How to make your own sushi at home (Sushi At Home: Yuki Gomi)
Blog Words : Food & Drink | 02 December

How to make sushi rolls at home

Think sushi's too difficult to make at home? Think again! Yuki Gomi shares three sushi roll recipes and methods (a potential for alternative Christmas nibbles?)

How to make sushi at home1. Umeboshi and cucumber with shiso temaki

(Japanese pickled plum and cucumber with shiso leaves hand roll) 梅ときゅうり手巻き

Umeboshi are pickled plums, found in jars in most Japanese homes. My grandparents had an ume (plum) tree in their garden and made their own pickles. I love to use umeboshi in sushi as they have a very sour taste that works well with other ingredients, such as cucumber and aromatic shiso leaves. They are also eaten with rice or as a side  dish. As with jam or chutney, everyone has their own family recipes for umeboshi, but you can buy them ready-made at Asian supermarkets and some health-food shops.

Makes: 4 rolls

Ingredients:

a bowl of cold water for your hands
6cm-long piece of cucumber (see below)
4 teaspoons of ume paste, or 4 whole
umeboshi (destoned)
2 sheets of nori
4 small handfuls (roughly 200g) of sushi rice
4 shiso leaves

1. Cut the piece of cucumber lengthways into four and remove the seeds carefully with a spoon or a knife. Cut the sticks lengthways into half again, so that you have eight sticks of  cucumber. You will need four sticks for this recipe, so wrap and store the rest in the fridge for 1–2 days to use in other sushi. If you are using whole umeboshi, mash them with the back of a teaspoon.

2. You will be able to see some thin lines on the nori seaweed sheets. Following one of these lines, cut each sheet in half with scissors, but be very careful as the sheets break easily. Place a half-sheet of nori shiny side down on your hand, with a short edge closest to you.

How to make sushi at home 3. Wet the fingers of your other hand in the bowl of water, and shake off any excess. Damp fingers help when using sticky sushi rice. Pick a small handful of rice (roughly 50g) and quickly spread it over the bottom half of the nori sheet. Place a shiso leaf diagonally in the middle of the rice, with an umeboshi and stick of cucumber on top.

How to make sushi at home 4. Bring the bottom corner of the nori that is closest to you over the filling to meet the rice on the other side, making a triangle. You can then roll the plain side of the nori sheet around it to make a nice ice-cream-cone shape.

5. Repeat with the remaining nori sheets and filling ingredients.

Tip: Umeboshi can have a very strong acidic and salty flavour, so you might not need to use soy sauce as a dip when you eat your roll.

How to make sushi at home2. Creamy scallops TOBIKO temaki

(Scallops and flying-fish roe with avocado sauce hand roll) 帆立とアボカドソース手巻き

This is my favourite experimental recipe and a great starter! I love the richness and creaminess of the avocado and scallops.

Makes: 4 rolls

Ingredients:

a bowl of cold water for your hands
1–2 fresh, sushi-quality scallops (roughly 30g shelled weight in total)
½ a ripe avocado, destoned
a few drops of lemon juice
¼ teaspoon of wasabi paste
2 teaspoons of Japanese mayonnaise; or 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise, ¼ teaspoon of
English mustard and ½ teaspoon of rice vinegar
a pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon of tobiko (flying-fish roe), plus extra to garnish
2 sheets of nori
4 small handfuls (roughly 200g) of sushi rice
4 teaspoons of cress

1. Rinse the shelled scallops under cold running water and gently pat dry with paper towels. Slice them very thinly. Peel the avocado, put it into a small bowl and mash it with a fork until it is very smooth. Add the lemon juice, wasabi paste, mayonnaise and salt and mix well, to make the avocado sauce.

2. Add the tobiko and scallops and mix gently. You will be able to see some thin lines on the nori seaweed sheets. Following one of these lines, cut each sheet in half with scissors, but be very careful as the sheets break easily. Place a half-sheet of nori shiny side down on your hand, with a short edge closest to you.

3. Wet the fingers of your other hand in the bowl of water, and shake off any excess. Damp fingers help when handling sticky sushi rice. Pick up a small handful of rice (roughly 50g) and quickly spread it over the bottom half of the nori sheet. It does not have to be spread neatly. Place a quarter of the scallop mix diagonally in the middle of the rice, and top with a teaspoon of cress. You can add some wasabi to the middle of the rice before you add the other ingredients, if you like.

4. Bring the bottom corner of the nori that is closest to you over the filling to meet the rice on the other side, making a triangle. You can then roll the plain side of the nori sheet around it to make a nice ice-cream-cone shape.

5. Repeat with the remaining nori sheets and filling ingredients.

Tips: The scallops for this recipe must be very fresh. If you can find scallops in the shell, ask your fishmonger to remove them from their shells and clean them for you.

You can use cooked prawns instead of scallops.

You can use lumpfish roe or masago (capelin roe) instead of tobiko.

If you are not using the other avocado half straight away, sprinkle lemon juice on the cut surface and wrap it tightly with cling film. It will keep in the fridge for 1–2 days.

How to make sushi at home3. Ebi furai chilli-mayo temaki

(Deep-fried prawn, Japanese panko breadcrumb and sweet chilli-mayo hand roll) 海老フライ チリマヨ手巻き

This is a very modern type of sushi and a popular Japanese home meal. Ebi means ‘prawn’ and furai means ‘deep-fried’. Panko are Japanese breadcrumbs and are becoming very popular with many Western chefs, who use them for fried dishes. Panko crumbs are slightly bigger and rougher than Western ones, which makes for a fluffier and lighter texture. I usually make my own panko: you can use leftover plain white bread and grate it with a food processor on the coarsest setting. You can also find ready-made panko crumbs in larger Western supermarkets.

Makes: 4 rolls

Ingredients:

a bowl of cold water for your hands
4 ebi furai (see below)
4 teaspoons of sweet chilli mayo (see recipe below), plus extra to serve
2 sheets of nori
4 small handfuls (roughly 200g) of sushi rice
4 tablespoons of cress

For the ebi furai:

4 raw tiger or king prawns, shells on
a pinch of sea salt and pepper
plain flour for dusting prawns
1 egg, beaten
1 Japanese cup (roughly 40–50g) of panko (using 3 slices of white bread if you make your own)
750ml–1 litre of vegetable oil for deep-frying

For the sweet chilli mayo:

2 tablespoons of Japanese mayonnaise; or 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, ¼ teaspoon of English mustard and ½ teaspoon of rice vinegar
2 tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce
1 teaspoon of soy sauce

1. First prepare the ebi furai. Remove the heads and shells from the prawns. I like to leave the tails on because you can hold them when dropping the prawns into the oil for deep-frying. De-vein the backs of the prawns with a skewer or toothpick. Clean the prawns under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels or a tea towel. Season with salt and pepper. Pull and stretch the prawns out gently to straighten them.

2. Put the plain flour, beaten egg and panko breadcrumbs into separate dishes. Dust the prawns with flour and dunk first in the beaten egg and then in the panko breadcrumbs. Leave them to rest for 5 minutes. Heat the oil to 180°C in a deep frying pan or wok. Carefully add the prawns and fry them for 1 minute, then turn them over with chopsticks or tongs and fry for another minute until golden brown, but not overcooked. Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.

3. Put all the ingredients for the sweet chilli mayo into a small bowl and mix together well.

4. You can now make your sushi. You will be able to see some thin lines on the nori seaweed sheets. Following one of these lines, cut each sheet in half with scissors, but be very careful as the sheets break easily. Place a half-sheet of nori shiny side down on  your hand, with a short edge closest to you.

5. Wet the fingers of your other hand in the bowl of water, and shake off any excess. Damp fingers help when handling sticky sushi rice. Pick up a small handful of rice (roughly 50g) and quickly spread it over the bottom half of the nori sheet. It does not have to be spread as neatly as the other types of rolls in this book. Place 1 teaspoon of sweet chilli mayo diagonally in the middle of the rice, with 1 ebi furai and 1 tablespoon of cress on top. You can add some wasabi to the middle of the rice before you add the other ingredients, if you like.

6. Bring the bottom corner of the nori that is closest to you over the filling to meet the rice on the other side, making a triangle. You can then roll the plain side of the nori sheet around it to make a nice ice-cream-cone shape.

7. Repeat with the remaining nori sheets and filling ingredients. There will be some mayo left over, but you can add more to your roll!

Tip: If you like spicier food, you can use chilli sauce instead of sweet chilli sauce.

How to make sushi at homeThese three recipes and images have been taken from Yuki Gomi's book Sushi at Home (Fig Tree, £18.99), available to buy on Amazon now.