I went to a sushi party once in first year uni, but I hated vinegar so my friends made the rice with no vinegar. The sushi was pretty average, and I didn’t bother trying sushi again. About a year after I had been vegetarian (and shortly before I went vegan), I was at an event and thought I’d give the sushi a go. It was amazing, and I have been obsessed with it since. It makes a fantastic “I have no leftovers! What shall I take to work?” sort of lunch, and makes a pretty good change from sandwiches (which can also be pretty awesome).
Aside from obvious things, you will need a bamboo sushi mat. You can buy this in your local Asian supermarket (or even in most Woolies/Coles). Metal spoons can apparently change the flavour of the rice, I can’t verify this as I use wooden spoons but I have heard the metal reacts with the vinegar or the mirin. So that’s your myth to consider, if you so wish.
two or three nori sheets
one cup of sushi rice
two tablespoons rice wine vinegar
one tablespoon mirin
1½ cups of water
some combination of three of the following:
half a large carrot
half a dozen snow peas
large handful of bean sprouts
half an avocado
ten cm length of cucumber
Bring the rice and water to a boil, stirring, then reduce to really low, and simmer for ten or twelve minutes with the lid on. Prepare the veggies: julienne carrots, snow peas, capsicum, and cucumber. I like to slice the avocado width-ways, and take the tails off the bean sprouts.
When the rice is soft and cooked, remove from heat. Stir the vinegar and mirin through, and cool. I like to do this with a paper fan whilst stirring, but if you’re feeling lazy you can just leave it to cool in the air.
Place a nori sheet on the bamboo mat with the slats running horizontally. Make sure you have it on the right side, or you won’t be able to roll. This should be the side closest to you. Keeping the nori right up against the edge of the bamboo mat, spread about a third of the rice in a thin layer across about one half to one third of the nori on the side closest to you. Then lay out the filling across no more than the bottom half of the rice (ie, closest to you).
Moisten your hands (I usually have a small bowl with a little water in it handy) and firmly roll the bamboo mat. The nori will roll within the sheet. This is much easier than rolling without. There shouldn’t be any seaweed swirl going on, if the proportions are right it should just roll together without a swirl. As you can see from these photos, I misjudged the ratio of rice to filling just slightly, so resulting the opposite problem to swirl, which is filling nestled next to the nori.
This amount will usually make about two or three rolls, depending on how fat with rice you like your sushi. Of course it is not necessary to strictly stick to these fillers and proportions, I have just provided them to give some idea of amounts.
I want to try the five spice tempeh as a filler, I think it will be excellent with some avocado and bean sprouts.