One caveat, for the sushi gourmet - when I say "sushi", I mean "maki rolls." More specifically, I mean maki rolls made without any raw fish. I love raw fish in my maki at very high-quality restaurants, but I just doubt that I can get and safely work with sushi-grade fish when I'm 2000 miles from the ocean.
So, anyway, veggie maki rolls are really easy!
We hauled out the bamboo mat, which I thought would be hard to work with but wasn't. Our mystery sources (i.e. YouTube) recommended covering the mat in plastic wrap to minimize sticking. Sticky sushi rice is really, seriously sticky. Who would have thought.
Then lay out a sheet of seaweed. We got some really nice nori at the local co-op. My husband swears everything there is organic, although I'm skeptical about the existence of certified organic seaweed. Apparently darker color = better quality. (Thanks again, YouTube.)
Fill a small bowl with water and get your hands wet. This is by far the most important step if you don't want to wind up with sushi rice stuck all over EVERYTHING. Then, with wet hands, grab a hunk of your prepared sushi rice (we used this recipe from Alton Brown) and press it firmly into your nori.
Place fillings at one end (we made cucumber roll for me, and Philadelphia roll - cream cheese and lox - for the hubby.)
Repeat until you're all the way at the edge ...
Then lift the mat away, and voila! It's like magic!
To make eight even pieces (we tried six the first time, and the pieces were HUGE. We couldn't fit them in our mouths. This resulted in some hilarious photos of my hubby with half a piece hanging out of his mouth, which I will not be sharing because I like being married.) Anywho, to make eight even pieces, we're going to cut the roll in half several times. Use a wet knife to avoid sticking! First cut it in half once and line the halves up.
(Note that these are the first batch of uber-huge rolls. That's why they're already starting to unroll - the small ones, which we cut smaller and used less rice for, held together much better.)
It looks beautiful like this for a few minutes, but then it's so nummy that it will shortly look like this: