1 batch sushi rice, cooled at room temperature
5 Nori sheets
1 cucumber, 1 carrot, I zucchini sliced into thin strips, some salad
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced into thin strips
10 ounces sushi-grade raw fish, sliced into thin strips
Toasted sesame seeds
Soy sauce, pickled ginger and wasabi paste for serving
Sushi vinegar: vinegar, salt and sugar
1. Rinse the rice. An essential first step! Place the rice in a fine-mesh strainer and give it a good long rinse with cold water until the water runs clear and is no longer murky, then drain off any extra water.
2. Cook the rice. Cook the rice in water until it is tender.
3. Make the sushi vinegar. Then while the rice is cooking, heat the vinegar, sugar, and salt and whisk until the sugar has dissolved. You can either do this in the microwave or in a small saucepan on the stove.
4. Season the rice. Transfer the rice immediately to a large mixing bowl and drizzle it evenly with the sushi vinegar. Then use the spatula to very gently fold the rice — slicing into it at a 45-degree angle, lifting and folding the rice on top of itself, rather than stirring and smooshing the rice — until the vinegar is evenly mixed in and some of the initial steam has escaped.
5. Cool. Cover the mixing bowl with a damp towel so that it is touching the surface of the rice, which will help prevent the rice from drying out. Let the rice cool on the counter (or in the refrigerator) until it nearly reaches room temperature.
6. Use the rice immediately in a recipe, or keep it in airtight food storage.
1. Prep all of your ingredients. First things first, make your sushi rice ideally at least an hour or two in advance so that it has time to cool to room temperature before assembling your rolls. Then go ahead and prep all of your other ingredients so that you can have a nice assembly line ready to go for your rolls.
2. Press the rice. Then, begin your assembly!
The first step will be to press the rice onto your sheet of nori in an even layer, leaving a 1-inch empty border of nori at the top.
3. Add the fillings. Next, layer your fillings horizontally on the rice, side by side, as evenly as possible.
Roll up the sushi.
Lift up the bottom edge of the sushi mat and carefully fold it over the fillings until they are enclosed in a roll, yet still leaving the top 1-inch of the empty nori exposed. Use the sushi mat to squeeze the roll in as tightly as possible. (Although not too tight, as you don’t want all of the fillings to squish out!)
Dip your fingers in the water bowl once more and use them to wet the remaining 1-inch of nori.
Then use the sushi mat to finish rolling up the roll until it is completely enclosed, giving it a final squeeze or two once it has been rolled up to be sure that everything is packed in there tightly. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
5. Cut the sushi.
Using a very sharp knife, cut each sushi roll into 8 equal(ish)-sized pieces on a cutting board.
Transfer them to your serving plate.
6. Drizzle and garnish. Sprinkle the sushi with extra toasted sesame seeds and/or garnish with smoked fish
7. Serve immediately, along with pickled ginger, wasabi paste, and soy sauce for dipping.