Your First Homemade Sushi
All week we’re sharing the 101 versions of recipes for foods you thought were too hard to make but TOTALLY AREN’T. So far, we’ve encouraged you to make your first loaf of bread and your first big roast. Today, tackle sushi.
This recipe is very, very long.
Let that sentence be the only off-putting thing about the entire experience of making sushi at home, because this recipe is also very, very clear and it was written by James Beard Award-winning chefs and restauranteurs, Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani. Their new book, A Visual Guide to Sushi-Making at Home, is just that: it truly takes you through each step (and yes, there are many) of the process. There’s the rice, there’s the rice vinegar, there’s the nori, there are the condiments, and, of course, there is the fish. Sone and Doumani spend a large portion of this text on choosing, breaking down, and then slicing different kinds of fish, with pictures illustrating each little twist and turn of the knife. If you don’t become an expert at forming rice balls for nigiri by the end of reading this book, you’ll certainly know a thing or two about butchery. (And sushi etiquette—bonus points for that chapter, guys.)
That’s all we’ll say about that! Now, let the recipe speak for itself.
Hosomaki with Tuna (Maguro)
Makes 1 Hosomaki
Some types of sushi are considered the basics, and a tuna roll is one of them—a sushi style that almost everyone encounters on his or her first trip to a sushi bar. This roll is so simple—just two ingredients, tuna and green onions—that most of us don’t even bother to order it when we are at a sushi bar. But if you do decide to try one, either at a sushi bar or at home, it will produce a sweet memory of the first time you ate a maguro maki.
1⁄4 cup/70 g chopped tuna loin
1⁄2 tsp chopped green onion, white part only or white and tender green part
1⁄2 sheet nori, toasted (see recipe below)
1⁄2 cup/80 g sushi rice (see recipe below) at body temperature, covered with a damp kitchen towel
1⁄4 tsp wasabi
Soy sauce for serving
In a small bowl, toss together the tuna and green onion.
Following the directions for How to Make Hosomaki (below), make 1 roll with the nori, rice, wasabi, and tuna-onion mixture. Slice the roll and serve with soy sauce.
How to Toast Nori
Toasting the nori you will be using for sushi is an important step because it crisps it, ensuring a better texture and giving it a rounder, more developed flavor. You can buy already-toasted nori, known as yaki-nori, but even yaki-nori is better if you toast it before you use it.
Nori comes in a few different sizes. The size we recommend is a sheet measuring about 8 1⁄2 by 7 1⁄2 in/21.5 by 19 cm. Different uses of toasted nori require different-size pieces: sometimes a whole sheet, sometimes a half sheet, sometimes strips.
Turn on a stove-top gas burner to medium-high. Using your fingers, hold the nori sheet about 2 in/5 cm above the flame and pass it over the flame two or three times to toast it evenly. Turn it to toast both sides. The sheet should be very lightly toasted, with no evidence of any blisters or darkening. (If you have an electric stove, use the same technique, holding the sheet about 2 in/5 cm above the burner.) The nori should constrict a bit and become just a little crispier. Set aside until ready to use.