It turns out that sushi is really not so hard to make yourself, and just as delicious as the brought stuff (if not more so, because you can put whatever you like into it). I will definitely be making it again and again. On this particular occasion the fillings ranged from just vegetables, to vegetables, tuna and sweet chilli sauce, to peanut-satay chicken and vegetables. That one was probably my favourite. However, putting in pieces of fresh chilli was not such a good idea - those tiny little chunks of green packed a really strong punch. I also completely avoided the wasabi, it's really not my thing. I'd rather stick to the predominant taste of the sweet, tangy sushi rice. The hardest part about sushi is collecting up the ingredients, and that's not at all hard as all big supermarkets have foreign food sections in them now. Even here in Galway, where the supermarkets are often bereft of the most obvious ingredients. There are loads of sushi tutorials out there on the internet and now I am adding to them, with my own, that says nothing original, but for once has lots of step-by-step pictures. And writing this now is making me hungry for more sushi so perhaps I'll have to try it again this weekend.
1 packet nori (seaweed sheets)
1 packet sushi rice
Sushi vinegar (rice vinegar)
Vegetables, sliced thinly (like carrot, cucumber, bell pepper, avocado)
Other fillings, like meat or fish, and sauces (if you want them)
First of all, you have to cook the rice according to the packet directions, until it is soft but not so soft that it is mushy and loses its shape. Then you drain it (if it needs it) and let the rice get completely cold. Splash in a generous amount of rice vinegar and gently fold it into the rice with a fork, trying not to mash the rice as you do so. Taste it and then repeat until you are happy with the flavour.
To make the sushi, lay a sheet of the seaweed (one side should seem smoother and this should be laid downwards, with the rougher side facing up). Spoon rice onto the seaweed and pat down flat (wet your fingers first so that the rice doesn't stick to them). Make the layer of rice about a centimetre thick and leave 1 or 2 centimetres of seaweed bare at each end (as above).
Lay the fillings at one end of the rice (don't use too much!). Rinse your hands and pat them dry, otherwise when you touch the seaweed it will disintegrate. Then roll the seaweed around the filling, tucking it in tightly.
Keep rolling and then press down gently to seal the roll.
Take a sharp knife and dip it in cold water, then gently slice the roll into several pieces and lay on a plate. Then enjoy! Sushi is far more filling than most people expect, so one packet of seaweed and rice will be enough for quite a lot of people.