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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Sushi Rolls

All of us thoroughly enjoy eating sushi rolls. The first time I ate sushi was the grocery store vegetarian sushi rolls and I enjoyed the experience and the taste. For the longest time I used to go to a sushi restaurant or pick up the rolls from the grocery store. Then my friend told me that I could easily make these at home by buying a sushi rolling mat,  nori (seaweed) sheets and sushi sticky rice. So I got these and started making the rolls at home.  This was a few years ago and I had to go to a speciality store to pick up the ingredients but now these have become so popular that you can find it in most large grocery stores. Along with the rice and nori sheets, other must have ingredients are wasabi paste/sauce and pickled ginger. The very first time I rolled these out, it took a long time to create one perfect roll because I spent a lot of time cutting the vegetables into finely julienned pieces, and it took a while to roll a perfectly tight roll but after practice it has gotten really fast. So don't be disheartened if the first few times you don't get the perfect roll or if it takes a little while, because after a few times, you will get the hang of it and it will be just like making anything that you are an expert at.

2 cups of sushi rice
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
thinly julienned vegetables that you want to fill in your sushi roll, carrots, avocado, cucumber, green onion, bell pepper etc. (you can use any filling like omelette, fish etc to make different types of rolls)
wasabi paste/sauce
nori seaweed sheets
pickled ginger
soy sauce
bowl of cold water

Cook the rice per package instructions or you can cook it in your pressure cooker or rice cooker. I use 2 cups water for 2 cups rice. I rinse it three times till the water starts to run a little clear and then cook it on rice mode in the Instant Pot. Once the pressure has released naturally. Add the salt and sugar to vinegar and stir to dissolve. If it doesn't dissolve, microwave it for 20-30 seconds till the salt and sugar dissolve.

Then drizzle the vinegar solution over the rice and using a rice spatula mix it gently into the warm rice, taking care not to crush the rice. Use a cutting motion to mix it in. Then let the rice cool down to room temperature.

Cover the bamboo sushi rolling mat with plastic wrap. Then place a nori sheet or half of a nori sheet onto the rolling mat. Take 1/4 cup of rice at a time and spread it in an even layer over the nori sheet. Leave about half an inch of nori sheet end that is away from you uncovered with rice. This is the end that will be the end of the overlapping nori as it gets rolled. If there is rice here, then it may get squished out.  The rice is sticky, so use the tip of your fingers to spread the rice. Keep dipping them in cold water so that the rice doesn't stick to your fingers.

Then place the julienned vegetables in a neat row on the side closest to you. Pile them onto each other making sure that it is not a very thick pile, else you will not be able to form a tight roll. If you use an entire nori sheet, you can add more fillings and if you use half a nori sheet you will have to reduce the amount of filling accordingly.  You can also spread some wasabi on to the rice along the length of the vegetable filling at this time.

Now using your thumbs,  lift up the rolling mat with the nori sheet and use your fingers to keep the stuffing in place as you roll the sheet over it, pressing the vegetables in to get a nice tight  first roll. (see the video above). Now keeping the pressure steady, continue to roll the nori sheet till a complete tight roll is formed. Keep lifting the rolling mat as the nori is rolled. The nori sheet end which was not covered with rice will become the end of the final roll and you can wet this with your finger (if the nori is dry) and press it onto the roll to seal it well.  Press down with the rolling mat to seal it well. Once well sealed, use a sharp knife to cut it into even pieces about 3/4th of an inch thick. Keep wiping the knife clean as it will be smudged with rice after a couple of slices. These will be rolls with the nori sheets outside and rice inside.

If you want to make rolls with the rice outside, then after you spread the rice on the nori sheet, flip it over and then add the fillings and continue as directed above to create the rolls.

If there are some vegetables peeking out of the ends, tuck them in to create a decorative look. Remember that presentation is important with Japanese cuisine, so arrange it in a pretty presentation. Serve with soy sauce, wasabi paste and pickled ginger.

The rice made using 2 cups of dry rice is enough to roll 5 to 6 rolls using the full square sheet. You can make smaller rolls by using half a nori sheet as shown in the video. If you use wasabi paste, remember that it is very pungent and inform the person eating the roll that it is spread inside the roll, so they are prepared for that kick to the tastebuds. I usually avoid it and let the person eating the roll decide if they are going to apply wasabi onto their roll.


  1. Very nice, my dear. Can you post vegetarian bibimbap ? I love the rice bowl theme and want to see your version of it !

  2. Hi, this looks very good. Where can we get the rolling mat in India?

    1. Thank you. Maybe a speciality store or Amazon?