Easy Beginner’s Homemade Sushi

2015-02-16 21.57.49


  • a sharp knife
  • a cutting board
  • a tatami mat – You can buy it at H-mart
  • Hangri or  large bowl for mixing the rice
  • flat surface
  • plastic wrap
  • ice
  • ice water
  • a large bowl


  • cooked sushi rice
  • water
  •  6 cups rice vinegar
  • 4 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of salt
  • You can buy sushi flavoring packets with toasted sesame seeds to “decorate” the outside of the sushi at Hmart
  •  spicy mayo
  • roasted seaweed- Sakura premium brand from Hmart
  • Egg made into a sweet egg roll
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • imitation crab sticks
  • cooked shrimp
  • smoked salmon

How to prepare the sushi making supplies:

  • First grab a sushi mat and wrap it twice in plastic wrap. Make sure that you wrap it tightly. After you wrap it, slide it against the side of a table to get the air out.
  • Hangri– giant rice mixing bowl. It is made out of cedar wood. Cedar wood is a wood that has the ability to fight bacteria.It is not lacquered. It is bound by copper bands.Before you use it you need to wipe the hangri with cold water. You don’t use hot water because the heat makes the wood expand and contact  and it damages the bowl. You need to let the hangri sit and let the water soak on it for 5-10 minutes.

Preparing the rice:

It is best to prepare the sushi rice ahead of time. Make sure that you are using sushi rice, and not regular rice, because sushi rice is stickier, and you need this stickiness to hold the roll together.

  1.  To cook the rice, the best ratio is 1 part rice to 1.5 parts water ( 1:1.5). First rinse the rice 3 times to remove the starch. You need to rinse the rice out because if you don’t it will become overly sticky and mushy.
  2. Cook the rice in a rice cooker. Once the rice is cooked, let it steam for 20-25 minutes.
  3. After the rice has steamed for the allotted time, remove from the rice cooker and put into a large wooden bowl or a Hangri.
  4. Now you need to mix the rice with: 6 cups of vinegar, 4 cups of sugar, and 1 cup of salt.
  5. First sprinkle in the vinegar on the top of the rice and work it into the rice. The ph level, or acidity, of the                 mixture should be between 4.2- 4.6. Anything over or under this will be ineffective.
  6. After the vinegar is semi-soaked up by the rice add in the sugar and the salt.
  7. Do not stir the mixture or you will mash up the rice. Instead you want to “cut” the liquid into the mixture by             moving your wooden spatula back and forth. This cutting motion is called “Shanigiri”. This also helps the rice to       cool down.
  8. If you see any clumps of rice make sure to “cut” them open.
  9. After you are done cutting the rice, allow it to sit for 5 minutes so it can fully soak up the liquid you put into it, and so it will not be too mushy when you begin to form it into the sushi.

Preparing the shrimp:

While many people tend to think that sushi is synonymous with “raw” fish. This is not always the case. In fact the fish is usually cured, smoked, or prepared in someway.

  1. To cook the shrimp first you need to boil a pot of water with some salt in it.
  2. If you look at the shelled raw shrimp and you will see an opening between the shell and the meat. Then insert a bamboo skewer into it, making sure that the shrimp it as straight as possible, and break off the tip. You want your shrimp to be straight so that way it will lie flat on top of your rice.
  3. To cook the shrimp first you must boil a pot of water with some salt in it. Take your skewered shrimp and drop it into the pot of salted boiling water. Be sure to stir the shrimp while it is in the pot so it will cook evenly. You will know that the shrimp is cooked when it floats up to the top of the pot. The second way of knowing whether or not your shrimp is cooked properly is that raw shrimp is translucent; if the shrimp is opaquely white then it is fully cooked. Be careful though, if the shrimp is too white then it is overcooked and it will have a rubbery texture.
  4. Once the shrimp is cooked, quickly toss it into a bowl of ice water to shock it. The cold water stops it from continuing to cook when it leaves the pot. This will prevent it from getting overcooked. At this point you want your shrimp to be soft, but not rubbery texture-wise. Let the shrimp sit in the water for 1 to 2 minutes. You want the temperature of the shrimp to drop to around 60°F. Do not let it get cooler or the shrimp muscle will tighten up and then it will taste like rubber.

How to prepare to make Sushi:

-1 Wrap up your tatami mat with plastic wrap so that way the rice doesn’t stick to it.

2015-02-16 17.14.42

-2 Gather the Sushi Ingredients

2015-02-16 18.05.26

-3 Peel & cut the vegetables.

2015-02-16 18.30.24

-4 Make the Tensu liquid:  The liquid is one part vinegar and one part water. You need to dip your hands into the mixture as you roll your sushi because it prevents the rice from sticking to your hands. This is what makes up the unique taste in sushi that you can’t quite put your finger on.

How to prepare the vegetables you are going to use in your sushi:

– when you cut the cucumber you want to:

  1.  peel it
  2. cut it lengthwise into long “logs”
  3. scrape the seeds out
  4. cut the cucumber into little matchsticks
  5. When you are done cutting your cucumber, make sure to rinse it off before you start using it.

– you want the avocado to be ripe and mushy.

To cut the avocado:

  1. First cut of the bottom of it so it will have a flat bottom, so it will not roll away when you try to cut it.
  2. Cut the avocado in half and discard the stem and seed.
  3. While the avocado is still in the shell slice it thinly. Then scoop it out of the shell using your knife by severing it in one swift motion.

How to cut the fish:

There are two main cutting motions that you will use for cutting all the parts required to assemble a piece of sushi:

  1. First you will pull the knife back in order to cut the roll in half.
  2. Second you will push forward to cut up the log into individual pieces.
  3. You can use any type of fish, but the best things for a beginner to use are smoked salmon and imitation crab meat.
  4. Cut the fish diagonally. Instead of sawing the knife you need to slice the fish by pulling the knife back. Do not slice against the grain of the fish. Slice with the grain so that way your fish doesn’t rip or get ragged edges
  5. When you get the imitation crab sticks make sure to slice it in half lengthwise so it will be able to fit inside your roll.
  6. Peel the shrimp and cut off the tail before you put it on the sushi
  7. The fish needs to be cut evenly and leveled

How to roll Sushi:

  1.  Cover your hands with the tensu. You want your hands to be damp so that way the rice will not stick to your hand
  2. When you use the tatami mat, the dark flat side needs to be up and in contact with your rice so that way the sushi gets a nice round shape
  3. First lay down your seaweed shiny side down. Seaweed had dimples. The smaller the dimples the harder the seaweed is to control. If you hold it up to the light you will see that it is translucent in a few places. The best seaweed to use is the part that comes from the bottom of the stem because it is the freshest because it is newer. If your dried seaweed is fresh it should snap when you press down on it. Seaweed has two sides: The dull side and the smooth shiny side. You want to make sure that the dull side is put facing your mat so it will be on the outside of the roll.
  4. First dip your fingers and palms into the Tensu liquid.
  5. Get a ball of the cooked rice; it should be about the size of a tangerine. Begin to press the rice into one flat layer on top of the seaweed from right to left. With your thumb you want to move the rice to all of the corners. Put your hand on the edge of your seaweed as you are spreading the rice out as a guideline to help the rice stay on the seaweed. Make sure that it covers all of the seaweed. Then even out the rice with your fingers.
  6. You can use toasted sesame seeds and sprinkle them on top of your rice. Keep your left hand in front of your seaweed as you are sprinkling the sesame seeds on so that way everything that goes out of bounds will bounce off of your hand and end up on your rice. You don’t want to add too much. Then take your tatami mat and with the flat side down on top of the rice and press it down on top of the rice. This makes your rice adhere to the seaweed.
  7. Take your hand and pick it up and flip your mat over. Now the seaweed side of your sushi should be on top facing you. You want to move your seaweed down 1 inch from the edge of your mat so that way when you roll the sushi up it will be able to close.

2015-02-16 18.38.54

8. Take your avocado, remove the seed and peel off the peel. Avocado is slimy so you want it to be the first ingredient          that you lay down so you will not get your hands dirty.

9. Add your cucumber on top of the avocado.

10. You may add some spicy Korean mayo on top of the cucumber. Make sure though to just add in one straight line. If           you add in more it will mess up your sushi and seep out through the sides.

11.Take your imitation crabstick, pinch it in the middle, and pull it apart lengthwise. Then lay it in on top of your                     avocado, mayo, and cucumber.

2015-02-16 18.39.28

12. Go back to the side of the mat that has the one inch margin. Take your fingers and hold the ingredients so they do           not fall out while rolling your mat forward and over the ingredients. You will then place the edge of your tatami mat             one inch away from the edge of your other side of the seaweed sheet, and push the roll down a bit. Then you want           to open the one inch flap part of the mat that is covering the roll and hold it open as you proceed to roll the roll over.

13. Then squeeze the mat over the sushi to make sure that it is all compressed. While it is still covered with the mat              you can gently push the sides of the roll in to make is even. Unroll the mat so you can see your sushi.

2015-02-16 18.41.48

14. To cut the roll place your knife in the center of your roll. First draw back, and then push forward. And keep doing              this until you get bite sized pieces.

Notes that apply to all sushi making:

You need to have the flat side of the matt up so that way your sushi will be smooth, and the rounded sides on the outside.

– When you are making the sushi you want to squeeze the mat tightly as you roll it up that way your sushi is tighter.

– You also want to press down on the bottom of the roll near the area that is touching the ground in order to give the sushi a “round” shape. If you skip this step it will be square.

– If you do not get enough rice on the bottom of the sushi just unroll it, and add more rice to the area that needed it and roll it up again.

– you want the rolls to be rolled tightly and make sure they are round

– always dip your fingers into the Tensu solution before starting to prepare the sushi so that way the rice won’t stick to your hands.

Nigiri Shrimp:

2015-02-16 21.36.29

  1.  Dip your fingers into the Tensu solution
  2.  First peel the shrimp and cut off the tail
  3. Then cut (score) the shrimp along the bottom so that way it will lay flat on the rice
  4. Next grab the shrimp and lay it down with the white side facing up in your palm on top of a piece of Ceram wrap.
  5. Grab a ball of rice and press it into the shrimp backside.
  6. Make a ball out of the shrimp and squeeze it to secure the rice.

   Inside Out Roll:

2015-02-16 21.46.41

  1.  Dip your fingers into the Tensu solution
  2. Inside out sushi  (with the rice on the outside) is done so that way there is more room to stuff things on the inside of the roll.
  3. After you press the rice down on the seaweed and apply the sesame seeds flip the sheet over so that way the rice is facing down and the seaweed is facing up. Then put the fish and vegetables on the seaweed and roll the roll up as you normally would.

Temari Sushi (Shrimp Ball)

  1. 2015-02-16 21.33.59 Dip your fingers into the Tensu solution
  2.  Peel the shrimp and cut off the tail before you put it on the sush.
  3. First butterfly the shrimp for the shrimp roll.
  4. Next put a piece of plastic wrap in you hand, then place the shrimp belly side up in your palm on top of the plastic wrap.
  5. Now get a ball of rice and put it into the shrimp.
  6. After that you need to bring up the plastic wrap in your hand and twist it so it forms a ball over the shrimp and rice. This is what gives it the round shape.
  7. Finally untwist and unwrap the plastic wrap and you will end up with a round shrimp ball.


                                                                            Rainbow Roll:

2015-02-16 21.39.40

  1. Dip your fingers into the Tensu solution.
  2. To make a rainbow roll first make an inside out roll.
  3. After you make your inside out roll layer your cut fish on top of the rice.
  4. You can then layer in some thinly sliced avocado between the fish.
  5.  When making a rainbow roll you need to put plastic wrap on top of your fish and avocado and then roll it up again so  1) it will not stick to the mat and 2) get round.
  6. 2015-02-16 18.54.49
  7.  Take the round side of an unwrapped tatami mat and place it on top of the ceram wrap.
  8. Squeeze the bottom of the roll to make the sushi come back up to the top. The Ceram wrap will make all of he ingredients stick together.
  9. Keep the Ceram wrap on the roll as you cut it to help hold the roll together. Cut it in the same cutting motion.
  10. Make sure to remove the ceram wrap when you are done.

How to cut sushi:

– Before you cut the sushi make sure to squeeze the roll at the bottom with the tatami mat to make it round or else it will turn out square shaped. While it is still covered with the mat you can gently push the sides of the roll in to make is even.

– To cut the roll place your knife in the center of your roll. First draw back, and then push forward. And keep doing this until you get bite sized pieces.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow A Little Spark of Madness on WordPress.com

Blog Stats

  • 304 hits
L I K E - I N - M E X I C O

Mexican food , Traditions and Mexicanadas

Thought Catalog

Thought Catalog is a digital youth culture magazine dedicated to your stories and ideas.

Happy Pills

The best addiction ever

The Research Whisperer

Just like the Thesis Whisperer - but with more money

life gets messy.

no need to cry about it.

Ladies and Brains

Sharing the insights of a feminist neuroscientist-in-training

I am a feminist

Because it shouldn't be a dirty word...

Knifey Spoony Things

It's all fun and games, until someone loses a fork....

The Thesis Whisperer

Just like the horse whisperer - but with more pages

Kelsay Cate

Professional Portfolio

Sabers & Sensibility

The personal blog of Elaine Tveit.

the amused bouche

real food · farm life · wanderlust adventures | santa barbara, california

The Belle Jar

"Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences." - Sylvia Plath

Nerdy Book Club

A community of readers

Travel Oops

Travel humor and a celebration of travel missteps, mishaps and misadventures

%d bloggers like this: