You might think it’s hard to make sushi, but don’t be fooled. With a few basic techniques, it’s really rather simple. Follow this guide on how to make sushi, then put together a Japanese-inspired feast with these tasty, seasonal sushi recipes.
Crab & Samphire Sushi Rolls. Photography: Natalé Towell
There are many different types of sushi, from the cone-shaped temaki to nigiri sushi to the maki roll pictured above, plus lots more. In this article, we’ll be showing how to make maki rolls; one of the most common sushi here in the UK.
What do I need to make sushi?
To make maki sushi, you only need a few ingredients – the seaweed, the sticky rice, rice wine vinegar and a couple of extra fillings. Remember, it’s the quality and freshness of those ingredients that will make all the difference. Japanese brands, like Clearspring, sell great quality sushi rice, rice wine vinegar and nori seaweed. Read more here on how you can creative with your fillings.
How to make sushi rice:
When making sticky rice, you’re aiming for it to be light, fluffy and slightly sticky. Follow the packet instructions, but a few tips will help you here: first wash the rice in cold water, then drain. This is to remove excess starch so that the rice doesn’t go gloopy. The rice then needs to be left in cold water to soak for thirty minutes to help bring out its sweet, umami flavour as the glucose is released from the core of the grains.
Do I need special equipment?
You will need to invest in a bamboo sushi mat, which you can pick up cheaply. Other than that, common kitchen tools are needed, including a saucepan to cook the rice, a tray and a sharp knife.
How to make sushi in 7 simple steps:
Step 1. Cook sticky rice according to the packet instructions, then season with a splash of rice wine vinegar. Cool the rice as quickly as possible by spooning it out on a tray in a single layer.
Step 2. Place a sheet of nori in a landscape position onto your sushi rolling mat so the nori and the slats of the mat are parallel. Set a bowl of water to one side.
Step 3. Wet your hands in the water, then take the cooked rice and lightly spread it out on the nori in a single layer, making sure to leave about an inch at the top. Make sure not to pat the rice down, but lightly fluff it with your fingertips.
Step 4. Place your chosen fillings – we’ve chosen foraged samphire and British-caught crab here – in a single row across the middle of the rice. Don’t overfill it as it’ll be difficult to roll later.
Step 5. Now, start to roll your sushi using the bamboo mat to help you. Carefully and tightly, lift and roll the nori and rice over the filling, pressing firmly with your hands to ensure it’s securely and tightly in place. Leave the inch of uncovered nori at the top.
Step 6.Unroll the mat. You might think it looks a little scruffy at this point, but don’t worry. Using a little water, gently press the uncovered nori against the roll to seal.
Step 7. Use a sharp, wet knife to cut off the scruffy ends. Cut the roll down the middle, slice your sushi into even rounds, then arrange and serve.