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Can You Make Sushi at Home

Can You Make Sushi at Home and Take It to the Next Level?

A traditional Japanese dish made with rice and fresh fish, Sushi is one of the most popular dishes in the world. Going to a Japanese restaurant and binging on these tasty delights can be quite expensive though. It can even leave you and your friends asking each other “can you make sushi at home?”

Sushi is not only one of the most popular dishes in the world, but it is also one of the most misunderstood food items there is. Misunderstood in terms of what it really is and how the rest of the world sees it as it should if you get my drift.

Kinds of Sushi

If asked what Sushi looks like, most people would describe a roll of rice with fillings wrapped in seaweed. Technically, this is not incorrect; however, their definition of what Sushi is is just touching the surface of this delicate and wonderfully tasteful morsels.

Sushi, in fact, is the collective term that applies to the dish that uses vinegar-flavored rice garnished with raw fish, eggs, and seafood. In the strict sense, Sushi does not have to come in the usual rolls that people are accustomed to. They can come in any of the following five types:

1. Sashimi
Any fish that is used for Sushi rolls can be made into Sashimi. Sashimi is just the meat that you would use without the rice. The fish meat can either be served cold and raw or cooked, like Unagi.

2. Nigiri
This type of Sushi consists of a ball of Sushi rice with toppings. These toppings can be cooked or raw but, like Sashimi, the food used for toppings are the same as Sushi rolls.

3. Maki
This is the usual Sushi roll that you are familiar with; rice and filling wrapped in seaweed.

4. Uramaki
This is the inverted form of Maki with the rice outside and the seaweed and fillings inside.

5. Temaki
This is a unique Sushi type as it is almost a Maki but it is rolled into a cone instead of the cylindrical shape that Maki possesses.

This Is How You Roll

Focusing on Maki, or Sushi rolls, it mainly used rice and several kinds of fillings to create a tasty delight. These rolls often pass through a Sushi roller that is traditionally made of bamboo and looks like a mat.

  1. To create a Sushi roll, you would need to spread the mat out and lay down your nori, or seaweed, wrapper.
  2. Scoop the rice into the nori and spread it out leaving an allowance of about an inch on all borders.
  3. Lay down the fillings on one side of the mat, over the rice, of course.
  4. Turn that same side over to cover the fillings with the rice and compress.
  5. In a rolling motion, compress the rice each turn until you reach the other edge.
  6. You should have a tightly packed sushi roll at this time but compress it some more to prevent it from breaking up.
  7. Slice the roll, about an inch thick per segment.
  8. Serve with wasabi, soy sauce, and pickled ginger.

Types of Sushi Rolls

The identity of your Maki or Sushi roll is dependent on the fillings that you use. Here are some popular Sushi rolls and the fillings that they have.

  • Crunch Roll
    Fresh and spicy tuna, crispy seaweed and shrimp tempura.
  • Tiger Roll
    Avocado, cucumber, tobiko and shrimp tempura.
  • Rainbow Roll
    Crab sticks, avocado, cucumber, fresh tuna, avocado, salmon, shrimp and yellowtail fish.
  • Dynamite Roll
    Yellowtail fish, bean sprouts, carrots, shrimp tempura, cucumber, avocado, chile and spicy mayo.
  • California Maki
    Crab sticks, avocado, cucumber and sesame seeds.
  • Dragon Roll
    Eel, crab, cucumber and eel sauce.
  • Vegetable Roll
    Cucumber, carrots, scallion, avocado, cream cheese, and asparagus.
  • Shrimp Tempura Roll
    Avocado, tempura flakes, eel sauce and shrimp tempura.
  • Spicy Tuna Roll
    Spicy tuna, mayo and chili sauce.

Tips and Tricks

Any dish nowadays has their set of tips and tricks that make life easier and takes the recipe to a whole new level.

  • Be Creative
    The fillings don’t necessarily have to be raw fish and seafood; you can make it kid-friendly by using prepared food like Spam and bacon as substitutes for the filling and the wrap. Not only will you be introducing kids to international cuisine, but you can sneak in a vegetable or two to make it healthier.
  • Wrap It Up
    Place a plastic wrap between the bamboo and your nori to make your rolls cleaner. This prevents any mess up, and it also prolongs the life of your bamboo mat, especially since you don’t have to clean it as much.
  • Season It
    Much of the flavor in Sushi rolls come from the filling, but it helps if the Sushi rice is well-cooked and perfectly seasoned. Use rice vinegar when you can, but you can substitute white vinegar instead. The taste will be different of course.
  • Roll It and Squeeze It
    Just like the movie Karate Kid, you need to roll and repeatedly squeeze to get the perfect roll. Roll the mat, squeeze everything in and repeat until you reach the other end of the mat.
  • Do Not Be Afraid
    Sushi rolls can’t kill unless you have an allergic reaction to shrimp, so don’t feel bad if the first one doesn’t come out right.
  • No Nori, No Problem
    If you find yourself out of nori, or seaweed, you can always substitute other wrapping materials like thinly sliced cucumber, and carrots, layered like a mat or bacon lined up like pigs on a farm.
  • On the Side
    Never forget to serve Sushi with usual sides and condiments used like Tobiko, Masago, and Wasabi, as well as pickled vegetables, dumplings and miso soup.

Can You Make Sushi at Home?

The question now is not “can you make sushi at home?” but rather “how creative can you make it?” Rolling the perfect Sushi rolls require a lot of practice, but this time, practice means getting to eat a lot of your samples. Keep your Sushi knife sharp and your bamboo mats clean but never forget to enjoy the process and, of course, the end product. Share them with loved ones—or not.

best sushi rolls for beginners

Best Sushi Rolls for Beginners: Roll Them Out!

Sushi making was all the rave when this particular Japanese dish first became popular, and it is no different today as more and more Sushi stores and craft shops sprout on every corner. More and more people want to learn how to do it on their own as well, and the popularity of the best Sushi rolls for beginners is a sure sign of that.

Traditional Sushi making is deeply rooted in Japanese culture, and while you may not be able to duplicate the exact methods that Sushi masters use, you can easily make Sushi wherever you are with some help from tools that you can buy at a novelty shop or a specialty store.

Three of the Best Sushi Rollers

Among the tools used to make Sushi, a Sushi roller is one of the most important as it lets you form your Sushi into the perfect rolls that they should be. Here are three of the best Sushi rolls for beginners that are available on the market.

1. JapanBargain S-1574, Sushi Roller Bamboo Mat

JapanBargain

The JapanBargain S-1574, Sushi Roller Bamboo Mat weighs about 1.6 ounces and measures 9.5 inches x 9.5 inches x 0.1 inches. This Sushi mat is made of 100% natural bamboo and is completely reusable. However, it is much safer to handwash this item rather than place it in a dishwasher as the strands might break and cause damage.

Pros

  • This is a bamboo mat made of high-quality materials that ensure it will last for a long time, even with constant use.
  • Rolling Sushi rolls with this mat is easy, and you can even press it comfortably without having to worry about breaking the nori lining or squeezing the fillings out.
  • You can use the JapanBargain S-1574 bamboo for other things aside from rolling Sushi rolls, like squeezing grated vegetables dry for salads and carb substitute.

Cons

  • The JapanBargain S-1574 is a little smaller than expected, which means you have to make more rolls even if you’re just going to feed a couple of your friends.
  • Once wet, this bamboo mat tends to produce splinters, and it feels flimsy after a while.
  • The JapanBargain S-1574 bamboo mat can be hard to wash, especially when the rice has dried and stuck to the bamboo. A way to get around this problem though is to place a film of cling wrap in between the bamboo and the seaweed or rice. This keeps the rice off and your mat clean.

2. POAO Sushi Roller Kit

POAO Sushi Roller Kit

The POAO Sushi Roller Kit or the “Sushi Bazooka” is a portable Sushi maker that molds rice and Sushi rolls for you. Instead of you rolling rice and stuffing around to get the perfect roll, this device lets you layer rice and stuffing and then molds them into the perfect circular roll that you push out on one end.

This kitchen device measures 11.81 inches x 1.77 inches x 2.76 inches and weighs about seven ounces. This kit is made of food-grade plastic. The roller also comes with easy-to-follow instructions.

Pros

  • The POAO Sushi Roller Kit is easy to use and makes Sushi making faster.
  • This easy-to-use roller allows you to play around with the fillings, from traditional shrimp and fish to a more modern SPAM and mango.
  • The Sushi Bazooka makes Sushi rolls faster than a traditional bamboo mat; the shape is more consistent as well.
  • This Sushi roller kit makes for a good party companion as it gives birth to more Sushi rolls faster, and it is quite interesting enough to become a conversation piece on its own.

Cons

  • This Sushi roller does mold the rice, but it does take a little bit more than needed to get a more compressed and stable Sushi roll.
  • Sushi rolls that are “ejected” from the Sushi Bazooka tend to break apart easily, especially if it is not compressed enough.

3. Easy Sushi 3.5 cm Roller

Easy Sushi 3.5 cm Roller

The Easy Sushi 3.5 cm Roller is made of food-grade plastic and is dishwasher-safe. It comes with one roller and a traction sheet that can be replaced as needed. The roller itself measures 9.5 inches in length and works with different kinds of wraps, from plastic to rice paper and seaweed.

The Easy Sushi roller can make a party-sized Sushi platter in a matter of minutes, and clean-up is a breeze. The product itself is made in France, and it creates professional looking rolls.

Pros

  • Sushi rolls created with the Easy Sushi roller always come out looking perfect, and its visual appeal adds to the fresh flavor that each roll packs in.
  • This Sushi roller is easy to use and is completely mess-free. Even washing it is a breeze.
  • The Sushi rolls that come out of the Easy Sushi are packed tight with freshness. The rolls are squeezed in as well, making the fillings pop out in every bite, just like how traditional Sushi would.

Cons

  • The Easy Sushi roller works best with the rice rolled in another layer, like seaweed or rice paper but if you would just be using rice and then the filling, you are in for a messy afternoon. It is recommended that you use a sheet of cling film to put some distance between the roller and the rice.
  • The Easy Sushi roller rolls Sushi about an inch or so in diameter which is very small especially for California Maki and the likes. This may be good for Sushi recipes that require very few ingredients, but it is not suited for those that require more.

The Best Sushi Rolls for Beginners

The JapanBargain S-1574, Sushi Roller Bamboo Mat is one of the best Sushi rollers on the market today. The other two Sushi rollers in the list have incredible features as well, and they do save you some time when it comes to the number of Sushi rolls produced per minute.

However, nothing beats being able to compress your rice rolls to the size that you want, using whatever fillings you can think of. You can adjust the size of the Sushi roll as necessary, and you can be creative as well with what filling you use. It might take some more effort to make the perfect rolls, but it is satisfying to know that you can do it.

Rolling Sushi the traditional way also lets you connect with what you are doing, filling in the cracks and crevices with love and care as you roll along. As with any food that we have painstakingly prepared for our friends and loved ones, it always brings a warm and tingly feeling knowing that they will appreciate our effort and that they would enjoy what we have prepared for them.

Best Sushi Knife for Your Kitchen

Best Sushi Knife for Your Kitchen

If you are an authentic sushi chef or a sushi enthusiast with chef aspirations, then you ought to consider investing in a quality knife. You might think that any knife could do the job, but that is simply not true. Some knives are designed to cut bread, steaks, and butter only. So, if you want to perfect your art, or prepare your favorite dish with ease and finesse, then you ought to consider getting the best sushi knife.

The price is always a consideration when choosing among several options. While this may be a delineating factor, it should not be the only reason you decided to buy something.

You should choose to buy a sushi knife because of make, design, durability, and ease of use. The last thing you will want to do is to buy a sushi knife tomorrow and then go in search of another a few days later. Hence, the purpose of this article is to help you find the best sushi knife for your kitchen.

Best Sushi Knife: Our Top Choices

We have selected three sushi knives that we believe have good quality and you can consider purchasing once you have decided to buy a special knife for your sushi making activities.

Soufull Professional Sashimi Sushi Knife

This professional sushi knife by Soufull is a razor sharp knife that has a blade that is made of Japanese stainless steel material that has a surgical grade. It has a gray leather wooden handle and comes sheathed in a gift box that is double riveted and durable. The product’s length is 12.8 inches, width is 1.2inches, height is 0.1 inches, and weight is less than one pound.

Soufull Professional Sashimi Sushi Knife

Pros:

  • Made of high-quality material: It is two times harder than comparable knives, and the handle has been designed with durability and balance in mind.
  • Sharp blade: The knife’s blade is sharp enough to slice through your raw fish with no pressure. It also has really good edge retention, so you don’t have to worry much about losing control of your knife when slicing.
  • Maintains the quality of fish: This product is sharp enough which makes it possible to retain the form of the fish even if you cut it too thinly. Likewise, since it is specifically designed for slicing sashimi, the taste of the fish will not be altered.
  • Good customer relations: Product comes with a service card and there is a customer support department that you can contact.
  • Effortless handling: This product is easy to handle because its low weight which makes it possible for you to feel less tired after slicing a lot of fish.

Cons:

  • Single-edged knife: This design is good for slicing fish, but it is not suitable for cutting or chopping.
  • Blade length is quite short: You might be slightly disappointed with this knife as the steel does not go all to way to the bottom of the knife’s handle. This may cause some of you to experience some difficulty when attempting to balance the knife
  • Loses its sharpness: The knife is sharp initially, but after repeated use, the blade is not as sharp as you would want it to be and this can be an issue for some.

Lucky Cook Sashimi Sushi Knife

Its manufacturer has described this 10-inch knife as being the perfect tool to use if you want to fillet or slice fish or cut sushi and sashimi. The Lucky Cook Sashimi Sushi Knife has a stainless steel blade but maintains a traditional wooden handle that gives it an authentic Japanese-style knife look. Additionally, it has been made with strict compliance to the standards of Japanese.

Lucky Cook Sashimi Sushi Knife

Pros:

  • Multipurpose knife: It filets, cuts, and slices fish without damaging its meat making it possible for you to serve your family, friends, or guests with dishes that have a great presentation.
  • Quick process: The design of the knife’s blade which is long, asymmetric and narrow allows you to complete sushi-related processes with fewer movements and effort.
  • Meets Japanese standards: Japanese require high-quality knives when preparing sushi and this knife fits the bill of what is acceptable. Such means that it has a sharp blade, a good balance and a wooden handle that gives the user a good grip on the tool.

Cons:

  • Not a full tang knife: This knife does not have handled pieces on its blade because the manufacturer focused on meeting the traditional Japanese designs.
  • Thick blade: For some professional chefs, the blade may be a little thicker than what you are used to getting in high-end knives which requires a little attention to handling as too much pressure can damage the fish.

Dalstrong Yanagiba Sushi Knife

The Dalstrong Yanagiba Sushi Knife is nine inches in length and has a Japanese inscription on the 3.5mm-thick, long, and narrow blade. While the other knives come with gift boxes, this premium knife comes sheathed. The black handle that has a D shape is hand polished and made from Spanish pakkawood and laminated for a perfect grip. Added to the look of the knife is a hint or brass and copper.

Pros:

  • Produces high-quality slices: The narrow and sharp blade is perfect for slicing fish as thin as paper without damaging the meat. Likewise, since the blade is tapered, the slices will be precise.
  • Ease of use: The thickness of the blade and its tapered design allows you to separate the sliced piece away from the large piece of fish without hassles.
  • Good blade: The blade was ice tempered, so it has good edge retention and is resistant to stain and corrosion.
  • Comes with accessories: This knife comes packed with a polishing cloth, a sheath, and a gift box.

Cons:

  • Not suitable for left-handers: The knife’s handle is D shaped making the knife more suitable for right-handed people.
  • Thick blade: The blade might not work for people who are used to putting too much pressure when working.

Final Conclusion

Choosing the best knife for your sushi will be easier than getting the perfect one. As you can see, each knife has it’s unique selling point, but each also has its drawbacks. Thus, when your concern is budget, the Soufull knife will be the best option.

On the other hand, when it comes to authenticity, you should opt for Luck Cook. If the price is not a deciding factor and you are for elegance, then you can get yourself the Dalstrong Knife.

How to Cut Sushi Like a Boss: The Secrets Behind Making Sushi

How to Cut Sushi Like a Boss: The Secrets Behind Making Sushi

If you are reading this, we assume that it is because you either love to cook, or you just love sushi and want to know how to cut sushi yourself as eating out every night is probably not a wise economic decision. If you are just a consumer of sushi, the chances are that you are unaware of the sushi process or its history. Such is also essential to know so that you will have an idea why the food is cut in a particular manner.

Sushi is a Japanese dish that seems easy to make because of its simplicity. However, before you get a wild hair and decide that you want to make your own sushi, there are a few basic things you should understand like what it is, how it is prepared and what is used in its preparation in terms of ingredients and tools.

For general information and as a rule of thumb, if you were to prepare sushi at home, you should not keep it in your fridge for more than a twenty-four hour period. Even having it for two days might be a bit of a stretch.

Making Sushi

Basically, sushi is a dish of flavored rice that can be served with vegetable or raw seafood. The fresh seafood will include marine species like shrimp, tuna, mackerel, halibut, albacore and yellowtail fish. If you were uncertain, now you are sure of what it is.

There are actually different types of sushi like nigiri-zushi, tekkamaki, kappamaki, inari-zushi, and norimaki. These cater for a variety of tastes and some are even vegetarian. Even so, the technique used and the rules in making sushi will always be the same.

  • The Right Tools

The art of sushi making comes down really to using the right tools. If you want to cut the fish, then you need to have a knife with a really thin blade. The knife should be able to cut your fish without destroying the meat.

Usually, Sashimi knives are used to cut sushi and fish since they have a sharp edge and are able to slice fish thinly. Some not only have a sharp blade but the blade tends to be thin and pointed. Apart from having a quality sushi knife, you should also have a roller, and it will be best to have a sushi-making set of knives.

  • The Right Fish

Since you want to cut sushi like a professional, you need to get the right fish along with the right tools. You will be eating raw fish, so it is crucial that you buy a fish that is frozen as the freezing temperatures would help kill bacteria and parasites that could cause you sickness. The fish that you chose should be fresh, and its eyes should be clear and not cloudy. To ensure that the fish is fresh, hold it up since fresh fish stay straight and older fish flop.

  • The Process

To make sushi, the fish is cut into blocks and then further into thin slices at a specific angle and thickness. Assuming that your rice has already been prepared, some people will spread the rice on a Nori (seaweed) that is lying on top of a sushi maker (a roller) and then place the cut fish on top of it. Once everything is layered, it is then rolled and cut.

How to Cut Sushi: A Helpful Guide

Assuming that you have the fish, preferably tuna, you should know how to identify the different parts of the fish namely the belly or toro and the red meat area. The less lean areas are preferred because they have a high amount of fat.

The Steps

  1. Cut off the triangular tip and then cut the tuna into blocks of Saku for the sushi. The head, tail, and fins are not to be included in the cutting process. The blocks of tuna will be shaped differently.
  2. After which, remove the tendons and skin from the fish. If you are unfamiliar, the tendons are white items and go to the skin of the tuna.
  3. Now that you have your blocks, you have to cut the fish into even thinner slices, which is about quarter of an inch, in a direction that is against the grain and at a thirty-degree angle. You should always pull your knife backward when slicing the fish.

Some Important Notes

Deciding how thick to cut may be a challenge because if the fish is cut too thin, then you will lose the flavor of the fish. Then at the same time, you don’t want your fish to be too thick since that will be a hassle when you decide to roll the cut fish.

A good idea will be to have two sizes, slices that are thick and slices that are thin. Once your fish and rice are prepared, you are ready to roll, and you can cut your nori into six pieces.

If you fail at cutting sushi, you shouldn’t give up trying because a constant practice is the best key to achieving the perfect cut of the fish. You can also choose to watch several video tutorials to have a more precise concept.

If you do not usually work in the kitchen, then ask someone who is to help and teach you. Sushi knives are very sharp, and you can injure yourself if you don’t know what you’re doing and have never used knives on fish before.

Final Words

We cannot emphasize too much that if you want to know how to cut sushi like a professional chef, you must first consider the things that you need to get which is a good knife with a really sharp blade. Sashimi knives can be inexpensive, and they can be expensive as well. If you are not going to make sushi regularly, then you should not invest in a knife that is too expensive. Nonetheless, you must still consider its quality.

Cutting fish to make sushi is a fun activity and the instructions are simple to follow. You just have to make sure that you understand how to do the proper angle and thickness. In addition, you should learn how to handle a sushi knife before even attempting to use it.

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Batata roll - sushi recipe

Batata roll – sushi recipe

Batata
Take a sweet potato (a.k.a batata), medium size one would do. Remove any spots with enough if it had any.

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Remove the skin
Cut the ends with a knife and peel the skin with vegetable peeler. Throw away the skin and ends.

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Layers
Use the same peeler, now to create layers of the sweet potato. The first layers might be a bit thin, but it will become wider the deeper into the core of the sweet potato you peel.

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Stack
Stack up the nice ones. You don’t have to use all the sweet potato layers since you will probably get more layers than you need or off just one sweet potato.

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So you don’t have to use a layer of it is out of shape completely. If the layers are a bit wavey however, that’s okay. When it gets softer, it will cling to the roll and adapt to the RF roll’s shape.

Cook
At this point you can either microwave, oven, or fry the sweet potato layers. I choose microwave, since it’s the quickest about it, although frying may test a lot better, but not as healthy.

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Arrange the layers on a paper kitchen towel over a microwave friendly plate.

Microwave for 2-5 min, until completely soft.

Rice
Place half a nori sheet on top of the Saran tape wrapped bamboo mat. With your hands wet, take a handful of rice and shape or into a ball.

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Place the ball of rice in the center of the nori sheet, and stay working around to equally cover the entire surface of the sheet.

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Now flip the nori so that the rice should face down on the bamboo mat.

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Filling
Line up the salmon slices add well as some cucumber asking side. Make sure the filling is as even add possible inside the roll.

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Roll
If you need help with rolling sequence, check out our inside sushi rolling guide. By the end of it, your roll should look something like the below.

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Coat
Move the roll to a cutting board. One by one, coat the roll with the layers of sweet potato.

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You should have about 10%-20% overlap of the layers on top of each other.

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Continue coating the roll until it’s fully covered.

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Once fully covered, use the mat to press the sweet potato layers onto the rice. Press hard enough for the layers to hold, but not too hard so that the filling is squeezed out.

The result should look something like the below.

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Cut
With a sharp, clean and wet knife cut the will into 8 pieces.

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Finish
Place in a nice plate. In the photo below I’ve added a drop of teriyaki sauce on to of each piece. That turned out really nice!

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Swimmer's Roll

Swimmer’s Roll

How to make the summer’s roll

Cut the fish

First thing first, wet need to prepare the fish. Take as nice cut of tuna, and cut thin slices or if it. Depending on your skills, you should try cutting the tuna about 5mm thin.

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Line ’em up
Line the slices on your working area, in this case: my cutting board. Make sure the slices lines up next to each other are as wide as a sheet of nori for the next step.

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Nori
Take blah a nori sheet and cover the tuna slices with it. This is also a good time to move the whole thing to the bamboo mat, which is already covered with Saran tape.

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Rice to the top
With your hands wet, grab a handful of rice and shape it to a ball. Place in the center of the nori sheet, and start spreading the rice around to cover the nori equally.

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Prawn
Line up a few prawns depending on prawn size. I used five, you can use more if needed.

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Avocado
Yes! Two thick slices of avocado will be just perfect right here. You can use less than I did, I simply love avocado.

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Roll
Roll it like you would any inside out roll. If you are not 100% sure how do that, check out our inside out filling guide.

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Cut
Cut the roll in eight pieces. Stay by cutting the roll right down the middle. Then cut each half in half, and then again each fourth half until you are left with eight identical size sushi pieces.

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Final steps
All that’s left now is to put the sushi on a nice plate, and maybe top it. Here I used both ikura and chopped green onions for the topping. That looks great and tastes even better than it looks.

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Closing thoughts

How you liked this one. Talk to us, use the comments below. If you liked the recipe, feel free to share it on your favorite social platform using the buttons below.

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