Sushi is generally an outside food, meaning we eat it outside of the house when someone else makes it for us.
And for a lot of reasons, this is generally a fine practice. Good sushi fish can be hard to find and hard to store. Plus, who even knows how to make sushi?
Well, future you knows how to make sushi, because we are here to show you. It’s easy! This isn’t to say you’re about to be a sushi master, because that takes people lifetimes—but can you make sushi that is good enough to eat for a snack or lunch? Uh, you sure can!
The key to good sushi is the rice, which is typically sticky sushi rice (you can find that in most grocery stores these days). You can cook it on the stovetop, of course, but you’ll never get more perfect rice than when you use an electric rice cooker. Once it’s cooked, the rice is tossed with a seasoned rice vinegar mixture that makes it a little tangy and a little sweet. It’s the perfect base for your favorite fillings.
To assemble sushi, you don’t need a fancy bamboo sushi mat, though it can help when you’re learning the ropes. All you need is a flat work surface and some seaweed (known as nori), which you can also find at most grocery stores.
From there, it’s about layering your ingredients. Add enough of each ingredient that you can taste it, but not so much that your sushi roll becomes a burrito. Take inspiration from delicate, refined Japanese cuisine, which showcases ingredients so that each one shines.
Roll your sushi roll like a Swiss roll. Start at the bottom and roll it away from your body, using your fingers to tuck in any stray ingredients as you go. It should self-seal at the end (there is enough starch in that rice to help keep things sticky), but if not, you can wipe the end with a moistened fingertip, or tuck a few pieces of sushi rice in to hold the whole thing together.
Now, about the fillings. Yes, you can put fish in there—raw or cooked! But for a roll that travels well and holds up until lunch or snack time, we love fresh fruits and veggies, like mango, strawberries, carrots, cucumber, and asparagus, or sliced deli meats. Check out these Almond Butter and Mango Sushi Rolls for our favorite combo!
We like to add a creamy element, like avocado, almond butter, or cream cheese to help hold everything together (plus, those all taste great!). Don’t be afraid to combine sweet and savory ingredients, like almond butter and asparagus.