A couple of weeks ago, I went into my first sushi restaurant. (I know, I don’t get out much.) I usually just get sushi at the grocery store, but this time my friend wanted to take me so that I could get the full experience!
So, we arrive at the restaurant and the outside worries me a bit. I’m sorry! I don’t mean to be so judgmental, but it definitely looked like a restaurant that you could easily get food poisoning from. The building looked like it hadn’t been painted in 50 years, and the restaurant sign was faded and dirty. Overall, it looked like it needed some serious repairs.
When we walked inside, it was better. Not the best, but much better looking than the outside. The pictures of the sushi were poor quality, but it was clean. Which made me feel much better about eating their food!
So we observed the sushi menu on the wall that contains over 50 sushi roll choices (it was a little overwhelming) and my friend had ranted and raved about their fried sushi. I had never before heard of someone frying sushi and figured “why not?”
Boy did I learn my lesson. Never judge a book by its cover.
The sushi was the best I had ever had and contained delicious smoked salmon with avocado and cucumber! To top it off it, it was fried and had sriracha sauce on it (I had never tasted that before!). I tried my friend’s sushi and it was even better! It had cream cheese in it! Who would have thought that cream cheese and sushi were a good combo?
My eyes were opened up to a whole new world of cuisine and my life has been changed ever since then. Now I just needed to learn how to use chopsticks…
One day, in the spur of the moment feeling, I wanted to try to make my own sushi. I went to my pal, Pinterest, and searched different recipes. I spent one day making sushi and it was delicious! (and so easy). However, this time I wanted to step it up a notch and add my own pizzazz to the recipe! Cream cheese and fried sushi, here I come!
2 cups white rice (or sushi rice)
4 cups water
6 Tbsp. Rice Vinegar
4 Tbsp. Cane Sugar
1 small cucumber
1 small carrot
3 oz. Smoked Salmon or Shrimp
10 sheets nori (aka seaweed. I didn’t know it had a fancy name either)
Panko Bread Crumbs
Olive or Vegetable Oil (for frying)
Optional (But highly recommended):
First off, if you are using regular white rice, you need to rinse it out thoroughly. This can be tough especially if you don’t have a mesh strainer. I didn’t have a mesh strainer, so I improvised and used a french press…. surprisingly it worked. I stuck the rice at the bottom, put the fresh press strainer in, and filled it up with water. I moved the strainer up and down until the water seemed clearer (about 5 rinses).
Be sure to rinse out and clean whatever dishes you put the wet rice in, as the rice will stick to it and will be really hard to get out.
Next, you need to cook the rice.
I cooked one cup at a time so that it would cook evenly. One cup of rice will fill about 5 sheets of seaweed.
With the rice in the pot, bring water to a boil. Set lid on, and bring temperature to low. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, making sure to stir occasionally (every 4-5 min.) as to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom.
So you know how sushi kind of has a sweet taste to it? The secret ingredient is putting sugar with the rice vinegar into the rice!
While the rice is cooking, in a small pan with temperature on low, completely dissolve sugar into rice vinegar. Only do 3 tbsp of rice vinegar and 2 tbsp. of sugar at a time. You will need to do this twice if you want more than one cup of rice.
Next, cut up your vegetables into thin slices. Make sure they aren’t too thick as it will be hard to roll the seaweed.
You have the freedom to put whatever fillings you want in the seaweed! Don’t like carrots? Skip it! Don’t want seafood? That’s okay! We just bought smoked salmon from Trader Joe’s, but if you would like to make your own, go right ahead!
Now its time to create the sushi!
If you don’t have a sushi roller, don’t sweat it! Just take a cutting board, put a folded kitchen towel on it and saran wrap over. You can still roll your sushi with this system!
The first time we made sushi, we didn’t use a sushi roller, but for this recipe we did. It honestly didn’t make a difference. I could go either way.
With a small bowl of water near at hand, lay one sheet of seaweed on a sushi roller or towel.
Dip hands into water and grab a handful of rice, spreading an even thin layer around the surface of the seaweed. Make sure not to make it too thick! (we spread it out even more after this picture was taken)
Lay down fillings one at a time, making sure to not put too much on it. For the sushi that you want to be fried, put cream cheese with the fillings.
Take the edge closet to you of the seaweed and start rolling, making sure to roll tight enough to keep all the fillings in, but not too tight to rip the seaweed.
At the end of the roll, seal the seaweed by putting water below the edge. Use the water as if it were gluing the ends together.
To fry or not to fry? That is the question!
If you want to fry your sushi now, skip wrapping it with saran wrap.
If you want to eat your sushi now or want to save the frying for later, wrap and roll it in saran wrap.
Roll the sushi in flour, spreading flour evenly across.
Roll it in eggs.
Roll in Panko Bread Crumbs.
In a small frying pan, heat up oil on about medium temperature.
Cook on all sides until bread crumbs are brown all over.
Cut in small sections to create about 6 pieces.
Top with sriracha, soy sauce, wasabi, or ginger as you please.
- 1 cup white rice (or sushi rice)
- 2 cups water
- 3 Tbsp. Rice Vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. Cane Sugar
- 1 Avocado
- 1 small cucumber
- 1 small carrot
- 3 oz. Smoked Salmon or Shrimp
- Cream Cheese
- 10 sheets nori (aka seaweed. I didn't know it had a fancy name either)
- Panko Bread Crumbs
- Olive or Vegetable Oil (for frying)
- Rinse rice 4-5 times.
- Put rice in cups water and bring to boil.
- Set lid on top of pot and bring temperature down to low. Cook 15-20 minutes.
- Repeat if desired for more rice.
- Meanwhile, on low, dissolve 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar with 2 Tbsp. sugar.
- Repeat if more rice is cooked.
- Cut avocado, cucumber, & carrot (or desired fillings) into thin, long slices.
- Lay out sheet of seaweed on sushi roller or flat surface.
- With hands lightly dipped in water, grab a handful of rice and spread evenly around seaweed making sure not too make a thick layer.
- Place fillings one at a time at one end of seaweed. If you will fry sushi, put cream cheese in. If not, leave cream cheese out.
- Grab end of seaweed with fillings and start to roll forward making sure to not be too loose or too tight.
- To Fry: Roll in flour, then eggs, and then bread crumbs. On medium, heat up oil and fry sushi evenly until bread crumbs are golden brown.
What kind of fillings do you like in your sushi! Share with us so we can try it out!