No chopsticks required


It’s no secret that mi mama and papa have a real love affair with sushi. The only times they ever actually go out to a restaurant for dinner is if sushi is involved. Their first date began with a sushi dinner (and second date, and third date and fourth date…) They had a standing Wednesday night date at a place called Kyoto for sushi happy hour every week for 4 months when they lived in Austin. When they go visit mi papa’s family in New Orleans for the holidays, they most look forward to eating insane amount of raw fish at the local sushi buffet each and every night of their visit. Even Christmas day dinner. Yes, it’s safe to say they like em some sushi. Mi papa jokes that mi mama must have a separate stomach just for raw fish. She’s not a big person and tends to get full pretty quickly, but put a plate full of sushi in front of her, and stand back. The ravaging beast with a bottomless pit comes out! I’ve heard she once tackled an elderly woman with a walker for taking the last salmon roll at the all-you-can-eat buffet and put her into a choke-hold until the old lady handed over the fish. No police reports were made nor any charges pressed so it’s still just hearsay, but I definitely wouldn’t put this sort of behavior past her. According to mi mama, “the old hag had it coming to her.”

So I’ll suffice it to say, mis padres like sushi. Unfortunately, going out for sushi all the time really starts to take a toll on their bank account and the more they spend at sushi restaurants, the less dinero they have to spend on my baby carrots, cooking utensils and cute little outfits. Luckily I came up with the genius (obviously) idea of trying our paws hands at rolling our own sushi at home. It really is simple, I promise. And so much more fun and cost-effective than going out. All you need is a bamboo mat (although not totally necessary), some sushi rice and a little bit of patience. Still skeptical? Well how about a little step-by-step beginner’s guide to sushi rolling from your’s truly, The TeenyLittleSushiChef.

Sushi 101

Sushi Rice:

2 cups Japanese sticky rice

2 1/2 cups water

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt


1) Rinse the rice with cold water until water comes out clear. Drain and add to a medium-size saucepan.

2) Cover the rice with 2 1/2 cups cold water and turn burner on high.

3) When water comes to a boil, turn heat down to low and cover pot. Cook 20 minutes.

4) Turn burner heat off and allow to cook 10 more minutes, covered. Do not uncover or stir during this time.

5) Meanwhile, prepare the vinegar mixture. Heat vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan over medium until sugar is dissolved.

6) Transfer cooked rice to a large wooden or non-reactive bowl. Add vinegar mixture slowly. Fluff rice with a spatula or rice paddle. Keep fluffing until the vinegar mixture is evenly distributed.

7) Allow to cool 5 minutes and then cover bowl with a dish towel until ready to use.

How to assemble sushi rolls:

Bamboo mat

Nori seaweed sheets

raw fish slices

real or imitation crab meat

avocado slices

cucumber slices

carrots, julienned

whatever else you want to use in your rolls


1) Lay a sheet of nori flat on the bamboo mat. Wet your hands and spread 1/3-1/2 cup sushi rice evenly on the sheet. Lay whatever sushi innards you want on one side of the sheet.

2) Using both hands, begin rolling up the sushi, starting with the side that contains the fish or vegetables. Roll tightly and moisten the seaweed a bit as you roll so it sticks together. For a better explanation and pictures of what I’m talking about, check out this link:

3) Slowly remove the bamboo mat and cut your roll into bite-size slices.

4) Serve with pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce. Konnichiwa, delicious sushi!

So there you have it. So simple, so easy and oh so much fun. Plus you don’t have to worry about receiving strange looks when asking for odd-sounding combination rolls like ones containing kabocha squash, tofu, avocado and Saigon cinnamon… right Mama?

Well mi amigos, I must be going. I’m all about trying out new little DIY projects at home lately and I think I may have finally come up with a winner– homemade Hot Air Balloon!

Up, up and away!


7 responses »

  1. The only time I ever eat out is when I’m traveling for work, and one of my “must have” items is good veggie sushi. However, it’s also one of those things I will always buy instead of make myself. While I’m sure its’ rewarding to do it yourself, I know how I am and trust me, it’s easier just to pay someone who knows what they’re doing.

    Do you deliver? 😉

  2. Teeny Little Super Chef, I’ve got a challenge for you… What dish can I prepare ahead of time, keep in the fridge for a week, then pull out and serve/bake/heat after that week in the fridge? I’m not sure what foods will keep that long. HELP!!!

    • Hola Annie! I’m honored you came to me with this little challenge, and I happily accept. First of all, I don’t think keeping whatever you make in the fridge is a good idea, especially if it’s going to be there for a whole week. Too much risk of bacterial growth, plus it just wouldn’t taste very good after that much time. I would advise making a dish and freezing it instead. You could make a lasagna or some sort of noodle casserole, those tend to freeze well. Nothing with too much liquid or water. You could try a soup or a chili too. Those freeze well as long as you put them in freezer safe zip loc bags. Then all you have to do is throw the bag into a saucepan of boiling water until it’s no longer frozen and then pour into another saucepan (without water) to heat up the rest of the way. My Cheesy Turkey Spaghetti Pie would be a good one to try. Or my Tuna Noodle Casserole. I know those all are good because I’ve made them specifically to freeze for a later date. Let me know if you have another idea of something and I can come up with a good recipe for you. Te amo Tia!

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