Living overseas in Okinawa Japan I am blessed to be able to get amazing and fresh sushi just about anywhere, but I know that when we eventually move back stateside that will be more difficult.  So I decided that since we love sushi in our house I made it a new year resolution for myself to learn how to make it. I had thought it was going to be this horribly complex and difficult thing, but in actuality it wasn’t so bad.  I did have a great reference in The Complete Book of Sushi my husband got me for Christmas. If you are serious about learning all the different kinds and understanding the more complex nature I highly recommend purchasing the book.

Here in this blog I will share with you how I made both a California Roll and Philadelphia Roll. To start you need to have a sushi rolling mat (I found mine at a 100 yen store but you should be able to locate one at any kitchen supply store or on Amazon) and a spreading spoon. I used one of my Pampered Chef bamboo spatulas and it worked great. They also say you should have a special round wooden bowl to mix the sushi rice in, but I just used a bowl I had already and it worked great. 

First you will need to make the sushi rice. For me I made a batch of normal white rice. I use my amazing Pampered Chef microwave rice cooker (2 cups of white rice, 3.5 cups water and microwave on high for 19 minutes). Once the rice was done I combined it with the Sushi vinegar in my bowl. To make the sushi vinegar mix 8 tbsp rice vinegar with 4 tbsp sugar and 1/2 tsp salt. This is what gives the rice the sushi flavoring. You then want to let the rice sit covered for about 8-10 minutes to let it cool and get to room temperature. 

While the rice sets you can prepare the innards of the rolls. I haven’t personally had to cut fish or crab meat to put in sushi because it is readily available at all the local Japanese grocery store pre-cut. You should be able to ask your deli or butcher to give you sushi cut fish. If not the book referenced above has a great how to guide on cutting the fish. 

For the California Roll you will want either Crab or Shrimp, cucumber cut into long strips, avocado, roe (which is the orange looking fish eggs), wasabi paste (I have found it in a tube which makes spreading easier- see the picture below), and your inari (seaweed) wrapper.
You start by placing the inari wrapper on the rolling mat.

Next spread sushi rice on the mat. 

Next spread your wasabi paste on top of the rice. Be careful not to use too much (unless you like that). A little wasabi goes a long way.   

Next add a generous about of roe. I used a spoon to spread it out. Next is the fun part of layering and adding your fillings. For the California Roll you will want your crab meat or shrimp, the cucumber, and avocado. Make sure not to put to much, you need to be able to roll it up without everything falling out.

Once you have all your ingredients in roll the entire mat into a tub to close it. The inari wrapper should stick to itself.

Next just slice the roll in sections and serve. 

For the Philadelphia Roll use Salmon, cream cheese, wasabi paste, and cucumbers. Follow the same steps as the Califrnia Roll only with these ingredients. Your inside should look similar to this. 

Once you have tried and mastered these two rolls you can easily progress to other variants or even sashimi. Either way if you serve this to a loved one or even guests they will be very impressed.

Also did I mention that if you by chance make too much they make for a great next day lunch. You can make all your coworkers very jealous. 

Have you made sushi or sashimi before? Leave me a comment and tell me all about it.

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