For me, sushi and yoga go hand in hand. It’s practically tradition to go out for sushi with friends after a tough yoga class; but, sometimes, we want something a little more adventurous so we make sushi at home. Bob & I enjoy making our own sushi and hosting sushi nights for friends; it makes for such a fun dinner party!
There are a few great things about making sushi at home:
The experience: it is fun to try something new!
The variety: While many traditional rolls contain the same ingredients (avocado, asparagus, cucumber) there are so many ways to mix it up. You can use raw, sashimi-grade fish if you have access or use smoked salmon, seared tuna, cooked crab, tempura or boiled shrimp. If you use raw fish, be sure to purchase high-quality, sashimi-grade and thaw appropriately if frozen. We have a small Oriental market that serves the public and the local sushi restaurants. Feel free to venture from the traditional rolls & experiment with vegetarian options as well. Scroll to the bottom to find a recipe for a Tropical Banana Roll, a crowd favorite that is so easy to make.
Here is how you can host your own sushi night at home:
Look for sushi supplies at a local Asian market or at World Market.
- Rice paddle
- Rolling mat (made out of bamboo or wood)
- Wooden rice bowl to keep rice warm and absorb extra moisture (optional)
- A sharp knife
- Sushi plates & soy sauce dishes (you could get by without but proper presentation adds to the ambiance)
- Plastic wrap
- Nori (seaweed sheets)
- Fish: Tuna, salmon, cooked crab/imitation, cooked shrimp or tempura shrimp
- Rice: Use short grain, white rice, Nishiki brand is readily available but small markets offer different types of rice and you can ask which one is best. Mix with rice vinegar to make it sticky. You can purchase seasoned sushi vinegar that adds a wonderful flavor, just watch out for varieties that contain MSG!
- Fruits & Veggies such as cucumber, avocado, mango, sprouts, asparagus, pineapple, cream cheese
- Condiments & Extras: Kewpie Japanese mayonnaise, Sriracha sweet chile sauce, sesame seeds, wasabi, pickled ginger, soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
- Make a list of the rolls you want to make so you have some ideas in advance, you can improvise along the way!
- Cut the vegetables & fruit into long, thin strips with the exception of asparagus which you should leave whole.
- Set the table ahead of time, you will need plates, dipping bowls and chopsticks and possibly tea cups to serve green tea with your sushi.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the fish into long, thin pieces for use in maki.
- Make the spicy sauce by mixing Sriracha and Kewpie mayo.
- Wrap your rolling mat in plastic wrap in order to prevent sticking.
- You will need a bowl of water for your hands.
- Cook the rice and place it in a bowl covered with a towel, use rice while warm or at room temperature; for best results, do not refrigerate.
Place nori on your mat (shiny side down) and use a rice paddle to place rice on your nori using damp fingers. Pat it down until it covers 1/2 of your nori sheet. For a traditional roll, leave the rice side up and add your fillings then begin to roll up the mat. For an inside-out roll, carefully flip the rice over and add your fillings on top of the seaweed, then roll.
You can seal your maki with a bit of water then cut the excess with a sharp knife. Using that sharp knife, trim off any uneven edges and cut your roll into bite-size pieces and place on a platter. Keep in mind, presentation is important!
We like to store the platter in the refrigerator until we are ready to eat.
If you are like me, you will take photos of your beautiful (or maybe not so beautiful) sushi rolls before they disappear.
Serve sushi with pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce or tamari, eat with chopsticks and enjoy!
Tropical Banana Roll
- Seaweed on the outside
Let me know if you host your own sushi night and how it turned out!