Time Needed: 5-15 minutes
Level of difficulty: easy to intermediate
Materials needed: short grain rice (cooked), sushi vinegar, nori (seaweed wraps), plastic wrap, plastic gloves, water, cucumber (sliced), carrots (sliced), cream cheese (sliced), avocado (sliced), crab (sliced), sharp knife
Directions: Once the rice has cooled to the point where you can stick your hands in it, add about a tablespoon of sushi vinegar per two cups rice to your rice and mix together. Then, lay a sheet of nori on the plastic wrap with the rough side down. Put on the gloves and spread a thin layer of rice over the nori, leaving a 1/4 inch spot untouched at the top. You'll want to really pack that rice down, and thinner layers of rice wrap better. Then, at the bottom end, layer the cucumber, carrots, cream cheese, avocado, and crab in a thin line. This is where it might get a bit tricky. Take the plastic wrap and use it to help fold the bottom over the veggie layer. Then, pull it back so that it is tight. Continue rolling up the length of the nori (the rice should make it stick together), using the plastic wrap to keep things in place. When you get to the end with no rice, take a tiny bit of water to just dampen this edge (think licking an envelope amount of water). Continue finishing the roll (the water will seal the end). Use your very sharp knife to cut the roll into individual pieces, and enjoy.
- Don't think you like sushi? It's rice and veggies at this stage. If you like those, you'll like sushi. The seaweed flavor is actually very good and very minimal.
- Don't ever make raw fish sushi at home. Restaurants who do this are trained and know what they're doing. They have ideal situations and are specialized. Don't risk it and make yourself sick.
- Another good ingredient is tomago, or a scrambled egg mixed with a little soy sauce and sugar. Cook like an omelet, slice, and add to your roll.
- Cooked shrimp, whether purchased cooked or bought and fried in tempura batter, is an excellent addition as well.
- We use imitation krab and love it. Real crab is great, but is expensive. Don't use canned crab - it's terrible.
- If you're feeling REALLY brave, go buy unagi at your local Asian market. It's eel. If cooked, it's actually really good.
- This is fun to mix and match. Add sesame seeds, try brown rice, add spicy mayo, do whatever you want. It's also a fun party activity to have everyone help prepare the ingredients and make their own rolls.
- When you cut the rolls, stuff is gonna poke out the ends. No worries - it's a snack for the chef! Plus, sushi chefs use these pieces to liven up their place settings.
- Don't be intimidated - it's fun and really easy once you get the hang of it. The caterpillar looking roll we made is from just playing around and being creative. You'll notice the rest are very plain. Experiment and have fun with it!