Sushi may seen like a complicated thing to try to make at home, but temaki sushi, also called a “hand roll,” is easy to assemble. And honestly, even badly made rolls still taste great! Choose whatever fillings you like from the list below or improvise and use bits of leftovers in your fridge. This rice cooking method is nontraditional, but results in firm, just-sticky-enough rice. Makes about 8 rolls.
2 cups alfalfa or radish sprouts
1 cup fillings of your choice: raw fish, raw or cooked vegetables, cooked chicken or steak
Sushi rice (see recipe below)
4 sheets nori, cut in half the long way, to make 8 long rectangles
Soy sauce for dipping
Prepare your fillings by cutting the ingredients into strips, about ¼ inch wide and 3 inches long.
Fill the hand rolls: Spread about ⅓ cup of rice on half of a sheet of nori, making a square-shaped pad of rice. Lay a few generous pinches of sprouts and a few strips of filling diagonally across the rice.
Roll ’em up: Roll the rice-covered portion of rice up and over on an angle to enclose the filling. Keep rolling the seaweed around to make a cone shape.
Serve with soy sauce.
Sushi Rice (adapted from Helen Rennie)
Makes about 4 cups cooked rice.
2 cups short-grain rice (sushi rice)
2 cups water
½ cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons mirin (mirin is Japanese sweet rice wine, substitute dry sherry or marsala), optional
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Place rice in a bowl of water and rinse thoroughly. Change the water until the water is clear. Drain rice in a fine strainer and transfer to an 8-inch-square baking dish.
Bring the water to a boil.
Pour boiling water over rice and cover the dish with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let rest, covered, for another 20 minutes.
Combine the vinegar, mirin, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan and warm over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.
Spoon the rice into a large (preferably) wooden bowl.
Using a rubber spatula, fold in half of the vinegar mixture. Turn, flip, and fold the rice to ensure the vinegar mixture is evenly absorbed. Taste, and add more vinegar if the rice seems underseasoned. It should taste good all on its own.