Introduction to sushi making: how to make standard sushi rolls (chapter 5)

I have not had my internet set up in my flat yet, but since I am waiting for my car to be serviced at BMW service workshop, might as well use their high speed internet to do some blogging and uploading!

I realised that I have not yet posted my introduction on making standard rolls. So here it goes!

First of all, lay a nori sheet on your sushi mat which has already been cling filmed.

Spread the sushi rice across the nori sheet as shown in the diagram.

Lay chicken in the centre..

Put some japanese mayonnaise, and line the avocados.

Try not to be too greedy in lining up too much ingredients or you risk being unable to close your sushi rolls.

After lining the ingredients, bring the sushi mat forwards as shown..

…just enough to cover the ingredients. put gentle pressure on all sides..

Lift the front of the sushi mat up…

Push the whole roll forwards once with the mat…

Gentle pressure again…

Side view…

Cutting the rolls…

Cut the roll midway…then line the half lengthways roll side by side as shown below///

Aim again for the centre of the half lengthways rolls.

Then aim midway of the length of the rolls again….(this is difficult…maybe I should consider making a video on how to make sushi rolls..)

You can also substitute the chicken for some breaded fried chicken:

A link to one of my entries on how to fry the breaded chicken.

Or you can use raw salmon! yumsss!

Now you are all ready for a sushi picnic!


Watermelon juice recipe

Before I share the watermelon juice recipe, I got some photos from my sushi party yesterday night to drool at….I am drooling too! I also linked some of the recipes to the photos just to make life easier for those who want to check out the recipes for the sushi. Thanks to my dear friend who took all these amazing photos!

My creation of a sushi cake! It was my friend’s birthday.

I don’t really have a recipe for this, unless it’s being requested then perhaps I will show how to make it… LOL… This just came to me really randomly when I was making sushi for my friend’s birthday.

Who says cakes need to be of flour, sugar, eggs etc… they can be made of sushi too! heehee..

And definitely yummylicious!

Steps on how to cut salmon nigiri recipe can be seen here:

Steps on how to make inside out rolls can be seen here:

Worked on the dragon roll again! The recipe for the dragon roll can be seen here:

Lastly I ended the sushi party with some of my buttermilk country cake. Was amazing although a simple cake!

Recipe can be seen here:

Lastly we come to the recipe for the watermelon juice:

The above 2 pics are more recently made at my sister’s house in York. Being a very enthusiastic Nami’s follower recently, my inspirations do come from her at times.

But I did have a sheer attempt of making watermelon juice in January 2013… A more presentable watermelon juice compared to the previous photos where I did not even bother with presentation because lighting in my sister’s house is SOOOO SOOO BAD…

Recipe for watermelon juice taken from Nami’s website and she has step by step instructions as usual for those who are keen to check it out:

  • 2 cups chopped watermelon
  • Juice from 1/4 lime
  • 1 Tbsp. simple syrup
  • A slice of lime for garnish (optional)
  • Mint leaves for garnish (optional)

1) Cut the watermelon into chunks removing the rind and seeds. Place the chunks into a bowl and let them cool in refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

2) In blender, combine watermelon, lime juice and simple syrup and puree.

3) Pour into the glass and garnish with a slice of lime and mint leaves (optional). Chill before serving if you like.



You can replace simple syrup with regular sugar if you want to save the time.

If you prefer to remove pulp, strain through a fine sieve. You will also need to double the portions for each ingredient per glass.

California roll recipe

I thought that staying in Glasgow post-nights on call is just a bit too depressing so decided to make a trip down to Leeds/York to visit my sisters/friends.

On the first night, my sisters requested me to make dragon roll. I thought I would like to try Nami’s california roll since I am making sushi.

It was delicious. I forgot to put avocados into my california roll!!! But it still tasted delicious.

I still think the dragon roll is the most amazing sushi though.

I improved on my tempura and now I think it is quite ‘perfect’ and improved my dragon roll presentation by purposely not making it look too messy this time! Forgot the sesame seeds as garnish. *feeling slightly gutted*

Made my usual salmon roll. Presentation still a lot to work on! LOLss

We did have one hell of a sushi party in York with my sisters and my sister’s friends.

Never felt so satisfied. Of all the sushi I made, dragon roll was the big hit!

Now for the california roll recipe:


Ingredients to yield 2 rolls: (amount of ingredients adapted from Nami’s just one cookbook. )

  • 1 1/2 cup Sushi Rice
  • 1 can (170g) crab meat
  • 8 Tbsp. (½ cup) Japanese mayonnaise
  • ½ English cucumbers
  • 1/2 avocado
  • ½ lemon for avocado (optional)
  • 2 nori sheets
  • ¼ cup white sesame seeds / tobiko
  • For garnish, I used ikura (salmon roe), tobiko (flying fish roe), pickled sushi ginger, and wasabi.

Again the step-by-step illustrations by Nami is so meticulous that I did not even try to take anymore step-by-step pictures as they can be painstakingly difficult to do so + Nami’s website explains it so well that I can just refer everyone who wants to make california rolls to her website.

Have fun!

Dragon roll recipe

After I found Nami’s website teaching me how to make dorayaki, I was looking at her beautiful dragon rolls recipe and got very excited about making it.

Efforts were not in vain. Love the dragon roll. Only pity was I did not make the unagi sauce as I only looked at the recipe AFTER I finished making the roll. So decided to omit it.

I think the most painstaking process of making the dragon roll is slicing the avocado and prepping the prawns for tempura. Making the roll itself isn’t too difficult for me as I have learnt to make sushi rolls before in the past when I worked as a part-time sushi chef.

Nami’s website has definitely made me very inspired to make Japanese food!

I never have any good outcomes with my shrimp tempura. Nevertheless, I decided to try Nami’s website on how to make shrimp tempura. Recipe for her shrimp tempura can be found here:

You can choose to make the tempura flour from scratch, or pop by a chinese/Japanese supermarket and buy their ready made tempura flour which makes things fairly straightforward and easy.

Dragon roll ingredients adapted from Nami’s website to yield 2 rolls

    • 1 1/2 cups sushi rice
    • 1/2 cucumber
    • 1 avocados
    • 1/2 lemon
    • 1 nori sheet
    • 6 shrimp tempura
    • 1/8 cup Tobiko
    • Unagi (eel) – optional

For toppings

    • Spicy Mayo
    • Black sesame seeds

Vinegar water for dipping hands (Tezu) – I used Japanese mayonnaise to lubricate my hands

    • 1/4 cup water
    • 2 tsp. rice vinegar

Things you will need

  • Bamboo sushi mat
  • Plastic wrap

Step-by-step on how to make this dragon roll can be referred to Nami’s website which she has clearly demonstrated:

Her spicy mayo recipe:

I did not make the unagi sauce because I realised that it needed boiling etc and cooling down. At the time, I have already finished making the rolls. So decided to skip this. In future, remember to make the unagi sauce first before I start making everything else.

Introduction to sushi making – How to make inside out rolls (chapter 4)

Ok. I will let the pictures do the talking.

First of all prepare the sushi rice. I tend to use nishiki brand as that is the only reliable sushi rice brand I know of. I have tried a few other brands in the past as they were cheaper and to be honest with you, there is a huge difference in the quality of sushi you make. I once used a sushi rice of some unknown japanese brand which was like 50p cheaper and I thought won’t make much difference one lah…it’s all sushi rice anyway….but you know what, the cooked sushi rice refused to stick to the seaweed. My housemates who were also ex-sushi chefs didn’t believe me and tried as well before we all declared the sushi rice was just pure nonsense as it just won’t stick to the seaweed! I ended up throwing the whole pot of sushi rice in the bin! 

In summary, don’t cut cost on sushi rice. You really pay for what you get! Nishiki brand, and no other.

As to how to prepare the rice, I cannot stress enough the importance of not putting too much water into the rice before you cook. Check your water level is correct with your finger (cook like how you are cooking normal rice but with slightly less water) and also double check with your rice cooker instructions i.e. if you cook 5 cups, make sure that the water is at the level ‘5’ on the rice pot. If your rice is very wet, you are in for failure so don’t even attempt or you get sushi mash. If you get sushi mash, you might as well not make because no one is going to eat your sushi as it will taste like glue.

Wrap your sushi mat with cling film just to make your cleaning up easier at the end.

After trying tesco, sainsbury, morrisons, costco avocados…the best is still the ripe and ready sainsburys avocados. Tesco, morrisons etc just cannot make it. No questions ask. You can try avocados from other places if you want, don’t say I never warned you. The taste and the texture of the sainsbury avocado is exactly what I am looking for.

Next, take out the seaweed. Can you see how there are horizontal lines across the seaweed?

I want you to count and cut it across the middle just like the picture

Put your seaweed meeting the end of the sushi mat.

Spread rice across the seaweed. No higher above 2 grains of rice thickness.

Pour sesame seeds on it

Flip it the other way round now. Can you see how I have some rice overlapping out of the top of the seaweed?

Line whatever you want in your sushi on the seaweed. I put japanese mayo, chicken katsu and avocados across… don’t be greedy and put too much ingredients because you are only asking for trouble when you realise you cannot close your rolls.

Roll like the picture. Put some gentle pressure on the ingredients to stop them from falling forwards when you roll the sushi forwards.

Close the mat over the ingredients……just like the next picture as well…

Just like this…..

From the side view….

Then…with one finger on each side, slide your fingers across the mat horizontally with equal pressure. Not too hard or your rice will get flattened….lift up one side of the mat and roll sushi forwards, cover with the sushi mat and equal pressure sliding across again…

Tidy up the sides.

You get a inside out roll

There you go…some inside out rolls for you to drool at….

I will teach how to cut another time and also how to make other rolls.

Introduction to sushi making – How do fry the chicken for rolls or katsu curry (chapter 3)

Sushi rolls does not necessarily have to contain raw fish. You can be a bit more imaginative and include yummy fried chicken or roast chicken if raw fish is not one of your favourites.

In this post, I am going to teach you how I fry my chicken for either the katsu curry or to include into the rolls as seen in the picture below.

Crack 2 eggs into a bowl, season with salt and black pepper. Beat well.

In another dry bowl, pour in some japanese breadcrumbs.

Deboned chicken thighs. Or you can use chicken breast depending on what you prefer.

That’s the brand of the japanese breadcrumbs I have been using for many years. Get everything ready before you start. Pour some oil in a pan enough to cover 2/3 of the chicken.

To start, coat the chicken thighs in egg, then transfer to the bowl with breadcrumbs and make sure the whole chicken is evenly coated. (I have recently tried a new method where I coat the chicken thighs in plain flour first before dipping into the’s up to you how you want to do it.). In summary, what I meant is either you can either:

a) Dip into egg -> breadcrumb -> oil


b) Coat with plain flour -> egg -> breadcrumb -> oil

Either way works.

When the oil in the pan is hot enough, put in enough chicken to deep fry till golden brown.

Don’t you feel the deep fry chicken calling out to you!!!

Next entry on sushi making chapter 4 will be on how to roll the chicken rolls!

Introduction to sushi making: How to cut nigiri and sashimi (chapter 2)

So what happens if you buy a huge salmon as such?

Due to high demand of requests from friends who wants to know how to do this, I will use pictures to illustrate how I slice my salmon into sashimi and nigiri.

As you can see, I have given instructions to my fishmonger to take the skin off for me. This was because I was in a rush for time. Normally I take the salmon skin off myself for hygiene purposes.

First of all, orientate yourself with the salmon. You can see that there is a line in the middle of the salmon. If following the above picture, on the right is the thicker part of the salmon so this is used for sashimi, the left is wider and thinner so this part is used for nigiri. 

Divide the salmon in the middle.

when I say middle, can you see the line in the middle of the fish? The line has to be towards the nigiri (the thinner side) side as shown below.

Slice the part with the line off as shown in the pictures. This is because that part is quite ‘fibrous’. But it won’t be wasted, save it for making rolls.

There you go! the whole strip where the line was is completely sliced off now!

Flip the nigiri part over and trim off all the salmon fats…

After trimming all the fats, slice off the side to make it look neater. You can save the trimmings for the rolls so don’t throw them away.

Now we can start slicing. The most important thing about slicing is make sure the blade of ur knife is at 90 degrees to the salmon lines. This is how you get lines on the nigiri pieces which makes it look pretty. Can you see from the above picture how that is done. (I am regretting not photoshopping the photos and putting in arrows to illustrate better)

Angle your knife at 45 degrees.

Slice in one direction and one motion preferably from the end to the tip of the knife. Not in a sawing motion!

There you have sliced off the firs nigiri piece.

Repeat the steps to slice the rest…

There you have got all ur nigiri pieces lined up.

Now for the sashimi! Turn the other part of the fish around and start trimming the fats.

Turn the sashimi part back again to its original position after trimming the fats and start slicing as above. Approximately 1cm thick? Again, slice in one motion starting from the end of the knife to the tip of the knife. No sawing motion or you going to destroy the fish!

I supposed a video of me doing this would help. But hope the pictures useful! Speaks a thousand words~

Now you have loads of sashimi to eat to your heart’s content!!!