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Make your own sushi - delicious Japanese sushi recipes

Make your own sushi - delicious Japanese sushi recipes

Sushi is becoming increasingly popular in this country, which is no wonder considering the diverse preparation options. The well-known dish originally consists of a combination of mildly vinegared rice, raw or cooked fish, and various types of vegetables. The rolls originally come from China and made their way to Japan from there. Sushi rolls are considered the most famous culinary creation of the large Asian country.

How can you make sushi yourself?

Particularly in this country, Maki and Nigiri variants are especially popular and frequently consumed: The developments of the delicious "Edo-mae-zushi" come from Tokyo, and naturally, in the country of origin, there are still various recipes for the well-known rolls. From the beginning, salmon has been considered a particularly popular ingredient, but avocado and various types of vegetables are also commonly added to the rolls. And a plant also plays an essential role as a seasoning: Without wasabi, also known as Japanese horseradish, almost nothing goes in Japanese cuisine. In many recipes, wasabi is a crucial component for the distinctive taste of the delicious rolls. Finally, for preparation, you need another essential accessory used in almost all recipes: Makisu, the bamboo mat used for rolling and cooking sushi.

Hosomaki: The thin rolls

Just half a nori sheet is enough to create a delicious hosomaki recipe. Once again, salmon is preferred as the filling – alternatively, the specialty also tastes particularly delicious with avocado (especially popular in Europe) and kappa (cucumber). Of course, the bamboo mat gets its share of action in this type of preparation.

Hosomaki sushi on a serving plate
Hosomaki Sushi

Futomaki: The thicker alternative

If you prefer your sushi a bit "thicker," you're in for a treat: The so-called futomaki is characterized, among other things, by the fact that it requires a whole nori sheet. Additionally, the larger surface allows for the combination of two delicious ingredients such as avocado and fish. But even more extravagant variations are finding their way from the kitchen to the dining table more and more often. By the way, in terms of difficulty, the two types of maki are quite similar.

Futoma sushi rolls
Futomaki sushi rolls

Uromaki: Sushi rolled from the inside

This sushi recipe is also known as California Roll or Inside Out Roll. The significant difference lies in the positioning of the nori sheet, which is inside the specialty in this case. The sushi rice is then spread on the outer part. When cooking and preparing uromaki, sometimes more unusual flavor components are added - from fish eggs to chives to sesame, everything is included.

Uromaki sushi rolls
Uromaki sushi on a serving platter

Nigiri: Not rolled, but pressed

With this Japanese specialty, you don't need to roll while cooking; instead, you press: Nigiri is essentially nothing more than pressed, oval rice balls. Usually, a small dab of wasabi is added. Your creativity is generally limitless when it comes to additional ingredients: Besides fish, seafood or Japanese omelet (Tamago) are among the most commonly used flavor enhancements. Even when preparing a Nigiri recipe, experienced chefs often rely on bamboo mats; a nori strip is not mandatory but is sometimes also used. As with all other specialties, the soy sauce, a popular accompaniment, should not be missing here either.

Nigiri Sushi
Nigiri sushi with sesame seeds on a serving platter

Temaki: A rather rare specialty

Temaki, on the other hand, is much less commonly prepared in Germany. An undeniable reason for this is certainly the considerable effort involved in the handmade alternative. To prepare a flawless Temaki, you once again need a nori sheet, which, in this case, is rolled into a cone-shaped bag. In its basic form, this type of sushi is reminiscent of an ice cream cone in an ice cream parlor. The filling of the roll is, of course, entirely up to your taste and your supply of delicious ingredients - characteristic for this alternative are fish varieties such as salmon but also various vegetables. For lovers of spicy seasoning, the famous wasabi must not be missing as a topping.

Temaki sushi on a sushi platter
Temaki Sushi gerollt

Sashimi: Fine fish fillets as an encore

If one wants to be very strict, sashimi is not even considered among the possible alternatives among the types of the Japanese specialty: After all, integral components such as the nori sheet or sushi rice are missing in these recipes. Nevertheless, many hobby and professional gourmets serve the delicate fish fillets alongside the original rolls. Unlike wasabi, the bamboo mat can be omitted in this preparation method.

Sashimi sushi in serving dish
Sashimi sushi with caviar

Cooking healthy sushi yourself? What speaks for it from a nutritional point of view

Most people would agree with the general consensus that Japanese rolls made from rice and other ingredients are not only delicious but also healthy. But what leads nutrition experts to this judgment? First of all, the nori seaweed, which is primarily used in the recipes to secure the specialty, offers a lot of benefits: They are not only fat-free but also contain essential proteins, fibers, and other micronutrients such as zinc and iodine. If the soy sauce has been prepared in a traditional way, it can confirm this positive first impression thanks to its high protein content and low calorie density: Only industrially manufactured variants contain unwanted preservatives or flavor enhancers.

Advantage of the homemade alternative: you decide on the rice and ingredients

However, there is a small drawback with sushi rice: Even in restaurants, mostly polished and refined white rice is used. In this type, most vitamins and minerals have disappeared. The use of brown rice can remedy this, which you can only integrate in this form with homemade sushi: It has not been industrially processed and therefore retains important nutrients. In addition, it has a much lower impact on blood sugar levels and keeps you satisfied longer. A 50:50 ratio of white and brown rice is possible, for example. As for the other additions, it depends on the specific ingredient: Fish, especially salmon as a fatty variety, is rich in essential Omega-3 fatty acids, which are associated with several positive effects. Most vegetable fillings such as avocado can also be recommended without hesitation. When cooking on your own, you enjoy the advantage of having the freedom to decide which components to use. However, the enjoyment should naturally be at the forefront: With the right recipe, even your first attempt at cooking will be a complete success.

Ingredients and tools for homemade recipes

Sushi rice
Rice vinegar
Smoked fish, optional caviar, prawns or surimi
Fresh, raw fish
Vegetables, e.g. cucumber, avocado, spring onions, pickled radish
Nori algae leaves
Soy sauce and wasabi
Pickled ginger (gari)
Sugar, salt and water
Bamboo mat
Possibly ready-made Asian spice mix
Kochende Miss Oryoki

When it comes to ingredients, it's best to focus on freshness, especially with fish and vegetables, as there can be significant differences in quality. Also, keep in mind that some types of fish are consumed raw. While the use of smoked salmon is theoretically possible, it may result in a slightly modified flavor profile despite the presence of wasabi, soy sauce, and nori sheets. For the other ingredients, including avocado, sushi rice, rice vinegar, and pickled ginger, you can rely on the supermarket. Asian stores may offer more budget-friendly options, but availability can vary.

Japanese recipes View recipe collection »

1. cook rice

Step 1

Before you embark on shaping the Japanese rolls, it's time to tackle the rice cooking. An advantage of completing this step first is that the grains can cool down in the meantime, making them much easier to handle. Before the actual cooking process, it is also essential to thoroughly wash the grains so that the starch can detach from the seed coat, resulting in the rice sticking together better later on.

Step 2

For a quantity of 450 grams of sushi rice, you will need approximately 600 milliliters of water. Bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce the heat to the lowest setting, allowing the rice to swell. As a final step, remove the pot from the heat. Once again, it makes sense to let the rice sit and swell in the covered pot for about 10 minutes. The lid should not be opened during this time to prevent the escape of steam.

Step 3

To obtain seasoned rice, sushi vinegar is incorporated into the rice. It gives the rice a distinctive flavor, enhancing the other ingredients. In a bowl, mix 3 tablespoons of rice vinegar with a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of salt. The ratio of sugar to salt can vary depending on personal taste preferences—some may prefer it saltier, while others may prefer it sweeter. It is recommended not to use a metal bowl for mixing, as it could affect the taste. Afterward, the rice should not be refrigerated, as it may become hard. The best results are achieved at room temperature during the preparation, allowing the rice and ingredients to unfold their flavors optimally.

Sushi rice in a wooden pot

2. prepare the ingredients

Step 1

Both Nigiri and Maki involve a series of ingredients that need preparation before cooking. Ideally, you should cut salmon, avocado, and cucumber into approximately one-centimeter-thick strips. Here's a little tip to enhance the flavor of the salmon: drizzle some Asian spices, lemon, and a bit of soy sauce over the fish. Perhaps you even have a ready-made Asian spice blend that you can use in the recipe. Additionally, treating the avocado with lemon juice is worthwhile to prevent the development of brown edges.

Step 2

At this point in the recipe, it also makes sense to have the necessary tools for making sushi ready. In addition to a glass of cold tap water, you will need a cutting board. A sharp knife and the aforementioned bamboo mat are also essential tools when making sushi. Regarding handling the fish, some solid rules for optimizing hygiene have proven effective. The work surface should be thoroughly cleaned of any potential germs and bacteria. Also, it's ideal to treat the knife with hot water before handling the fish and vegetables. Having the tools readily available and being adequately prepared early on will undoubtedly save you potential trouble during the execution of the recipe.

3. prepare the maki rolls

Step 1

After these steps, all the preparations for cooking Maki or Nigiri are in place within the recipe. Now, let's proceed with the instructions for preparing Maki rolls: As an initial step, place a sheet of Nori on the bamboo mat, positioning the short sides on the right and left. Fill the Nori sheet with rice, covering about 80% of it with a relatively thin layer. Especially in the early attempts of the recipe, a bit of patience may be required as sushi rice tends to be a bit sticky and may not be the easiest to work with. Slightly moistened fingers can provide some relief, and with a bit of practice, the preparation of the dish becomes easier.

Step 2

Depending on whether you've chosen salmon, avocado, cucumber, or a combination of these ingredients, position a small row of fish or vegetable strips at the front end of the Nori sheet, directly on the rice. Now, it's time to use the bamboo mat: Roll the sushi from the bottom, where the ingredients are, towards the top. In the end, you'll have a small strip of an empty Nori sheet left, which will assist in sealing the rolls. To optimize adhesion, a slight moistening of the Nori sheets is recommended. At this point, you can also retrieve the wasabi from the pantry.

Sushi making Rolling sushi rice
Sushi rice roll topped with salmon
Cut the sushi roll into slices
Sushi production
Flambé sushi rolls
Garnish sushi rolls

4. serve: Enjoy your meal!

Step 1

At this point, you're almost at the finish line. However, aesthetics also play a role: Once you have your Maki sushi (the same applies to the Nigiri variant) ready, serving the specialty on plates or decorative platters is worthwhile for visual appeal. For those with the means, briefly flambeing your sushi creation can make the fish crispy. An alternative would be fried sushi rolls. In this method, the rolls are first coated in flour, then in beaten eggs, and finally in breadcrumbs. They are then fried in a pan with hot oil until golden brown on all sides. There are virtually no limits to creativity in preparation and decoration.

Step 2

Now, you can complement the dish with additional ingredients: Simply place the soy sauce, pickled ginger, and wasabi on the side. Before enjoying the rolls, feel free to add a dab of wasabi paste and a piece of ginger, depending on your personal taste. Right after that, many enthusiasts like to briefly dip the sushi into the soy sauce - Bon appétit!

Possible variations: Cooking nigiri and co.

If you prefer making Nigiri instead of Maki, you can completely omit the seaweed sheets. Here, you simply top rice balls with a narrow piece of fish fillet or other components like tuna, shrimp, sashimi, bell pepper, or carrot. The preparation of larger Maki rolls with multiple ingredients is also not a problem with this basic recipe. As exotic but worthwhile alternatives to avocado, mango or apple strips are considered. Sushi has become a delicious and fantastic dish for vegetarians as well: for the meat and fish-free version of the rolls, use tofu, egg, or vegetables instead of salmon and others. Even sweet sushi, made with sweet fruit ingredients combined with mild soy sheets and sweet rice, is becoming more popular. In either case, most gourmets use a bamboo mat as a tool. Either way, with this recipe, your next attempt will be a particularly delicious and visually appealing success - Good luck!

Come visit our shop! There is a great selection of products that complement sushi perfectly.

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