Sushi-making is a bit like curry-making to me in that it's so versatile and you can really add any kind of rice (brown, white, sushi, jasmine), vegetables, fruits or proteins that you like. I love all kinds of sushi, but get nervous about serving raw fish at home, so when I make it myself I stick to veggies and cooked shellfish. Last night we opted for a few different rolls stuffed with carrots, cucumbers, avocados, mangos and shrimp.
To make the shrimp "tempura", I dipped them in an egg wash and dredged them in panko breadcrumbs. Then I cooked them for about 5 minutes in a skillet with cooking spray until they were pink. Once all the fillings were prepped, it was rolling time!
When spreading the cooled rice over the nori (which can be found at the grocery store), it helps to have a bowl of water nearby to dip your fingers into because the rice gets very sticky. Also make sure all the veggies and fruit are cut in thin slices and the shrimp is cut into bight sized chunks. You can also sprinkle on sesame seeds or add a dash of hot sauce if you'd like. Then fold the fillings over themselves and roll it all the way up.
Once it's all rolled up, use a bamboo roller to press the roll really tight. If you don't have a bamboo roller, you can just use a sheet of waxed paper. Matt bought me this roller and my sushi dishes for Christmas one year, but before I had them, I used waxed paper. The roller definitely does help, though, and you can get them for pretty cheap (this one was only $3!).
Most nori wrappers have dotted lines on them so you can easily tell where to make your cuts. Make sure to use a really sharp serrated knife or the nori will tear and the whole thing will become a mess. Been there, done that!
The first few times I made sushi I was frustrated with the rolling part and my rolls didn't turn out as pretty as I would've liked, so if you feel that way too, don't get discouraged! After just a few times it becomes really easy. But, the process is quite time consuming so make sure you have some time to spare and are in the mood to be in the kitchen for a while. Making dinner for 4 took me about two hours last night, so a glass of wine and some old Biggie tunes on the iPod were the ticket ;-)
I served the sushi rolls with bowls of miso soup and salted edamame. I also whipped up a little wasabi with some wasabi powder I found at the store - just add water, easy enough!
This dinner was really fun to eat while sitting at the bar and sipping on microbrews and pinot grigio. A great Friday night with friends!