InterExchange Cooks Sushi!

By

2 minutes


Sushi rolls and chopsticks on a tray
InterExchange’s Casey is here to walk us through simple sushi preparation! Image courtesy of Pexels

We first became interested in sushi making after reading the book Hiromi’s Hands. The book tells the true story of a young girl who learned sushi making from her father and became one of the first female sushi chefs in NYC.

Sushi is an ancient way of preserving food and was introduced into Japan sometime in the 8th Century. Traditional training to make sushi in Japan can take years, but we were excited to try making a more “entry level” sushi roll. These rolls are called maki in Japan. We set out to make an avocado maki. Although avocado isn’t native to Japan and may not be considered authentic, it is delicious and very popular in NYC sushi restaurants.

In fact, the popularity of sushi has spread far and wide. You should be able to find many of the following ingredients at your local grocery store. (if you can’t find the nori, or seaweed, you can consider using these alternatives to wrap your sushi.

Sushi Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white rice
  • 5 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1/3 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1 whole avocado
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 pieces nori seaweed (see here for alternatives)
  • Bamboo mat (for rolling)

We learned that since sushi has so few ingredients, the technique and quality of ingredients was very important.

First we cooked the rice, which according to recipes should be a shorter type of rice than we might be used to. We cooked the rice in a pot according to the directions on the side of the bag and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Then we made the rice, vinegar, salt, and sugar mixture that gives sushi its name and its great taste.

Once we added the mixture to our cooked rice, we were ready to begin the assembly process.

An important tool for making maki rolls is a bamboo mat, called a makisu. We layed out a piece of seaweed, which is also called nori, to act as the blanket for our rice and avocado roll.

Seaweed wrap on a bamboo mat

We spread our slightly warm, seasoned rice over most of the nori, but left some space on the top to ensure a tight roll.

White rice and seaweed wrap on a bamboo mat

We quartered and peeled our ripe avocados and sliced them into even strips and laid them across our rice.

White rice, avocado slices, and seaweed wrap on a bamboo mat

The rolling was easier than we thought, and the makisu really helped to keep the roll even.

Rolled sushi on a bamboo mat

Once we had our roll ready, we used a very sharp knife to slice it into equal pieces. We presented our dish by turning each slice on its side, so that we could see the avocado filling. A little soy sauce on the side and we were ready to eat.

Prepared sushi and soy sauce on a bamboo mat

This dish has become a staple in our home and we always have ingredients on hand to prepare it any time.

Stay tuned for more in our InterExchange Cooks series! And, in the meantime, be sure to follow us on Instagram!

InterExchange Staff

InterExchange is proud to have an experienced team that is dedicated to international cultural exchange. We come from a variety of backgrounds, but nearly every member of our New York City-based staff has extensive experience traveling, working, or living abroad.

U.S. Department of State-Designated J-1 Visa Sponsor
Alliance for International Exchange
The International Coalition for Global Education and Exchange
European-American Chamber of Commerce New York
Generation Study Abroad
Global Ties U.S.
International Au Pair Association
WYSE Travel Confederation