If you’ve never tried to make sushi rolls (maki) before, it’s a fun thing to try… especially if you have a little helper like I did. It makes a great appetizer or first course for a dinner party–or add a salad or some steamed edamame, and I’d eat it for dinner by itself! It also could be fun activity to do with friends… get together and have a sushi party, with multiple ingredients, and have everyone fill and roll their own rolls — entertainment and food rolled into one!
This Summer Shrimp Sushi is a great version to start with. This contains no raw fish and the taste is very good even for those who aren’t familiar with or “don’t like” sushi (the heathens!). You should be able to find all the ingredients at a decently sized grocery. The only specialty ingredients–the nori sheets (sushi seaweed) and the sushi rice (a short grained rice that is sticky)– I found at my local Publix. The only unusual hardware you need is a Bamboo Sushi Mat, which you should be able to find at a kitchen store or at an asian market–If you can’t find a sushi mat, you could try a bamboo placemat!
You can of course use other fillings. I tried a version with avocado instead of cucumber, and it was quite tasty as well.
So, don’t be afraid – the technique may take a little practice, but it’s not difficult to make–and you can enjoy eating your mistakes, too! The larger issue is the timing. Sushi isn’t as good if you refrigerate it, so it’s best to make this just before you want to serve it.
- 1 cup uncooked Sushi rice (not regular rice)
- 2 Tbsp Seasoned rice vinegar (or rice vinegar + sugar + salt – see below*)
["Rice vinegar" and "rice wine vinegar" are the same thing, by the way]
- part of 1 package Nori (4 sheets)
- Steamed shrimp (about 8, if medium sized)
- 1/2 cucumber (depending on size, of course)
- 1-2 oz of a cream cheese block
(amounts are approximated for 4 rolls, 24 pieces)
See the instructions below the photo gallery (click on any photo to view as a slideshow):
First cook your rice, according to the package directions.
Prepare your fillings:
- Slice your cucumber into thin sticks.
- Slice your shrimp the best you can to get flat, thin pieces – What I did: Slice in half down the middle lengthwise, then slice in half across.
- Slice your cream cheese into strips, 1/3 in thick, then slice strips again to get long sticks. (see photos)
Then, in a glass or wooden bowl, stir your rice with a wooden spoon to cool it, adding in your seasoned vinegar.
When rice is cool, spread out one sheet of nori (rough side up) on your sushi mat.
Spread a thin layer of rice, as shown. Leave about an inch with no rice at the end.
Top with cucumber strips, shrimp strips (1-2 whole shrimp per roll, depending on size), and cream cheese sticks, as shown. (Toppings go on the opposite side from where you have left your extra space)
Now, starting at the end with the fillings, roll up your sushi, using your sushi mat. Squeeze firmly (but not too hard! The first time I ripped the nori) to ensure the sushi is packed tightly.
You now have a roll! We need to cut it into pieces now.
Use a sharp knife to cut the roll into 6 (or 8, if you prefer) even pieces. Dampen the knife after each slice.
Place your rolls on your serving platter.
Repeat the entire process for the remaining 3 rolls.
*To make seasoned rice vinegar: mix 5 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar (it must be rice wine vinegar), 2 teaspoons of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt together and stir until the sugar dissolves. via sushifaq – ["Rice vinegar" and "rice wine vinegar" are the same thing, by the way]
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Originally published 7/2010.