Introduction: Sushi on a Stick

Picture of Sushi on a Stick

Technically they are nori rolls, aren't they? I don't really know the names but i love them all.
I thought this would be a fun, tasty personal challenge.
It was fun, it was very tasty, it was definitely challenging.. and my brother ran off so it was quite personal, verging on lonesome.. until he came home and asked if he could eat it.
My experiments turned out better than expected, but because I'm lazy, instead of crying 'Fame, fortune and franchises!', I'm going to show you how to do it yourself.
I tried three different designs. I'm sure there are many more. 

Also, you may be interested in these more sensible i'bles on making regular nori rolls or even real sushi.

Step 1: Stuff I Used:

Picture of Stuff I Used:

1/2 cup short grain white rice
1cup water
Nori sheets (seaweed)
Tasty filling: smoked salmon slices, cucumber, stuff that will stick or stay put (avocado may be too slippery for some of these but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try)

Skewers/satay sticks
Cutting board
Very sharp knife
Bamboo rolling mat

Step 2: Cooking Rice

Picture of Cooking Rice

There is a long history and fine art to making perfect sushi rice.
This is not it.  See comments below for some excellent tips on real sushi.
This is how i made super-gooey rice-paste for sculpters:
- - -
1/2 cup sushi rice (short or med grain white) makes enough for one sheet of nori.
rinse until water is clear
add 1 cup water
bring up to boiling
lower heat, simmer for about 10mins
turn off, put the lid on and let it sit for another 10mins

if at this point you feel the rice is not sticky enough, add a little more boiling water, put the lid back on and wait another 10mins

This works really well for me.  I have heard of people using the oven, which I guess would be very consistent.  The rice just needs to hold together really well.  
Also, I just learned a trick that would have been useful when I started which is to have wet fingers if you need to pat the rice down because at first it was sticking to everything but itself.

Step 3: First Method: Nori Roll Kebab

Picture of First Method: Nori Roll Kebab

1- Make a regular sushi roll and cut it into very even pieces.
The seaweed is so tough and stretchy so I tried a serrated knife but it started to make a mess. Cutting very slowly with long strokes using a very sharp smooth knife worked better.

2- Place the rolls in a line and aim the skewer in the middle of the seaweed.
It's easy to veer up or down, so I ended up pushing them on one-by-one.

3- Marvel at your feat of culinary engineering.  
Try to lift it if you dare. The pieces begin to slide and rotate.
Best to just enjoy it with your mouth. Don't forget the soy sauce and wasabi!

Step 4: Second Method: Nori Pop

Picture of Second Method: Nori Pop

This is much trickier. You need to design a shape that will hold a rice ball and wrap securely around a skewer.

1- First attempt: the lengths were too short and only just wrapped around the filling, not the stick.

2- Cut a much different shape with longer bits to wrap around the outside.  

3- Place the filling: circle of rice, filling in the centre, rice on top.

4- Wrap carefully! the seaweed sheet needs to be moistened quite a bit before it will stick to things. It will not stick immediately but if you hold it, the water will be absorbed and it should hold.  Later on, I couldn't get it off the stick.

Further experimentation would have yielded more efficient designs but I started running out of rice.  

Step 5: Third Method: Sushi Spiral

Picture of Third Method: Sushi Spiral

This monster is equivalent to one long nori roll, only the little coils are all coiled together.
I had grave doubts that it would ever work, at least with my relative inexperience at making sushi. I was pleasantly astonished.

1- Needed more rice. 
I made the rice a little bit stickier this time by adding a little more water at the end (from the kettle), turning the heat back on until I heard it bubbling, then turning the heat off and leaving the lid on for another 10mins. 

2- Spread the rice over the nori sheet the same as a regular roll.

3- The filling needs to be in a thin layer over the whole sheet. I used thin slices of this delicious smoked salmon that I had trouble not eating.

4- Roll! This was a lot easier in my head.
I had planned to cut the nori into strips and lay them in a big long line to roll in one go, but then there's the question of spreading the rice neatly. 
So what I did was roll the first strip, place it at the top of the next one, and repeat until I was sure it would fall apart.  
You can lay it flat and pat it straight if it's going wonky.

5- Secure and skewer!
I used extra strips of seaweed sheet dipped in water the secure the outside and stop it unraveling.  
Sticking the skewer in was the easy part. Lifting it without everything falling off is a different story. 

I scraped some of the surface rice away so you can see the pretty spiral.  
This is a meal in itself (and quite a messy one at that).  My brother helped me eat it.  He added soy sauce to the last bit and stuffed it into his mouth.  A few seconds later, cheeks bulging, he suddenly pulled a face of extreme delight.  Apparently the flavours had hit an optimal combination, resulting in "one of the single most delicious things" he had ever tasted.  A very good reason to look for the best ingredients.  Do i get a gold star now?


CatAuror19168 (author)2014-12-16

I'm not going to eat anything else for the rest of my life ;P

Kagetsuki (author)2010-07-29

I hate to be critical, but your making the rice extremely incorrectly - a fact that is quite apparent by looking at your images. Sushi should be made with "sumeshi", which is made with a sushi grade or rice (there are several different varieties) and vinegar. The rice will not be so sticky after cooking, but rather will achieve the correct consistency after being cooked (not simply boiled, it is not pasta), partially cooled, and mixed with the appropriate type of rice vinegar. As others have noted, toasting your nori is a good idea. Again, I don't say this to discourage you. Sushi is very much an art which proper sushi chefs study for many years to perfect. The "rolled sushi" is called "maki zushi", "maki" meaning "roll" - the noun form of the verb "maku" which is "to roll up/to wrap up/to entwine". In contrast the non rolled sushi is "nigiri zushi", "nigiri" being the noun form of the verb "nigiru" which roughly means "to grasp".

ZackBlack (author)Kagetsuki2010-07-29

If you "hate" to be critical then why are you? Excellent "on a stick" 'ible IMO and don't listen to the "nay-sayers". It's your sushi, make it what ever way you want!

paulborja (author)ZackBlack2010-07-29

I don't think Kagetsuki was trying to be critical but actually making really helpful instructions for those wanting good tasting sushi. Using the right kind of rice is basic so this is helpful information, and I think the author of this article would like to know how to make this recipe the best it can be. Kagetsuki wasn't being a "nay -sayer" because he/she was trying to be helpful. Just because something looks like a food doesn't mean it is, if an ingredient, or a part of the process is flawed in some way. Of course there is room for creativity in any recipe, but the one must achieve the authentic dish before attempting to be creative with it . If you were baking bread and someone suggested using rice flour instead of wheat flour, and it turned out having a problem, wouldn't you want to know? And wouldn't you want some helpful suggestions? Nay-sayers tend to be critical without giving solutions. Kagetsuki was not doing this here. I'm sorry you read it that way. There is a "be nice" policy when it comes to posting a reply, but this shouldn't mean we must sacrifice making any constructive response especially when that response has good information that's well meaning.

EGiR (author)paulborja2010-07-29

Thankyou for that detailed response, i'll make notes in the rice step to acknowledge all the discussion. Regular sushi does not necessarily lend itself to being impaled (when it is 6 times bigger than it should be) so my rice needed to be closer to the consistency of concrete. I did link to better I'bles on the first page.

paulborja (author)EGiR2010-07-29

Anyone who enjoys creating with food knows there is a learning curve...always. And we all gain from each other by our different experiences. Your idea of sushi on a stick is a one of the best I've heard of in a long time. It makes eating it on the go very convenient. I've tried making sushi from time to time and the outcome is never the same. The variables seem to get the better of me most of the time. I hope you master this unique concept and share a recipe you've perfected one day. So for now, good best of luck, and happy eating!

EGiR (author)paulborja2010-07-29

you are right on all counts but one: convenience. I have never made a bigger mess! I love the contradiction. BUT with all the advice i'm getting, i might actually be able to improve the consistency and construction so that it is portable and neat... maybe. we shall see. :D

Calorie (author)EGiR2010-07-30

I've never been sure what is authentic, and to whom.  I always take the perspective do what you like. Experiment, have fun and drive a wooden stake through the heart of many meals. It doesn't mean you like to have it personally.

I lived in Scotland, and I swear to God almighty, that you could buy deep fried pizza. It makes my stomach turn but they did sell.

Kagetsuki (author)Calorie2010-07-30

I'm nationally Japanese and I've lived in (and am currently in) Japan, so I think I'm fairly familiar with what is authentic sushi. As for Pizza, that's a whole other story:
It would seem the "generic" topping of choice in America is pepperoni (which you often can't find at all here), whereas here in Japan it would be Japanese mayonnaise and corn or mayo-corn-tuna. I had pepperoni pizza several times in America and have yet been able to finish a single slice - it's just too greasy and strong for me. Corn and mayo on the other hand I love, but I suspect many Americans would simply find the concept of Japanese mayonnaise and corn on pizza disgusting. My favorite types of pasta are Tarako (pollack roe) and Annkake (one of Nagoya's famous dishes, a black pepper enhanced Japanese style sauce with hints of tomato and starchy base). So while it does bother me a little bit when foreigners misunderstand Japanese dishes pointing that out also makes me a bit of a hypocrite.

The Rambler (author)Kagetsuki2012-02-24

All of those pizzas look awesome! You should make an instructable so those of us not lucky enough to be able to experience it first hand can see, and possibly taste, the mayo-corn-tuna pizza for ourselves. I'm curious though, what is Japanese mayonnaise like? How is it different than American moyonnaise?

Fizzxwizz (author)Kagetsuki2010-08-09

Mayo and corn? I've never heard of that! It actually sounds really good! Next time I have the opportunity I'll need to try that! I also find it a little unusual that you'd dislike pepperoni on your pizza, its personally my favorite, but to each his own.

Calorie (author)Kagetsuki2010-07-30

Couldn't agree with you more. Authentic is as authentic does.

The British eat corn on their pizza as well.

Mayonnaise is one of those odd things. White Americans  people tend to favor it much more than other American Nationalities.

You should try anchovy fillet on your next pizza stateside. Some places still have them available.

Kagetsuki (author)paulborja2010-07-29

Thank you paulborja. I was trying to be helpful, but doing so involved pointing out a mistake and I wanted to do that in as non-negative way as possible.

paulborja (author)Kagetsuki2010-07-29

Your comments were very clear to me, and I understood what you were saying. I too have struggled to make sushi and so I know what a challenge it is to be authentic, with any cuisine. Thank you from all of us who love sushi.

EGiR (author)ZackBlack2010-07-29

ha it ok they're trying to help. I made pretty blasphemous sushi right here. honestly i REALLY did not expect this kind of attention, so thanks everyone for visiting! :)

Kagetsuki (author)ZackBlack2010-07-29

The rice is actually the primary component to sushi, without proper rice I don't think many Japanese would consider it sushi. But more than that I wanted to point out how proper sushi rice is actually made so that the next time the author or others make this they can make it closer to the real thing. I'd also recommend a proper rice cooker (a Japanese rice cooker, Chinese and other rice cookers cook the rice differently) again this is not pasta - it should be washed and cooked under pressure, if the individual kernels have split during cooking or have expanded too much and are too soft you will not be able to make very good sushi. Letting the rice cool further adjusts its consistency and makes it easier to work with, and adding the vinegar will add a very important part of the flavor and make the stickiness and consistency of the rice suitable for sushi.

cheesehead (author)Kagetsuki2010-07-30

i agree, the rice has to be cooked just right for the amazing flavors and textures ... i always wondered tho... what do u do to toast nori? and once it is toasted how do u roll with it?

Calorie (author)Kagetsuki2010-07-30

Dude, he's driving a wooden stick through seaweed, rice, some vegetables and bits of rice. I don't think authenticity is his/her objective. Admire (or not) in their creativity.

EGiR (author)Kagetsuki2010-07-29

haha that's why i put all those links on the first page to people making better sushi. I have very little experience making sushi, i just love eating it (and it tasted gooood). This I'ble is about abusing the sushi rather than making it correctly. I did need the rice to be very sticky because the stick-construction would otherwise disintegrate, so for this purpose my questionable rice worked well. But thankyou for commenting, i hope lots of people will read it and be enlightened, like me! :D i appreciate the mini phrase book too ^^

Organize74 (author)2012-02-07

Someone should duplicate this with all of the proper techniques. There has been enough interest and enough comments correcting technique that it would be worthwhile. I have learned quite a bit reading the posts here. I have never made sushi but I love eating it and the giant lollipop image certainly caught my eye. Great idea!

EGiR (author)Organize742012-02-07

Good suggestion, i learned A LOT from the comments and my sushi is getting pretty good. I have been very busy lately but it is surely time for some more instructabling. Thanks.

alex_ads (author)2011-07-27

this is just freaking awesome

EGiR (author)alex_ads2011-07-27

thankyou, i highly recommend you try it. It's an enjoyable challenge to put together!

everythingadam (author)2011-07-24

With the extra scraps of seaweed sheets you have from cutting, they are delicious when dropped into Ramen noodles, or Im sure just abotu any soup :-)

EGiR (author)everythingadam2011-07-25

indeed! well, just about. Miso much more than pumpkin. Yum!

everythingadam (author)EGiR2011-07-25

haha, ok yeah, I have to give you that one. You found a soup it wouldn't go very well in :-)

s4mm77 (author)2010-08-23

I'd vote for sushi that size even if it wasn't on a stick...

EGiR (author)s4mm772010-08-24

hahaha thankyou!

SwimmingRox (author)2010-08-19

YUM that's a HUGE piece of sushi!! I love it very creative!

ybulan (author)2010-08-03

The lollipop-looking ones would make awesome party food! :)

REA (author)2010-07-29

are there any websites i can order seaweed from? the nearest ocean is 10 hrs away so its (almost) impossible to find it in stores.

pdub77 (author)REA2010-07-30

I live in Indiana and there are numerous stores that sell nori.

REA (author)pdub772010-07-30

really? i live in northwest ohio and i cant find any in stores. all we have are hispanic foods. -_- do you think they might have some in Ft. Wayne?

pdub77 (author)REA2010-07-30

I think there is a whole foods there and they might have it. I work for Trader Joe's and we don't even carry it here in Indy, but there are a few Asian grocery stores around and even some of the big box stores that do. I wish you luck, my friend.

cheesehead (author)REA2010-07-30

in pittsburgh pa you can get all of your supplies for sushi making at giant eagle's ethnic isle . and its a much more economical way to calm my sushi addiction. however just get good salt water fish only. makes a huge diff....for instance i get all my fish from wholeys fish market.

Calorie (author)REA2010-07-30

I've seen it in local grocery stores. If you live in a medium sized city it should be in the ethnic food island.

EGiR (author)REA2010-07-29

first google hits for japanese groceries:

janetcunningham4 (author)2010-07-27

I agree with zascecs that it looks really big lollipops :) Anyways...Upon reading this forum, I got really quite interested as I learned a lot from all the other postings in here. I pondered whether it is really possible to have sushi on a stick. I'm pretty sure that not even the Japanese have thought of this ingenuity :) I have been use to the smaller version of sushi, the sort of bite size.I then consulted program about that and to my surprise, it was listed there. Good thing that i had that program to help me become more open to the possibility that sushis now could be made into this size :) I came across candy sushi too in another site :) I wonder how that tastes :)

EGiR (author)janetcunningham42010-07-27

Thanks very much! I'm sure there are lots of people who have tried this and decided that it's easier to just eat sushi the way it is done now. That spiral made a big mess ;p Since i can't follow the link, may i assume that 'program' is a person? Haha they make candy everything - hard to go wrong there!

janetcunningham4 (author)EGiR2010-07-30

Hi there ! Sorry took me ages to get back here. Had been having some cooking sessions with friends :) Anyways... I was wondering about the spiral that made a big mess, did you use sticky rice, which is very common among Asian kind of rice. That might have dome the trick with this recipe. As for the program, sorry but it refers to a software that has helped me organize my recipes as well help me with the costing of meals I have to prepare and making me know the nutritional value of the food that i will be preparing. If you are really interested, you could also have it from addonx. the name of the software is ShopNCook Menu - Meal Planning for Mac 3.4.3 Check it out! Let me know how helpful this will be for you.

EGiR (author)janetcunningham42010-07-30

my rice was really sticky, but i got that by cooking, not with rice vinegar etc, so that probably added unnecessary mass from water. The mess happens when you try to bite the nori and it pulls everything off! It's pretty hilarious. I think i'll try again with my new awareness of the japanese 'way' and see if it works, but i'm not sure the nori will ever really co-operate when it's coiled ;p That program looks so detailed! I'll keep it in mind, thanks :)

andysalim (author)2010-07-30

Seem like a strange food. But i think that is very unique food. Is it made with a mixture of sugar and rice ?

pdub77 (author)2010-07-30

sushi rolls are called 'maki.'

JustAnotherDave (author)2010-07-29

You'll have better luck cutting the sushi if you use a knife that's wet. Serrated knives work really well, but a good, sharp plain edge will work fine, too. Just keep a bowl of water there to get the blade wet about every dozen cuts.

EGiR (author)JustAnotherDave2010-07-29

Ah yes, i read also about the moist fingers thing AFTER making the first batch. Very good point, i hope people go through these comments, there are some really good tips.

CobaltBlue (author)2010-07-29

Haha, very whimsical idea with the maki lollipop! And if you think about it, the only difference between a maki kebab and the traditional roll is... One stick or two? ;)

EGiR (author)CobaltBlue2010-07-29

LMAO that is awesome ;D thankyou!

texabyte (author)2010-07-28

Nori isn't seaweed. it's algae

EGiR (author)texabyte2010-07-28

you're right, and i only just learned that fairly recently, but 'seaweed sheet' is most recognisable.. and algae sounds kind of gross ;) smells fishy, looks weedy.. thanks for commenting :)

suckrpnch (author)EGiR2010-07-29

Also. Have you tried just lightly toasting the nori, right before use, in the oven? Basically heating it up a little. It makes sure it is nice and dry (very important if the nori is older), and it smooths the flavor out a little removing some of the harsh fishyness IMO.

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