Like picking a beautiful center piece, you cannot always select what you want just off an inspiration, an idea you want to create, or recipe you have in your mind. You must take yourself to your local store and find what looks good that day, what is in season and what looks fresh. Below, I have a simple tutorial on how to make a healthy sushi lunch (or dinner) for you and your family.
I started with the best looking veggies from the super market and all of these can be changed up to your taste. Just simply cut your veg in long thin strips...and no one is perfect, no need to fuss, just do the best you can with each vegetable. Here I have an example of Roma tomatoes (I take the seeds out to keep it all clean and mess-free), avocados and cucumber. I find these three especially, to be essential for my favorite sushis. Some hate tomato in their sushi...I love it (it goes great with salmon)!
My favorite flavor adders for sushi are green onion or chives and cilantro, these go well with fish but sushi can be vegetarian for sure. I have even learned recently from a Korean friend you can even add cooked chicken in your rolls. This is whatever goes sushi! Just pick your favorite stuff and chop it in thin strips and have fun...oh but no need to chop the cilantro, God made it just as it needs to be for sushi :)
While you are chopping your sushi ingredients, be sure to have your brown rice cooking on the stove. I make 6 servings of brown rice for my sushi projects and the left overs are ready to go and going in tonight's taco dinner (as does any left over onions or cilantro). Add a splash of rice vinegar to your rice...no need for any other sugar sticky-ness or specially bought rice. Keep it healthy and easy.
I am a fish lover so, today I asked what was super fresh this very morning and they gave me octopus and tuna. Though, this tuna looked a bit light in color, your good raw tunas should be dark red for sushi.
If you have never bought it before, this is what the sea weed wraps look like for sushi maki rolls or hand rolls, it is called Nori and these days almost every grocery store sells them in the ethnic/Asian foods isle...even in back woods, southern Georgia Publix grocers I found it once! But if you cannot locate it, find a health food store, they usually carry it because sea weed is so, so, SO darn good for us.
This is what the sushi roller-wrapper-thingy looks like. It is just a series of wooden rods tied together with string. They sell for about a buc fitty to $2. CHEAP! Also, these can be found everywhere like your grocery stores or health food/Asian market stores. If you cannot find a roller, use a wash cloth it helps guide your roll. So, once you have the roller placed down, then add the Nori paper on top, trickle on a little bit of cold water to the nori and layer a small amount of cooked rice.
Next you just have fun. The bigger your nori paper, the more stuff you can pile! This is a vegetarian example of how to start.
This is what it looks like with some fish.
And this is what we like to have a roll look like after the roller has guided us to seal up our yummy treats. You will coat your finger with cold water (helps to work by your kitchen sink) and put a line of cold water (which serves as glue to the nori) just before you finish the roll up and the paper should seal itself pretty well like a glued up burrito. Now, not every single go at this will be perfect. But enjoy the process, we aint no trained sushi chefs!!!
(you like my star window sun ornament? Thanks, I do too.)
Make sure when you go to slice the big roll into small pieces, you have a good, sharp knife, large in size. And with this knife you rinse it totally with cold water every second cut or so...this keeps things much more tidy, trust me. Otherwise, you end up smooshing your beautiful roll and rice and stuffing goes everywhere.
Like I said, the left overs go in the fridge for my next meal of yummy tacos....here's a tip, put your left over cilantro in a small glass of water in your fridge, it makes it stay fresh for about an extra day or so. Add some soy sauce to a small dish on the side for dipping and ENJOY!!!! This is healthy and filling and this particular day took me just the length of an episode of Curious George to prepare, and my daughter and I had about 4-5 big rolls to feast on!