Now before you go thinking “but sushi already IS healthy”, consider this – how many pieces of the sushi that you order at a restaurant is deep fried, covered in that delicious Kewpie mayo, dolloped with sweet chilli sauce, or doused with teriyaki – like my all-time favourite Tiger Roll. Even still, all that aside, traditionally sushi is made from white, refined rice, which is pretty similar in nutritional value to processed white bread. Now imagine all the theoretical white bread you’ve been gorging on during your sushi soirees!
My homemade sushi is packed with filling, fibre-rich brown rice, smoked salmon, and tons of fresh veggies. Being that brown rice has a lot less starch than regular sushi rice, you have to force it a little to act like sushi rice, but all in all, the experience is mostly a bit of fun. At the end, you’ll have homemade sushi that’s nutritious and delicious, so you really can’t lose.
When attempting homemade sushi, keep reminding yourself that sushi is an art. Japanese sushi chefs literally train for yonks of years to master the art of sushi making. So when your rolls come out looking less than photogenic, don’t be too hard on yourself. There’s at least 5 pieces of homemade sushi missing from my picture because they simply weren’t pretty enough!
You can alter this recipe and use any veggies you have on-hand. If you have access to super fresh sushi-grade fish, you should defos make use of it! Other than that, all you’ll need is some brown rice, basic Asian ingredients, and a bamboo sushi rolling mat, which you’ll find at just about any supermarket nowadays. If not, it’s not absolutely necessary, although it does make your life easier.
This recipe will make about 18 pieces, which is good for 2 – 3 people depending on hunger.
How to make homemade sushi
- Half cup brown rice
- 1 Tbs rice vinegar
- Half tsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbs soy sauce
- Half carrot julienned
- Approx 10cm cucumber julienned
- Half avo sliced
- 100g smoked salmon ribbons
- 3 sheets nori (seaweed sushi paper)
- Soy sauce to serve
- Wasabi to serve (optional)
- Smooth cottage cheese to serve (optional)
Step by step
1.Get 1 cup of salted water to the the boil in a small pot.
2.Put your brown rice into the pot, and allow to boil for a minute. Reduce heat, cover, and allow to simmer for approximately 40 minutes until rice is very soft.
3.In the mean time, prep your veggies, and clear an area to use as your work station when ready to assemble sushi.
4.Mix rice vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce in a small bowl, ensuring that sugar dissolves into mixture.
5.When rice is cooked and water evaporated, pour rice vinegar mixture into pot and stir until combined. Keep “cutting” into the rice with a spoon so that you aerate it, and agitate it. This will cool the rice down, as well as stimulate the starch which will make the rice sticky. Keep doing this until the rice is luke warm, and you can handle it with your hands.
Rolling your sushi
6.Get a bowl of water and sharp chef’s knife and ready yourself at your station. If using a sushi rolling mat, ensure that it’s covered with cling wrap.
7.Place your rolling mat in front of you, with lines running horizontally. Place a nori sheet, smooth side down, on top of your rolling mat. The rough side will help the rice adhere to it.
8.Dip your hands in the bowl of water before handling the rice. This will ensure that the rice doesn’t stick to your hands.
9.Grab about a palm full of rice, and spread it over the nori sheet in a thin layer. Leave a small border of nori along the edges so that rice doesn’t squeeze out when rolling.
10.Now place your choice of fillings, horizontally, approximately 3 cm away from the edge of nori closest to you.
11.If using a sushi mat, pick up the edge closest to you, and gently roll so that the nori tucks under to engulf the fillings. You’ll need to use your fingers to ensure the fillings are nicely tucked away. Then simply continue rolling until complete.
12.Wet your sharp knife, and cut your roll into 6 equal pieces. Continue this process until you have 3 rolls, and 18 pieces of sushi.
13.Serve with soy sauce, wasabi, and cottage cheese. I like the cottage cheese with the smoked salmon, but you could give this a miss.