Sushi is definitely a family favorite. When our kids were younger there was this hole-in-the-wall Japanese restaurant in town we loved. The only problem with taking our kids out for sushi was that they inhaled it. I seriously don’t even think they chewed. Six rolls gone in 5 minutes and they were begging for more. By the end of dinner, we’d pay our $$$ tab and usually leave hungry.
It ended up became our “date-night” place…then we could leave the kids at home with nana!
But the kids would still beg for sushi every now and then. I thought about making it at home, but it seemed very intimidating!
I began looking up tutorials on youtube and was surprised to find out that it wasn’t that difficult at all! The nice thing is that you can use whatever you want inside and it’s actually much cheaper too!
Every once in a while, we buy raw fish for the inside. The only problem is that you can only use “sashimi grade” fish, which is some of the freshest and best quality raw fish you can find. It’s not only difficult (many places sell previously frozen fish, which cannot be consumed raw) but it’s also very costly, usually running over $25 a pound!
You can always use cooked seafood, like steamed salmon, shrimp, or crab, which would be less expensive. Egg, tofu, or tempeh are good protein choices as well.
Usually, we just make it with a bunch of fresh veggies. It’s so delicious, we honestly don’t even miss the raw fish. We make a bunch of rolls and everyone gets to choose what they put in their own.
We even learned some different ways to roll the sushi—There’s the traditional way, the inside out sushi (where the rice is on the outside) and the “dragon roll” technique, with sliced avocado decorating the top. Any way you roll them, they’re so delicious and kid-friendly too. My kids love when I make these. They think it’s a special treat and I’m happy that they’re getting in a bunch of fresh veggies…without complaining. That’s a win-win in my book!
These rolls are delicious, veggie-rich, and pretty inexpensive to make. They’re also super easy to put together and since they don’t contain raw fish, pack well for lunches too. If you give these a try, please let me know how you like them by commenting below or tagging me in your photo and hashtagging #wifemamafoodie on Instagram so I can see your creations!
Also, if you like avocado in sushi, be sure to check out these Crunch Avocado Hand Rolls!
- ¼ cup plain Rice Vinegar (If your vinegar is Seasoned, omit sugar and salt)
- 2 tablespoons organic cane sugar or sweetener of choice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups Sushi Rice
- 2 cups water
- 6-8 sheets of nori (dried seaweed)
- cooked and seasoned sushi rice
- 2-3 tablespoons Sesame Seeds (I used black, but regular sesame seeds work also)
- Vegetables of choice, here's what I used:
- 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks (I used one orange and one purple carrot)
- 10-12 asparagus spears, trimmed and blanched
- 5-inch piece of English cucumber, seeded and cut into matchsticks
- ½ yellow squash, cut into matchsticks
- ripe avocados* (see below for details)
- You can also use sliced bell pepper, sprouts, green onion, radish, mushrooms, etc.
- Pickled Sushi Ginger, for serving
- Wasabi, optional
- Reduced Sodium Tamari or soy sauce, for dipping
- ½ cup mayo
- ½ - 2 tablespoons Sriracha Hot Sauce (to taste)
- *You will need ½ a large avocado per roll to achieve the "dragon roll" look. You will also need 1 extra avocado if you plan to use some on the inside.
- In a small bowl, combine together rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Stir well and set aside for the sugar and salt to dissolve while the you cook the rice.
- Place 2 cups of dry rice into a fine mesh strainer. Rinse rice under running water 30-60 seconds. Strain thoroughly and place cleaned rice into your rice maker or into a medium saucepan. Fill with a full two cups of water and if using a rice maker, turn on to cook.
- If cooking on the stove, place saucepan over medium-hight heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover the pot with a tight fitting lid. Continue to cook rice until all of the water is absorbed. Turn the heat off and let rice steam in the saucepan with the lid on for an additional 10-15 minutes.
- Transfer the rice to a shallow dish and gently stir in vinegar mixture. Cover and let sit for a few minutes to absorb the seasoning.
- Cover a bamboo sushi rolling mat with plastic wrap. If you don't have a sushi mat you can use a kitchen towel lined with plastic wrap.
- Place a sheet of nori, rough side up, on the mat. I like to use a full sheet, but you can also cut in half and use a half sheet for a smaller roll. Just be sure not to place too many fillings on a half sheet roll.
- For a full sheet, spread a thin layer of the seasoned rice across the nori. If you dampen your fingers with water, it will help the rice not to stick. Below I will show you 3 different ways to roll.
- #1. For Regular Sushi: Begin placing a thin line of each vegetable in a pile horizontally along the lower third of the wrap (see photo below.)
- #2. For Inside Out Sushi: Sprinkle some sesame seeds over the rice. Lightly wet your hands with water and gently pat the rice. This will help the rice not stick to the mat when rolling. Flip the nori upside down, so that the rice side is now touching the mat and the seaweed side is up. Place a line of each veggie into a pile along the bottom third of the nori (see photo below.)
- Begin to roll the sushi away from you using the bamboo mat. Be sure to tuck in the vegetables as you go and roll the sushi into a tight log. Place the sushi roll on a cutting board and lay the mat over the top of the roll. Use your hands to firmly even out the roll again, reinforcing the tight roll.
- With a dampened sharp knife, cut the long roll in half. Line the two halves up and cut in half again. You should have 4 equal pieces. Now, cut each half in half and you should have a total of 8 pieces.
- #3. For Avocado Dragon Roll: Roll an inside out sushi roll and set aside. Take half of a large avocado and carefully peel the skin off. Place the avocado flat side down on the cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut the avocado horizontally into thin slices. Gently fan out the avocado to the length of the sushi roll. Carefully lift the fan of avocado and lay it on top of the prepared roll (see photo below.)
- Place a piece of plastic wrap on top and with your mat or a kitchen towel, shape the avocado around the roll. (If using a mat, it may leave slight indentations)
- Use a sharp knife and cut the roll into 8 equal pieces. Remove the plastic wrap and serve immediately.
- Serve sushi rolls with tamari or soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger. Makes about 6 rolls, depending on how much rice you use in each roll.