Step 2: THE VEG (and fruit) (and cheese)
All of your veg prep can be done while the rice is cooking.
I like the sweetness and texture of mango so I use it in my sushi. Mango is also very hard to prepare. I am just going to say this, buy a mango cutter at the store. It will save you some serious issues later. I end up cutting mine into strips about as wide as my fingernail on my little finger. Set it onto a plate and put it aside.
Cucumber: We have all seen the sushi master cutting cucumber in a spiral. THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE! They are somehow fooling us into thinking they are knife masters or something! ha ha ha.
Find a way to Julienne your cucumber. I cut mine into long strips and then into tiny strips.(Julienne) Set these strips onto your plate of veg and set it aside.
Avocado is awesome. It is also VERY easy to prepare. Hold it vertically with the stem nub up. Insert the sharp edge of your knife (at the midpoint of the blade) and rotate the blade around the avocado until you get back to the starting point. This is done because, unlike an apple or orange, you can not simply cut through an avocado. The seed is too hard. Therefore you must cut around the seed. Separate the two halves and keep the half with the seed in your hand. Hit the seed like a samurai, only not as hard, and then while holding the knife firmly, twist the avocado and free the seed. Throw the seed away unless you want to plant it.
While it is still in the shell you will want to cut it. WITHOUT piercing the skin, draw your knife tip through the avocado lengthwise. You should get three or four cuts. Use a serving spoon and gently dig the avocado out of the skin all the way around. It should come out quite easily. Set in onto the plate and set it aside.
Scallions.......cut with scissors or a knife into little tiny rings of green onion. Put into a tiny ramekin or shot glass and set them aside.
Cream cheese is tricky. If you have ever tried to cut it with a knife then you know it likes to stick to everything. This is where the ice water comes into the mix. Dip the knife blade into the ice water and cut a slice of cream cheese about 1/4 inch thick. Lay it over and cut the slice in half. you now should have two strips of cream cheese 4 inches long and 1/4 inch by 1/4 inch. Dip the knife between each cut and wipe the residue off as needed. PLATE.........set.