Five Rules: Simplified Sushi

By Elise Smith
|  Tuesday, Mar 2, 2010  |  Updated 10:30 AM CDT
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Five Rules: Simplified Sushi

Sushi is a tasty and healthy way to eat a meal, but since sushi restaurants are usually pricey, sometimes you can't treat yourself to this delightful cuisine. Make your money stretch by rolling your own sushi at home with a few simple steps. Even though sushi can seem like a daunting dish to try to make, you can conquer it with these Five Rules steps that will make you a sushi master in no time.

1. Ingredients to Make Your Sushi Rock n’ Roll
Make sure you have these ingredients ready to go when you start your sushi adventure: Nori -- a thin sheet of seaweed used for specifically for sushi; sushi rice -- which is rice mixed with sugar, salt and rice vinegar; and finally, your favorite sushi ingredients, which can include vegetable fillings (i.e. cucumber, avocado, carrots, etc.), sushi grade fish, and any other ingredient you want in your roll.

2. It’s All in the Prep
Besides just making sure you have all your sushi ingredients ready, there are supplies that will make your life a lot easier when you make sushi. Connoisseurs use a bamboo mat to make what you place your on sushi an easy roll. Without this, your sushi will be difficult to keep together and a hassle to tackle. Also, make sure you have a sharp knife on hand to cut your roll into pieces after you have completed your sushi.

3. Piecing it Together
Now that you have the prep and ingredients good to go, here is where you put everything together. Make sure when you start out, to put your Nori sheet (shiny side face down) on the bamboo mat. Then, take your sushi rice and spread it onto your Nori, making sure you leave about half an inch of space from the edge of the Nori that is closest to you. Take your ingredients for your favorite sushi roll and place them in the middle of the Nori. Next, take the edge of the bamboo mat that is closest to you and start rolling your sushi away from your body. Take careful notice, that once you have tightened your sushi by rolling it, you unwrap the bamboo mat gently so the sushi doesn’t come apart. After completing the rolling, remove your sushi roll from the bamboo mat and slice the middle of the roll first. At this point, you can cut your sushi into however many pieces your want (i.e. cut it in sixths or eighths) and you’re done!

4. You Got Served
Eating sushi comes with some proper etiquette rules, so if you don’t want to look like a beginner, be sure to keep these helpful hints in mind: Sushi is generally served with wasabi, Gari (pickled ginger), and soy sauce, so if you are serving yourself, your friends, or just anyone in general, make sure to offer these three items on the plate. And always remember, with the soy sauce, not pour it over the sushi, but to just use it for dipping the rolls into. Sushi is also generally eaten in one bite if possible, but if you’ve found your roll is just too big to eat in one whole bite, two is okay.

5. Sake to Me
When people say sushi, the word sake comes to mind, even though they don’t know a whole lot about the drink. Sake is the traditional rice wine of Japan and just like beer; it is brewed, rather than aged, so it is best consumed soon after buying. Even though most sake is served chilled, some drink it warm. Warm sake is generally popular in Japan in the winter. The temperature of the sake should never affect the flavor of the drink, so sake should never be boiled or frozen. It’s also Japanese custom to pour sake for others at the table, so keep tabs on how full your friends’ cups are and you’ll be sure to be the hit at dinner.

Find more expert advice for the things you do on our exclusive Five Rules feature page.

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