Making Sushi for the First Time

So you’ve already bought the tools and the ingredients for the most perfect roll of sushi… all that’s left is to actually make the delectable rolls and your next wonderful meal is set. But wait, something is amiss. The rice doesn’t seem to be holding together well within the roll. Ingredients are spilling out the sides of the sushi roll, too!

If this is your scenario at home, or if you are trying to avoid the hassle of re-doing a whole sushi roll, then it’s time that you took a crash course in making sushi.

Today’s discussion is for sushi lovers who want to make the most of their DIY sushi-making efforts at home. If you have tried making sushi before and weren’t that successful, don’t fret – just try again after reading our top tips for the perfect sushi roll.

1. Cooking the rice properly is a top priority if you want to make great sushi. Japanese rice should be washed a few times before cooking. Use a bit more water than usual to cook the Japanese rice to make it moist and ready for sushi.

Rice usually requires equal portions of water when cooked. However, for the purpose of making the Japanese rice a bit more adhesive, feel free to add ¼ to ½ cup more water.

After cooking the rice, transfer the rice to a wooden bowl and add your sushi vinegar if you wish. Use a hand fan or a small electric fan to cool down the rice. Turn the rice a few times as it cools down so that the rice’s moisture content will be equal throughout.

2. Individual pieces of sushi can be molded manually using the fingertips and the palms. The goal of molding sushi is to make one cohesive unit that doesn’t fall apart when you pick it up with a pair of chopsticks.

3. Apply pressure equally when rolling sushi in a sushi mat. Many beginners make the mistake of applying too much pressure to the center or the sides of the mat. This will most definitely deform your sushi. Avoid using your palms when compacting and rolling sushi. Instead, use your fore and middle fingers to control the sushi mat. This way, the rice and all the other ingredients will be compacted without being squished.

4. Some sushi recipes require an inside-out form. You can easily create an inside-out roll by spreading the rice on one side of the nori sheet and flipping the nori sheet over so that the rice is underneath. Once the rice layer is underneath and you have bare nori again, you can begin placing the other ingredients on the new surface. Make sure that you line up the ingredients in a straight line so that each piece of sushi will get its fair share of special ingredients. In the beginning, it is easy to make the mistake of placing too much of an ingredient on either side of the sheet. Don’t worry – this problem will disappear with practice. Just keep making those sushi rolls!