Mastering The Art Of Sushi Making

With the help of an online culinary arts program, sushi isn’t just eaten at restaurants anymore, it’s a delicacy you can make right in the comfort of your own kitchen. Of course professional sushi chefs train in this art for years, but all you’ll need to get things rolling at home is the right ingredients, equipment and a bit of patience, and you can be hosting a sushi dinner party in no time. Here are some tips to get you started:

Buy the right rice
You can’t just purchase any old rice for your sushi rolls. Instead, look for Japanese short-grain sushi rice, which can often be found in large supermarkets, specialty stores and online. Keep in mind that the type of rice is more important than the brand. Other types of rice contain lower levels of amylose, which is the sugar that is found in rice grains. This means your sushi will not have that sticky texture that is often required.

Before you start making the rice, it’s important to wash the residue off. Sushi rice is packaged with starch fibers which can cause you to end up with a pasty mess. Simply rinse it using a fine strainer, until the rinse water runs clear. Then, cook the sushi rice according to the directions on the package.

Less is more
When it comes to filling your rolls, don’t go overboard with ingredients – as a general rule – less is more. Choose between thin strips of veggies like cucumber, radishes and carrots along with other popular ingredients like avocado, smoked salmon, crabmeat, cooked eel and more. Overall, you’ll want a total of about 1 pound of fillings. Cut your ingredients into long, thin strips – about the size of a pencil.

Rolling sushi
You’ll want to purchase nori – which is a seaweed most commonly used to wrap sushi. It’s flat, thin, dark and looks a bit like tissue paper. When fresh, it can have a red or green color, and once toasted, it turns a very dark purple color – almost black. Nori sheets are sold in boxes or sealed plastic envelopes. Boxes usually contain about 10 sheets.

Start with 1 sheet of nori – shiny side down on a sushi mat. Gently press about 3/4 cup of rice onto the sheet, leaving a 1 3/4 inch-border on the side farthest from you. Then, arrange your ingredients of choice in even strips horizontally across the rice. Roll the mat over so that the upper and lower edges of the rice meet. Once you have your roll, cut it into sections and serve with soy sauce and pickled ginger.

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