’ve heard of for so many years? Or is it just a result of working in Center City? Either way, making sushi at home really isn’t very difficult. Ryan said he’d hesitated because he assumed it would be a prolonged effort with lots of work and mess…but it wasn’t. And sushi for two (plus california rolls for lunch) cost a mere $18. Way cheaper than going out, plus it’s definitely an experience.
Like I said, this is an amazingly simple process—but there is a trade off. As a result of cooking times being minimal there is a lot of prep work. Slicing carrots, beans, cucumber, avocado, mushrooms, fish, and anything else you choose to use takes a little while, then of course rolling the sashimi takes some practice.
Tuna and Avocado Rolls with Carrots and Cucumber
What you’ll need:
a sushi rolling mat, rice paddle, and a sharp knife
1/3 lb fresh ahi tuna (make sure to ask the fishmonger if it’s fresh enough to eat raw)
1 bag of toasted seaweed sheets (about 5)
1/2 medium cucumber
1/2 medium carrot
1 1/2 cups white sushi or jasmine rice
3 tpsb rice vinegar
pinch of salt
1. In a medium pan, bring 2 1/2 cups water and rice to a boil. Cover, turn down to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Allow to rest, covered, for 10 minutes, then add rice vinegar and salt and mix to combine.
2. Meanwhile, julienne the carrots and cucumber and slice the avocado into thin c-shapes. Slice the tuna into 1/2 inch wide strips.
3. Fill a small dish with warm water to dip your fingers in so they don’t become stuck to the rice. Then place one leaf of the seaweed on the sushi rolling mat and spread an even amount of rice onto it using your moistened fingers, about 1/4 inch thick, making sure to leave a little less than an inch-high strip of seaweed exposed at the bottom (to make the roll stick together).
4. Evenly distribute the ingredients across the middle of the rice, creating a long pile from one side of the rice-covered seaweed to the other, making sure a bit of carrot sticks out at both ends.
5. Moisten the exposed end of seaweed with dabs of water. Using the rolling mat, pull the far edge of seaweed toward you and begin to tuck it into the rice to make a roll. Continue rolling toward you with light pressure until the ingredients are completely rolled up and press the damp seaweed against the roll to form a seal.
6. Slice the rolls into six even pieces using a damp chefs’ knife and plate.
In addition to this recipe I also made more traditional sushi—just balls of rice with tuna on top, as well as California rolls. On the side I made a warm salad of sautéed snow peas and enoki mushrooms in toasted sesame oil. Delicious! See more photos of the process here.