Off the Menu

Making Sushi at Home Is Surprisingly Easy

A lesson by Blue Ribbon Sushi’s master sushi chef.

By: Noah Lehava
Photography: Alec Kugler

We tried extremely hard to think of a situation in which sushi would be a bad choice—in our opinion, it’s always a good idea. Okay, so, maybe save for a ~very~ hung-over Sunday. Anyway, what we’re getting at is, sushi is, for us, an obsession, almost as much as brunch. And when it comes to fresh, delicious sashimi and maki, Blue Ribbon Sushi in NYC (seriously, if you haven’t been, go!) is always our go-to. So when we finally decided to try to master the maki and hand roll in our own kitchen—bold, we know—we knew we had to get Blue Ribbon’s sushi chef Kaz to show us how. The best part about watching him put it all together, though, is that we realized it’s going to be the easiest meal you’ve ever made.

 

INGREDIENTS:

sushi rice
seaweed sheets
thinly sliced vegetables of choice
protein of choice (optional)
bamboo mat (for easy rolling)

 

DIRECTIONS: (Hand Roll)

1. You’ll want to cook your rice first. Look for short-grain sushi rice at your local Asian market. Once it’s ready (from your rice cooker or pot), we like to let it cool to room temperature.

2. Spread your rice on the seaweed sheet.

3. You can put anything you want in your sushiyou don’t need to put just fish. It can really be anything.

4. Roll it into a cone shape and enjoy.

 

DIRECTIONS: (Maki Roll)

1. Follow step 1.

2. Spread the rice evenly (about a quarter of an inch) on the seaweed. This time, you want the rice on the outside.

3. Put in your ingredients of choicevegetables, beef, fish, etc.and roll. Think about it like making a burrito. You can also use a bamboo mat to mold the roll so it looks tight. But if you don’t have that, you can use your hands.

Tip: Don’t put too much inside the roll. Try a little bit first, and if you think you can add more, add more. There is no rule on how much to put, but I like to stick to about 4 oz.

4. To cut the roll, make sure you have a sharp knife. Don’t push down on the roll; slide the knife, and let the knife do the work. I see so many people squishing the ingredients, and that is actually tearing apart the fiber of the ingredient, so it will ruin the flavor.

5. Just remember, have fun with it. Don’t try to be traditional; the traditional way takes 10 years to master.

 

The Right Way to Use Wasabi and Soy

“Put the wasabi on the roll, and then dip it in the soy. Make sure you don’t put too much soy sauce; you don’t want to ruin the flavor of the roll.”

 

How to Source Raw Fish

“Make sure you ask the grade of the fish at the supermarket. Salmon can be ‘A’ grade, ‘B’ grade, and ‘C’ grade. You want ‘A’ grade. If it smells, don’t eat it raw. If you have time, go to a fish market or an Asian marketthat’s a great place to find a better selection of raw fish.”

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