Contrary to popular belief, Japanese people don’t make sushi much at home. While that’s never stopped me before, it does take a bit of motivation to prep everything and then make enough rolls and nigiri for everyone to enjoy. This is where Temaki Sushi steps in: all you need to do is make the sushi rice and slice up the fillings. The final assembly is left up to each person and their particular tastes, which is why it makes for the perfect dish for a casual get-together.
Best of all, there are no rules about what you can include, so you can stuff Temaki Sushi with just about anything you want. Meat-lovers can fill them with combos like kalbi and kimchi, or bacon and avocado; while pescatarians can go with salmon and radish sprouts, or spicy tuna salad; even vegetarians can get in on the action with cucumbers, avocado and cheese, or sauteed shiitake mushrooms and pickled carrots. The filling combinations are virtually endless! The only thing I suggest is that you experiment with contrasting tastes and textures. With each roll taking about three bites to eat, you should easily be able to devour four or five of these, so go ahead and do something crazy! Mango, chili peppers and salami anyone?
Check out the video below for the process of rolling the Temaki Sushi. It’s fairly straightforward, but there are a few tricks to remember. The biggest one is to have a bowl of water for each person so they can wet their fingers before pressing the rice onto the nori, otherwise all the rice will stick to your fingers and make a big mess. You’ll also probably want to give each person a wet towel so they can wipe their hands off between each round. Also, I personally don’t like adding a ton of rice to the rolls as it lets you stuff the temaki with more filling.
If you do decide to include raw fish in your Temaki Sushi, be sure to buy fish that is meant for eating raw. Since the term “sushi-grade” is not regulated in the US, it’s a meaningless marketing phrase. Read up on what to look for, ask a lot of questions, and make sure you trust the shop you’re buying the fish from. One online shop I’ve had luck with is Luxe Gourmets. They’re not cheap, but their parent company supplies many of the best sushi restaurants in the US and the quality is good.
Aside from the sushi rice and nori, all the other ingredients are optional as you can fill the rolls with whatever you want. The three rolls I show in the video are salmon, kaiware sprouts and ikura; green shiso, tuna and cucumber; and lettuce, mayonnaise and crab meat. Here’s my sushi rice tutorial, and I also have a video showing you how to make ikura.
- Place a sheet of nori with the rough-side up in front of you and add a large spoonful of sushi rice on the left half.
- Wet your fingers in water and then use them to spread the rice into an even layer on the left half the nori.
- Place your filling ingredients on the rice, with most of the filling towards the top.
- Roll the bottom left corner up to the middle of the top edge of the nori to form a cone.
- Continue rolling until the nori wraps completely around itself. Eat immediately.