Mommy's Kitchen - Recipes From my Texas Kitchen!: California Sushi Rolls {Make Them Yourself}

Saturday, January 24, 2009

California Sushi Rolls {Make Them Yourself}

DIY California Sushsi Rolls with crab meat, carrots, cucumbers, and avocados!
I have a  for California Sushi Rolls like no other. I could eat them all by myself until I pop!!! I have been wanting to post this recipe for awhile, but just haven't gotten around to it. I wanted to surprise my friend on New Years Eve with a platter of sushi rolls, so I finally took step by step photos on how to make them. 

Making Sushi at home is much easier than you think. I got tired of buying my California rolls at my local Tom Thumb, because they were kind of pricey, $6.99 for usually 6-9 rolls. Hmm not enough for me plus I'm too cheap to pay that for just a few of them. I saw a friend make California rolls herself and I was hooked. 

The only supplies you need are, a rice paddle, bamboo rolling mat and you're good to go. I can purchase all the ingredients to make about 50-60 California Sushi Rolls for around $12.00 (after purchasing the sushi making kit).  You can purchase a sushi kit at any local Asian store. I got mine brand new off Ebay for $8 including shipping.  

They're always up for auction, use this link or do a search for Joyce Chen Sushi Kit. Once you have your kit it's hardly nothing each time you want to make Sushi Rolls. Make sure to always use Japanese Rice. 

Sushi rice is a small - medium grained rice and gets sticky when it's cooked. Long-grained American rice will not work because it is drier and doesn't stick together. I always have a hard time finding a small bag of Sushi Rice, so I have improvised a couple times.

When I'm in a pinch I use Watermaid Medium Grain Rice. I purchased it at Walmart for $1.12 for a one pound bag, which is perfect to make about 50 California rolls. It's almost exact to sushi rice and so much cheaper. I have never had a problem using it for sushi.

After you have the rice prepared just cut up and prepare your filling and that's it. Making them yourself is so much cheaper than buying them already prepared. The first time you make them by yourself I guarantee you will be hooked, just like I was. 

Now when I'm in the mood for some sushi I just purchase my ingredients and off I go. I have included some step by step directions so you to can prepare California Sushi Rolls at home all by yourself. 

~ Warning ~ this is a long post with lots of information.


These are the ingredients you will need: Sushi Rice or short-medium grain rice, Rice Paddle, Bamboo Rolling Mat, Nori Wrappers, Salt, Sugar, Rice Vinegar, Cucumbers, Carrots, Avocados, and Leg Style Crab Meat, and clear plastic wrap which is not pictured because I can never figure it out and get the sushi rolled properly with the clear wrap. Some people prefer to use it. I just make sure my bamboo mat is cleaned and air dried thoroughly after I make a batch of sushi.

Sushi rice takes a little over an hour to prepare, so plan accordingly. Use a minimum of 2 cups of rice to equal parts of water. Place the rice in a bowl. Wash the rice with water, rubbing the grains gently between the hands to remove excess starch. Drain and repeat until the water comes out clear. 

It takes about 3-4 times of rinsing. If you have starchy deposits on the rice it will result in a gummy rice and you will have a improper absorption of the vinegar seasoning. Soak the rice in water until the rice looks milky white in color about 15-20 minutes. it will look just like this, drain the rice in a colander and set aside to dry for about 15 minutes.

choose a heavy saucepan with a snug fitting lid. (4 cup capacity) Place the 2 cups rice in the pot and add 2 cups water. Cover and cook on medium heat until boiling. Stir gently with rice paddle removing any excess rice grains that stick to the the sides of the pot. Once it comes to a boil turn the heat down to med/low cover and simmer until almost all the water is absorbed about 5-8 minutes. 

Turn the heat to low, and do not remove the lid. Let the rice steam for about 15-20 minutes. Until all the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked. Turn off the heat and allow the rice to set, this takes about 10 minutes. (this will yield about 3 and 3/4 cups cooked sushi rice)

While the sushi rice is setting you can prepare the sushi - su (the rice seasoning). This is what gives sushi rice its delicate, tart-sweet flavor. You can purchase rice vinegar in the salad dressing isle by regular vinegar or in the Asian section of your grocery store. I have found it is much cheaper in the regular vinegar section for some reason. I got mine for about $2.39. To make the rice seasoning add:

Seasoned Sushi Rice
4 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
4 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt

in a non reactive bowl, mix the above ingredients together until dissolved and set aside. You will need to prepare a separate bowl of solution for you hands and tools. A solution of 1 part rice vinegar to 3 parts of water this is used to moisten hands and to moisten the knife to cut the sushi. (abut 1/2 cup rice vinegar to 1 1/2 cups water)

OK now you want to mix the rice solution into the rice. This is an important step to have successful sushi. For proper absorption the rice seasoning needs to be mixed into hot rice. This should be done gently so you do not mush the grains of rice.

Then the rice must be quickly cooled down to room temperature to acquire the beautiful glossy sheen and chewy texture made by sushi rice. Start by loosening the cooked rice from the pot into a large bowl. pry the rice away from the sides using the rice paddle dumping the rice into the bowl.

Moisten the rice paddle with the vinegar solution you made for the utensils not the rice seasoning. Do not add any rice that has stuck to the bottom of the pan, you don't want burned or hard rice. Gently run the paddle through the rice while adding the sushi - su (rice seasoning) at the same time. Gently Fold the rice seasoning into the rice using the rice paddle.

Keep folding and mixing the rice gently to incorporate the seasoning and to start to cool down the rice. This usually takes a helper to fan a magazine as you mix the rice. I don't usually have a helper since everyone in my house except me hates sushi LOL, so I end up doing this part by myself at times.

I just blow on the rice or use one hand to gently fold and one hand to fan the rice with a magazine. Cooling the rice gives it the nice glossy sheen. It will take about 10 minutes to cool the rice to room temperature. If the rice it too warm it's too hard to handle.

(DO NOT PUT THE RICE IN THE REFRIGERATOR, BECAUSE THIS WILL MAKE THE RICE HARD. REMEMBER IT NEEDS TO COOL TO ROOM TEMPERATURE, JUST BE PATIENT)

Once the rice is cooled you're ready to start rolling the sushi.  Have your supplies ready to go (rolling mat, rice paddle, vinegar solution for your knife to cut the sushi and for your hands. And lastly your filling for you sushi). ( I use Crab Style Leg Meat, Cucumbers, sometimes Carrots and Avocados). Make sure they are all sliced and ready to go before you start to roll the sushi.

OK this is where one of my handy helpers comes into the process. My oldest is taking the pictures for me to show you how to assemble, roll and cut your sushi. Thank you Travis!!!! Lets start, place one sheet of Nori on the counter (shiny side down) with the widest side closest to you at the edge of your mat.

You can lay a piece of plastic wrap down first before you lay down your Nori wrapper. Me I can never get that part right it slides around to much for me and i cannot properly roll the sushi, so I chose not to use plastic wrap. It's your preference.

Take about 1/2 cup of seasoned rice and with your moistened hands, place the rice on the Nori wrapper and with your fingers or the rice paddle moistened with seasoning water spread out the rice evenly onto the sheet of Nori to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cover the Nori sheet leaving about 1/2 inch to 1 inch uncovered. I went a bit far on mine in the above picture, so if you went to close to the edge just take some rice off. You need room to seal you sushi roll.

Now it is time to add your filling. Place the filling in the middle of the Nori wrapper. Travis took the picture to fast, so the placement of my filling needs to be up in the middle more. You will be rolling the sushi away from you.

Now holding the core ingredients firmly in place roll part of the Nori over the ingredients. Now using your thumbs slowly turn up the edges of the mat closest to you to enclose the sushi roll and filling. then raise the end of the mat slightly so you don't roll the mat into the sushi roll, and continue to roll making sure to hold back the filling as you roll the sushi until all the Nori wrapper is rolled up. 

I like to dab a bit of the seasoning water from the tools we prepared earlier on the open end of the Nori wrapper to seal the sushi roll. Before unrolling squeeze the roll gently while the rolling mat is still on the sushi roll. Unroll your mat and Tada!!!!!!!!!!!! you have a sushi roll. This is my favorite part I am usually beside myself waiting to get the first bite. Place your sushi roll on a separate plate or on the counter and let the sushi roll sit for a couple minutes before slicing.

Yum I have three rolls ready to be sliced. Lightly moisten the knife blade with the separate vinegar solution we made earlier for your hands and the knife. This will keep the sushi rice from sticking to the knife while you slice it. Slice the roll into 6 even pieces.

Use straight firm cuts. I find that the ends are not as pretty for presentation so I just cut the ends and eat them as I go along LOL I do this cause i can hardly wait to dive in and eat them. Place the sushi slices on a pretty platter with the core ingredients visible. Serve with pickled ginger, Wasabi and soy sauce for dipping. I don't like the Wasabi, so I don't use it. My favorite is just soy sauce and the pickled ginger. 

Look how pretty they turned out!!! 


California Sushi Rolls

Equipment Needed:
bamboo sushi-roll mat
clean cutting board
sushi knife or very sharp knife
wooden spoon or wood or plastic rice paddle for spreading rice
plastic wrap, optional

Ingredients:
1 - 10 count package Sushi Nori (seaweed sheets)
2 - cups Sushi Rice or Watermaid brand medium grain rice
2 - cups water
1 - 8 oz package leg style crab meat, sliced
2 - avocados - sliced
1 - cucumber, thinly sliced
carrots, sliced thinly (optional)

Sushi Su (Sushi Rice Seasoning):
4 1/2 - tablespoons rice vinegar
4 - teaspoons sugar
2 - teaspoons salt

Garnish:
soy sauce
wasabi
pickled ginger 

Sushi Rice takes a little over an hour to prepare, so plan accordingly. Use a minimum of 2 cups of rice to equal parts of water. Place the rice in a bowl and wash the rice with water, rubbing the grains gently between the hands to remove excess starch. 

Drain and repeat until the water comes out clear. It takes about 3-4 times of rinsing. If you have starchy deposits on the rice it will result in a gummy rice and you will have a improper absorption of the vinegar seasoning.

Soak the rice in water until the rice looks milky white in color about 15-20 minutes. Drain the rice in a colander and set aside to dry for about 15 minutes. Choose a heavy saucepan with a snug fitting lid (4 cup capacity). 

Place the 2 cups rice in the pot and add 2 cups water. Cover and cook on medium heat until boiling. Stir gently with rice paddle removing any excess rice grains that stick to the the sides of the pot.

Once it comes to a boil turn the heat down to med/low cover and simmer until almost all the water is absorbed about 5-8 minutes. Then turn the heat to low, do not remove the lid and steam the rice for about 15-20 minutes. 

Until all the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked. Turn off the heat and allow the rice to set, this takes about 10 minutes. (this will yield about 3 3/4 cups cooked sushi rice).

While the sushi rice is setting you can prepare the sushi - su (the rice seasoning). This is what gives sushi rice its delicate, tart-sweet flavor. 

To make the rice seasoning add 4 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 4 teaspoons sugar, 2 teaspoons salt in a non reactive bowl, mix the above ingredients together until dissolved and set aside.

You will need to prepare a separate bowl of solution for you hands and tools. A solution of 1 part rice vinegar to 3 parts of water this is used to moisten hands and to moisten the knife to cut the sushi. (abut 1/2 cup rice vinegar to 1 1/2 cups water). 

Now you want to mix the rice solution into the rice. This is an important step to have successful sushi. For proper absorption the rice seasoning needs to be mixed into hot rice.

This should be done gently so you do not mush the grains of rice. Then the rice must be quickly cooled down to room temperature to acquire the beautiful glossy sheen and chewy texture made by sushi rice. Start by loosening the cooked rice from the pot into a large bowl. 

Pry the rice away from the sides using the rice paddle dumping the rice into the bowl. Moisten the rice paddle with the vinegar solution you made for the utensils not the rice seasoning. Do not add any rice that has stuck to the bottom of the pan, you don't want burned or hard rice.

Gently run the paddle through the rice while adding the sushi - su (rice seasoning) at the same time. Gently Fold the rice seasoning into the rice using the rice paddle. Keep folding and mixing the rice gently to incorporate the seasoning and to start to cool down the rice. This usually takes a helper to fan a magazine as you mix the rice.

I don't usually have a helper since everyone in my house except me hates sushi LOL so i end up doing this part by myself at times. I just blow on the rice or use one hand to gently fold and one hand to fan the rice with a magazine. Cooling the rice gives it the nice glossy sheen. It will take about 10 minutes to cool the rice to room temperature. If the rice it to warm it is to hard to handle.

(DO NOT PUT THE RICE IN THE REFRIGERATOR THIS WILL GIVE YOU HARD RICE, REMEMBER IT NEEDS TO COOL TO ROOM TEMPERATURE, JUST BE PATIENT)

Now you are ready to start rolling the sushi. Have ready your rolling mat, rice paddle, vinegar solution for your knife to cut the sushi and for your hand. And lastly your filling for you sushi. I use Leg style crab meat, cucumbers, carrots, and avocados). Make sure they are all sliced and ready to go before you start to roll your sushi.

Let's start, place one sheet of Nori on the counter (shiny side down) with the widest side closest to yo at the edge of your mat. You can lay a piece of plastic wrap down first before you lay down your Nori wrapper.

Me I can never get that part right it slides around to much for me and I cannot properly roll the sushi, so I chose not to use plastic wrap. It's your preference. Take about 1/2 cup of seasoned rice and with your moistened hands, place the rice on the Nori wrapper.

Use your fingers or the rice paddle moistened with seasoning water spread out the rice evenly onto the sheet of Nori to about 1/4 inch thickness.

Cover the Nori sheet leaving about 1/2 inch to 1 inch uncovered. I went a bit far on mine in the above picture, so if you went to close to the edge just take some rice off. You need room to seal your sushi roll.

Now it is time to add your filling. Place the filling end to end in the middle of the Nori wrapper. Travis took the picture to fast, so the placement of my filling needs to be up in the middle more. 

You will be rolling the sushi Away From You. Now holding the core ingredients firmly in place roll part of the Nori over the ingredients.

Now using your thumbs slowly turn up the edges of the mat closest to you to enclose the sushi roll and filling. then raise the end of the mat slightly so you don't roll the mat into the sushi roll, and continue to roll. 

Make sure to hold back the filling as you roll your sushi keep rolling until all the Nori wrapper is rolled up. I dab a bit of the seasoning water from the tools we prepared earlier on the open end of the Nori wrapper to seal the sushi roll.

Before unrolling squeeze the roll gently while the rolling mat is still on the sushi roll. Unroll your mat and Tada!!!!!!!!!!!! you have a sushi roll. This is my favorite part I am usually beside myself waiting to get the first bite. Place your sushi roll on a separate plate or on the counter to the side to let set for a couple minutes.

Lightly moisten the knife blade with the separate vinegar solution we make earlier for your hands and the knife. This will keep the sushi rice from sticking to the knife while you slice it. Slice the roll into 6 even pieces. Use straight firm cuts.

I find that the ends are not as pretty for presentation, so I just cut the ends and eat them as i go along LOL I do this cause i can hardly wait to dive in and eat them. Place the sushi slices on a pretty platter with the core ingredients visible. Serve with pickled ginger, Wasabi and soy sauce for dipping. I do not paticularly like the Wasabi.


Whew this is the longest recipe post I think I have done. Sorry but I wanted to make sure to get all the steps.

Print Friendly and PDF

28 comments:

Reeni♥ said... #

Your amazing, you make it look so easy! Those look wonderful! Thanks for the great instructions and all the tips.

Krystal said... #

Yum. Oh yum. . .I spent about 2 hours the other night on amazon drooling over the sushi stuff. Have you seen a sush-easy? lol, it's pretty funny!
thanks for sharing this recipe, I can't wait to find time to try it! :)

Shawna said... #

I'm going to have to try these as well!!!! :) Hey, go check out my latest blog post!!! ;)

RecipeGirl said... #

This is definitely on my list of things I want to do!! You did such a great job with it :)

Hope you'll enter my Super Bowl recipe contest...you can win a $250 gift card!

(F)redddy said... #

You're right...a FAR better value thant the store bought sushi rolls. The only problem with having THAT much sushi is EATING that much sushi!

Stephanie said... #

That is so awesome! I love sushi too.

RecipeGirl said... #

Hi Tina- I'm assuming that message was from you re: the super bowl recipe contest! Yes, you can absolutely submit any recipe, you'll just need to add the link to the post. I'd love to see what you have to contribute :)

Mommy's Kitchen said... #

I wondered after I hit submit about adding my name and email address. I thought it would do that before it confirmed the email. Thats ok though you got it figured out. I will work on my post for the smackdown add all my links infor and email everything to you. Thanks for replying Lori.

Sadao said... #

This is by far the most easy-to-follow step-by-step recipe I've seen. It is also very comprehensive. Two thums up!

Mommy's Kitchen said... #

Thanks everyone for the positive comments. Once you make sushi rolls yourself you get the hang of it pretty fast. I was so excited the first time i made them all by myself.

Krystal this is really easier than you think.

Freddy, you dont have to eat it all by yourself. I make and share mine with my friends.


Sadao, you have some beautiful sushi sets at your website. Thanks for stopping by.

Tiffany said... #

I've never had California sushi, but that looks fun to make. Great tutorial!

nmsusieq said... #

But what is the nori made out of? I assume it's edible? I hope you wouldn't have to unroll it to eat it. I'm sorry. I guess you can tell I've never been anywhere they served sushi rolls, let alone, eat them.

My New 30 said... #

Tina! What a BEAUTIFUL job!! And you make it look so easy. We don't have any sushi of any kind sold in stores down here, you have no choice but to go to a restaurant for sushi. We have several sushi places where I live and while I admit that I love the experience of the whole thing, it can be pretty high dollar. Your tutorial makes it seem easy to do, I just may give this a try myself!

Frugal Home Living said... #

WOW! I am so very impressed by you. This is great.

newlyweds said... #

Great job! I love sushi and I am so jealous you made it yourself, how fun!!!! I am so going to try this.

Priscilla said... #

Wow! The sushi rolls look beautiful!

Mommy's Kitchen said... #

nmsusieql, The whole thing is edible I am guessing you have never had sushi rolls before.

Newlyweds, you should try and make them. It is pretty easy to do I was shocked if i can do it anyone can. The hardest part was preparing the rice it takes a while. In the end it is all so worth it.

Kevin said... #

Hello my name is Kevin and I was wondering if I could use some of your pictures for a magazine I am making for my high school Ezine class. I could send the magazine to you when I am done. Please email me your response at blue_robot_chicken@yahoo.com. Thanks.

silvercityranch said... #

Tina you did a great job. We have been making them for years since we live way out in the country. One thing you should try is wrapping plastic wrap over your bamboo mat. This really helps in the clean up department. Also we make a mixture of mayonaise and sirrachi sauce which is how they make the spicy tuna rolls. Give it a try and let me know how it turns out. ~ Ang

Mommy's Kitchen said... #

Thank you Ang they are so much fun to make and eat. LOL everytime i use the plastic wrap it slides around and cant get it to work. I will keep trying. thanks for stopping by.

Chrissy said... #

I saw this post forever age and just made them for us to eat for dinner tonight. They are so good. I added cream cheese too. For my 2 year old I just put cheddar cheese in for the filling and my 3 year old request "rice and cucumbers". They cannot wait to use their plastic chopsticks!! Thank you for such a great and easy to follow post!!

Mommy's Kitchen said... #

Hi Chrissy, you really got me in the mood for california rolls LOL. I wish my kids would eat them like yours do. when i make them I share with my friend and we go to town on them. My kids cannot get passed the nori wrappers. I am so glad you like the recipe and thanks for coming back and commenting.

Rhondi said... #

Hi Tina. I've been wanting to make California rolls but have been very afraid...until I read your post. You make it look so easy and explain it all so well. I went to World Market and the grocery store to gather up all the supplies I will need. I'm making these tomorrow for lunch. Wish me luck! I'll let you know how they turn out. BTW, your rolls look perfect!

Anonymous said... #

This is just what I needed to learn how to make sushi! Thank you so much for sending the link to me :)
Haley @ The Girly Girl Cooks

Anonymous said... #

I always wanted to make, sushi. I just made it today, using your guide, and they came out perfect!!!

Cindy J said... #

At least you explain in detail! And take pictures! I love that! It's nice to see step by step instructions!!!! I love making my own sushi & have been experimenting on new recipes, like spicy tuna made with canned tuna instead of raw! Plus it's cheaper and tastes as good as the raw tuna! Even better I think with all the spices! Thanks for your site I will be back again to see whats new!

Brunella Brunet said... #

I know nothing about sushi rolls, but those look delicious. My question is, are the crab legs cooked before? Thanks. love your site.

Anonymous said... #

made them and they came out great! Didn't have a bamboo mat so I just used ceran wrap worked the exact same.