Uramaki (Inside-out Roll)

Sushi is delicious and fun to make. Makizushi (rolled sushi) is not that difficult to make and the more you do it, the easier it gets. Practice makes perfect. You do need a makisu or sushi rolling mat and these are inexpensive and easily available. There are relatively few ingredients required, mainly short grain rice that is a little sticky, nori (seaweed sheets), rice vinegar, toasted sesame seeds, and your choice of fish, meat, and vegetables.

I normally cook 2 cups of short grain rice with 2 cups of water in the rice cooker. When cooked, this amount of rice is sufficient to make 4 sushi rolls. In a pan dissolve 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon salt in 5 tablespoons rice vinegar over low heat. Do not let mixture come to a boil. Just heat enough for sugar and salt to dissolve. Transfer cooked rice to a wet sushi barrel or large bowl. Pour vinegar mixture onto rice and gently mix with a spatula, taking care not to mash rice. Fan the rice as you mix. This cools the rice slightly so that it can be handled, and it gives the rice a glossy sheen. Cover barrel or bowl with a wet dishtowel so that rice does not dry out.

To make uramaki, you need plastic wrap to prevent rice from sticking to the sushi mat. There are various methods of doing this, but I like to completely cover the mat with the plastic wrap and taping the ends on the other side of the mat. I have seen some people put the entire mat in a gallon size plastic bag. It fits nicely in there!

Place a nori sheet on a board. Wet your hands. Spread a thin layer of rice evenly over the nori. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds over the rice.

Turn the rice covered nori over onto the plastic covered sushi mat. Spread more rice, about ½ way up the nori. Make a groove in the rice and place filling along the groove. For the filling, I used avocado, shrimp, and pickled ginger. Put thumbs behind the sushi mat, holding the fillings with the other fingers in front, lift sushi mat and start rolling. Use mat to help shape the roll.

Remove mat and sliced with a wet knife.

Serve with soy sauce and wasabi.

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