Originally Posted by farmbrewernw
I make California rolls every once in a while, it's actually really easy.
I make sushi every couple months, and have for years. All our local supermarkets are stocking Nori (seaweed wrappers) these days, and I'm in smalltown North Carolina. You don't have to have Toro or Maguro to have good sushi.
I regularly just make California rolls, and if I want a cheap sushi fix just to munch on, and I'm not feeling real EAC'ish, I'll even use Krab.
The trick to making good sushi at home is to really get the rice right. There are bottled all-in-one sushi rice dressings out there, but I find these to be really overpowering, particularly compared to most sushi places I've been stateside and in Japan. I usually just use a bit of Mirin to get the right light twang of vinegar, but never as much as many directions tell you to use. Like a proper pizza where it's all about the crust, not the toppings, sushi is all about the rice and the interaction of the other ingredients. If you just want fish eat sashimi.
Use the right rice. Short grain white.
Really wash the rice well. Don't just give it a cursory rinse. Agitate the uncooked rice in the pot with your hand and keep rinsing it regularly until the water in the pot no longer turns white while you stir.
Cook the rice.
Cool the rice. I mean get in there and stir it and fan it and get it cooled, kind of like cooling wort... If you season the rice warm it ain't going to taste right when cooled. Working the rice while cooling it also makes it a bit stickier, which is good, particularly if you're doing Nigiri style sushi.
For rolls, you don't have to have a bamboo rolling mat, but it helps. You can also just do hand rolls, which are cone shaped and don't require cutting. An absolute favorite of mine that I always order when I go out for sushi is a Salmon Skin Hand Roll. Good stuff!
If you're a wasabi fan go ahead and use the prepared stuff in a tube. The dry stuff in a can might last longer, but it doesn't have the punch of the tubed stuff.
If you like having the ginger in between pieces of sushi then buy some whole ginger root and peel it, then cut it yourself. The pink crap in a jar you might find some places is gross compared to fresh cut ginger.
Have fun with it. When salmon season would open on the CA central coast where I used to live I would chow down on homemade sushi. Now that I'm on the east coast I don't make it quite as often, but I have made some really great rolls using blue crab I caught myself.