development – how to handmade sushi

We’ve now made our own sushi over a half-dozen times.  Though this post may not be for the connoisseurs out there, it will help those of you, who like us, are looking for easy and less expensive ways to enjoy sushi. 🙂

To make really good hand-made sushi there are some areas that simply cannot be short-cut.  The rice is very important.  Good sushi rice begins with a Japanese-style short grain rice.  We have been using brown and white nishiki

The best place to gather your sushi necessities are your local asian market, though if that is not an option, thanks  to online shops like amazon, you can have just about everything shipped right to your home. 

Alright, so sushi rice involves more than simply cooking your rice on the stove or in your rice cooker.  After the rice is cooked you will pour a rice vinegar and sugar mixture over the rice.  Stir it in while fanning the steam that will rise from the bowl.

Don’t be alarmed, I was intimidated at first, but it’s really easy.

  1. We usually do 2 cups dry brown rice and 4 to 4 1/2 cups water {that is all that will fit in our rice cooker :)}
  2. When your rice is nearly done, combine 1/3 c rice vinegar with 1/2 sugar {we use 1-2 tbs raw sugar}, and about a 1/2 tsp salt.
  3. Cook and stir on medium heat until the sugar and salt dissolve.
  4. Place cooked rice in a large bowl and pour liquid over while stirring and fanning the rice.

We like to prepare our rice in the morning, place a towel over the bowl and let it sit and dry out a bit during the day until we use it that afternoon/evening.

See?  Not too bad. 

Helen's Asian Kitchen Bamboo Sushi Mat with PaddleGlobal Decor 8-Piece Wooden Chopstick Set, Service for 4Product DetailsProduct Details

Unless you’re forming your sushi by hand, you’ll want a sushi mat or two and don’t forget your chop-sticks, soy sauce, and wasabi.

Now you need to decide what other ingredients you want to use…here is a list of what we had at our last sushi night :

  • fresh raw fish {we get ours from the Aquarius Fish Market in downtown Salt Lake} about 1/4 – 1/3 lb of fish per person (tuna, salmon, etc.)
  • tobiko roe – flying fish eggs (red-orange)
  • seaweed nori (pictured above with rice)
  • cucumbers
  • fresh lemon
  • avocados
  • cream cheese
  • strawberries
  • green chili peppers
  • bells peppers
  • carrots
  • sesame seeds
  • strawberries
  • pineapples
  • wasabi powder {you can get it in the tube, but we prefer the powder where you add water}
  • lunch meat
  • cheese
  • eggs {for japanese omelets}
  • we also had some special bread crumbs {I’ll have to ask Annelisa what they are called}

The lunch meat, omelette and cheese are for the kiddos.  Using cookie cutters, you press the rice in the cutter and then cut the egg/cheese/and lunch meat in too.

After we make sushi for the kiddos, we get all of the ingredients cut and ready.  We place them out on platters so we can easily grab them when making the rolls.  The same is done with the fish.  We also set out the special sauces that we have made at this time.


1. Our favorite is a spicy harissa sauce {harissa is a Moroccan spicy sauce/pesto…not japanese, but we love it on our sushi rolls!}:

stir together 1 tbs harissa and 3 tbs mayonnaise in a very small bowl

For that extra kick, just use the harissa without the mayo.

To make a batch of harissa:

1/4 c dried crushed chili peppers
1/4 c warm water
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 tsp dhana jeera (coriander & cumin)
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon juice

1. Soak the dried crushed chili peppers in the warm water for about 10 minutes.
2. In a small food processor or blender, mix all ingredients.

It will look something like:


2. We’ve also made a curry sauce with a few tbs of mayo and a tsp of green curry paste.

Product Details  Product Details

3. A sweet and sour sauce can be made with some mayo and sweet chili sauce.

4. Annelisa made a ginger soy sauce last time…I’ll ask her for the recipe and update this post later.

The sauces are easy to make and add an extra flavor to the sushi rolls.

Once everything is ready, we lay out our mats and start rolling…

To make your sushi rolls:

  1. lay out your sushi mat {we put plastic wrap down to keep things moving and less mess}
  2. decide if you want the rice on the inside or outside of the roll {pictured above, the rice will be on the outside, so you put that down first, then the seaweed nori}
  3. rice should cover the nori except an inch worth on the end {to ease the rolling}
  4. lay out your chosen ingredients on your nori/rice
  5. roll, roll, roll

Krystalina’s favorite roll has salmon, cream cheese, cucumber, and a thin slice of lemon atop:

The designer loves anything with a crunch inside, I love less rice and more of the other stuff…with a spicy chili or sauce…yumm.  Mostly, we just go for it and sometimes we can’t remember what exactly we put inside…but our bellies are oh, so happy!

When putting sesame seeds/roe/or crumbs on the outside, it is easiest to do after rolling.

Ah…the rainbow roll: a Jeff specialty.

trick: we found that dipping our knives in rice vinegar gives a cleaner cut to the rolls

For more sushi photos and such: our first attempt and more handmade sushi

I’m sure I’ve forgotten something…but there is a pretty good synopsis and how-to for you and your suhsi-at-home cravings!

8 thoughts on “development – how to handmade sushi

  1. That looks just like the sushi you buy (and I bet it tastes just as good–if not better!). I don’t eat sushi myself (dietary restrictions and the simple fact that I don’t care for it), but my mom is crazy about it.

    • Hi Denise 🙂
      We’re having so much fun making it. As for the taste, the fish is so much better than the stuff in the grocery stores/costco, etc. Though nothing as yet, compares to the one or two of our favorite sushi restaurants. Those sushi chefs are incredible!

    • We have sushi nite with two other couples, one of the gals is just barely prego and ate veggie and dessert rolls this last sushi nite. I bet Jared could roll you up something exciting for that prego appetite. 🙂 luvs!

  2. Ummmm…YOU ARE AMAZING! You’ve made me SO HUNGRY right now. I don’t know if I have the guts to try making my own sushi, but I think I need to visit Ginza this weekend.

    • Go for it Kerri, you’ll be surprised…and I bet Joshua would be great at it. Ooo is Ginza your local Asian market? There is something about Asian, Hispanic, Indian markets that I just adore. Perhaps it is the unfamiliar packaging, the colors used, the treats…oh the candy looks so much more fun. 🙂 My favorite place to buy spices!

    • lol, it really is so easy though isn’t it! I’ve been thinking of some great veggie and omlete sushi we can make for you next time. xoxo

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