I’m a huge fan of DIY. While trying new restaurants gives me life, I always have this insane idea that I can just make everything even better myself? Whatever, I’m annoying. Cooking from home also allows you to adjust for your preferences, lower salt content, and all that too. After a particularly great dinner at a sushi bar where I watched the chef make roll after roll with ease, I optimistically thought, “I could do this!” The next weekend, I visited my local market, picked up an assortment of quality, sushi-grade fish, and invited some friends over for a Make Your Own Sushi Night, complete with lots of Japanese beer.
The night was a success. We may have gotten sticky rice everywhere, but it allowed my guests to make their rolls to their liking from the comfort of my home.
- Sushi Rice (recipe here)
- Rice vinegar
- Sushi-grade salmon
- Ahi tuna
- Ahi tuna poke
- Spicy Mayo (recipe here)
- Teriyaki sauce (recipe here)
- Sesame seeds
- Pickled ginger
- Bamboo mats
- Plastic wrap
- Rice paddle
- Wood bowl
- Japanese fan (or a piece of paper!)
- Make the rice. You can make the sushi rice up to 4 hours in advance; just cover the rice with a towel and leave on the counter at room temperature. Note, be sure to use a wooden bowl so the rice doesn’t stick! I used this recipe. If you don’t have a Japanese fan (so surprising!), you can fold a piece of paper as an alternative.
- Prepare the fillings. Slice pieces of fish into 1/4 inch-thick strips, 1/2 inch-wide, and 3 1/2 inches long, while slicing cucumbers, avocado and carrots in matchsticks.
- If you’re feeling adventurous, whip up the sauces yourself. If you want to save yourself some time, pick up Teriyaki and Sriracha from the store and call it a night.
- Setup the Make Your Own Sushi Bar. Place sheets of Nori in a dish for guests to easily access. Place bowls of water mixed with a little rice vinegar for guests to keep their hands moist, which will keep the rice from completely covering your hands. Finally, arrange the fish and toppings however you like, and put sauces in fun squeeze bottles to allow guests to easily decorate their rolls.
- Make your rolls! Take a sheet of Nori and cover with the premade sushi rice. Flip the roll over (or keep rice side up if you prefer inside out rolls) and add your toppings. Once complete, hold onto the edge of the bamboo roll, and nori sheet and begin rolling at the edge. When your roll is complete, slice into pieces and garnish away. Most importantly, have fun with it! With a little trial and error, you’ll be a sushi chef in no time.