Sushi night is a long standing staple in my house. Sushi night is kind of like a taco bar type of situation where everybody gets what they want. Because sushi is so customizable it is a great meal for guests. I usually find it’s cheaper to make sushi at home too. That’s lucky for me because I was eating sushi rolls for dinner probably twice weekly last summer. Even nori (the seaweed wrapper) is very economical. Most cost at sushi places comes from the fish itself. As a vegan you can circumvent this because vegan fillings are cheeeeep. My favorite kind of sushi is a basic avocado roll. I use around half an avocado per roll because they’re best stuffed full of avocado. Avocado rolls are so creamy and delicious but really simple to assemble. I could just eat avocado sushi and a salad or extra veggies on the side and be completely content.
The key to a good homemade sushi roll is really boring. You need good rice; both texture and seasoning wise. Good rice will cook up well without become soggy. Soggy rice does not make sushi taste appealing so it’s important that your rice will keep its texture while cooking. The rice seasoning is also important so don’t overlook it. A solid mixture of rice vinegar, mirin, sugar and a little salt will make whatever you put into your rolls pop. Why wouldn’t you want to make your avocado rolls extra tasty!
Rice-wise I’ve always used Botan brand Calrose variety rice – it looks like this. This rice is my favorite because they texture is spot on to restaurant sushi rice but it’s also easy to find. I usually get mine at my local Asian market because I’m there virtually every week anyway however I’ve also seen it in the Asian food section of my plain jane grocery store for roughly the same price. See the instructions below on how to make the perfect sushi rice
I sometimes use this sushi rice for rice bowls as well, usually tossed with some kind of green. It’s pretty versatile and works for all toppings. This time I made an ume roll in addition to the usual cucumber and avocado. I always make at least one exciting roll. For this roll I used 3 umeboshi plums. I just used the flesh and removed the pit. Then I also used 6 shiso leaves. These leaves had been pickled with the plums but fresh shiso is awesome too. Shiso has kind of a basil-y taste and is also good wrapped up with spring onion and cucumber. The umeboshi is pretty tart but is a good offset to the velvety avocado rolls. I recommend them if you’ve never tried them, just use less plum than you think you might need! The ume rolls turned out pretty –
The hardest part about making sushi at home is the actual rolling of the sushi. My boyfriend has a knack for him so I leave it in his hands. We put plastic wrap over the sushi rolling mat. You can use anything for this. The mat does not have to be a fancy bamboo mat. Who needs extra crap in their kitchen. You can use a flexible silicone cutting board or a hand towel. Something dense enough to assist rolling basically. Then put a piece of plastic wrap between the mat and your seaweed. Add probably more rice than you think you need – 2/3 to almost a full cup. I get 5-6 rolls out of this recipe, depending on how much other stuff I’m stuffing into each roll. Then roll it tight and seal the end with a few drops of water to make sure it sticks well. Let set around 30 seconds in the plastic wrap before cutting. The slight heat from the rice will also help to set and keep the roll together while slicing.
My male cat, Alfredo, would not stop screaming at me while I was making these avocado rolls. He loves to eat avocado and yells at me if I’m cutting one up. I have to give him a little each time. My other cat thinks he is a giant freak. She goes to the bowl when I feed him the avocado and just looks at it. Sometimes she will try a little but I’m pretty sure it’s just to humor him. He’s a weird kitty. But I love him so I had to give him his avocado even though he really didn’t do anything to help make the sushi.