Introduction: Cucumber Sushi Roll
Learn how to make a basic vegetarian sushi roll. Perfect for learning how to make other more complex rolls. These instructions are for complete beginners in rolling sushi.
1) Makisu (sushi matt) OR a hand towel
2) Plastic wrap
3) Sharp knife
4) Small sauce pan
5) Medium sauce pan
6) Spoon for stirring (wooden or plastic)
7) Spoon for scooping out cucumber seeds
8) Bowl of water
9) Nori (dried sushi seaweed)
11) 3 cups Cooked white rice (half a cup cooked rice per roll) for 6 rolls
----a) 1 cup uncooked short grain white rice ( koshihikari, Dongbei, or Calrose)
----b) 3 tablespoons (Tbsp) rice vinegar
----c) 2 cups water
----d) 1/2 teaspoon (Tsp) table salt
----e) 2 Tbsp Sugar
Step 1: Preparing the Cucumbers
- Start by skinning the cucumbers with a peeler.
- Use the Knife to cut off the ends of the cucumbers
- Cut the cucumbers in half so they each make two semi circle halves.
- Use the spoon to scoop out the seeds.
- Cut the "C" shaped cucumber panels into 1/3 or 1/4 inch wide sticks.
- Trim the sticks so they match the length of the nori. If the cucumber is shorter than the nori, you will need to line up two sticks and make sure they are trimmed to match the length of the nori.
Step 2: Cooking the Rice Part 1
- Start by rinsing the rice in the bowl of water. Use your fingers to stir the rice for a few seconds to release the extra starches and impurities within the rice. Carefully pour out the water without losing any rice (use of a fine strainer is recommended.)
- Repeat that last step at least two more times
Step 3: Cooking the Rice Part 2
- Add the rice to a medium sauce pan or pot along with 2 cups of water. Increase heat to medium high and wait for the water to boil.
- Fill the bowl back up with water to use later and set aside
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover. Wait about 15 minutes for all of the water to be absorbed. You may continue towards the next step while waiting.
Step 4: Cooking the Rice Part 3
- In a small sauce pan or pot, add the vinegar, salt, and sugar and turn up the heat to medium high. Stir with the wooden or plastic spoon until everything has been dissolved in the vinegar.
- Once the salt and sugar has dissolved in the vinegar, take the pan or pot off of the stove and cover.
Step 5: Cooking the Rice Part 4
- Once all of the water has been absorbed by the rice, pour the vinegar mixture onto the rice while maintaining the low heat.
- Keep stirring gently with the wooden spoon or spatula until the rice is dry but still sticky. Do not over heat.
Step 6: Preparing the Nori and the Mat (towel)
- You may need to cut the nori in half, length wise (hot dog fold), in order to have the correct size (pictured). Scissors work perfectly for this.
- If using a hand towel instead of a sushi mat, fold in half in a rectangle shape to get the desired size (pictured).
- Cover the hand towel or sushi mat with the plastic wrap.
- Lay the nori down onto the wrap shiny (smooth) side down with the rough side facing up.
Step 7: Preparing the Roll
- Use the water from the bowl to wet your hands.This will minimize the rice getting stuck to your hands. Reapply water as you continue the next step
-Grab a small amount of rice and start to cover the nori almost completely. Leave about half an inch to an inch on top which will act as the adhesive to bring it all together. The rice layer should be only be about two grains thick. Too thick of a layer will prevent the roll from closing.
-Lay one of the cucumber sticks in the middle after finishing with the rice.
Step 8: Rolling
- Roll a little bit of the mat, and place your thumbs under it. Hold the cucumber with your fingers and start rolling by pushing forwards with your thumb until the mat overlaps fully around the roll.
- Use your fingers to compress lightly into a roll shape.
- Pull back the mat to expose the plastic wrap. Peel the wrap back.
- With a little bit of water on your fingers from the bowl, wet the 1/2 inch tab of nori that is not covered by the rice. Then quickly use your fingers to overlap that wet part with the rest of the roll to close it off.
- Wait about a minute for the roll to completely dry
Step 9: Cutting
- Wet the knife with the water from the bowl. This will prevent the roll from warping as the rice won't stick so easily to the knife.
- Cut the roll in half with the wet knife by applying only a tiny bit of pressure and in a sawing motion. This is much easier with a very sharp knife. Line up the halves and then cut into thirds.
Step 10: Enjoy !
- Goes well with wasabi, pickled ginger, and soy sauce.
- A great introduction into rolling more complex rolls of sushi.
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