Serves: Makes 4 to 6 servings
- 3 cups vinegar rice for sushi
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- 3 sheets untoasted or toasted nori, each about 7 by 8 inches
- Umeboshi paste, for spreading sparingly
- Walnut-sized mound wasabi paste
- 8 (8-by-¼-inch) peeled strips Japanese or other unwaxed seedless cucumber
- 6 ounces sushi-grade tuna (ahi), cut into long, ¼- to ½-inch-wide strips
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions, white and green parts, or more to taste
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 tablespoon minced shiso or basil leaves, or more to taste
- Japanese soy sauce
- Pickled ginger
Procedures:The primary tools you need to make these popular Japanese rolls are a bamboo mat, or makisu, and agile fingers. Typically, the fillings for sushi rolls are simple. First, fiery wasabi is added sparingly to the rice, and then the rice is topped with pieces of raw tuna, cucumber, green onion, cooked fish, mushroom, avocado, or many other options. Here, the rice is treated to a smear of umeboshi, or pickled plum paste, and then you have a choice of fillings. You can prepare 6 rolls with a single filling, or you prepare one-half or one-third of each of the suggested fillings and serve rolls with an assortment of fillings. You can even get creative and come up with your own fillings. Serve the rolls as a snack, appetizer, or a full meal with pickled ginger or shiso. Both are available in many Japanese markets.
- Have the rice ready. make the hand vinegar: In a medium bowl, combine the water and rice vinegar and set aside.
- Cut the nori sheets in half to make 6 pieces each about 8 by 3½ inches. If using untoasted nori, pass each sheet over a medium-high gas flame or electric stove burner for 1 to 2 seconds, or in front of a chef's torch. Set aside.
- Prepare the Fillings: Select a single filling, or make rolls with assorted fillings. If using the cucumber filling, set cucumber strips on a plate so they're ready to use. If using the tuna filling, combine the tuna and green onion in a small bowl and stir with a chopstick. If using the avocado filling, combine the avocado and shiso in a small bowl and stir gently with a chopstick to combine.