Many people enjoy eating sushi at restaurants, but believe it to be too difficult to make at home. This is a common misconception, but actually many types of sushi, including cucumber maki, can be made at home. Making sushi is fun, but it can take some practice before your rolls stick together just right. You may need to visit an Asian grocery to find the ingredients, although many supermarkets also carry sushi making supplies and ingredients. Here's how to make cucumber maki:
Ingredients and supplies:
- Nori (dried seaweed sheets)
- Sushi rice
- Sesame seeds
- Sesame oil (optional)
- Makisu (sushi rolling mat)
- Sharp knife
- Cook the sushi rice. Cook the sushi rice according to the directions on the package. Sushi rice is sticky white rice, and it is the "glue" that holds the seaweed and cucumber together.
- Cut the cucumber. While the sushi rice is cooking, cut the cucumber into thick strips.
- Fill the nori. First, moisten your hands under running water. This easy trick will keep the sticky rice from getting stuck to your fingers. Place the nori on top of the makisu. Assemble it on the mat to prevent it falling apart when you move it later. Then spread a thin layer of sushi rice over the nori. Leave a half inch strip at the top of the nori bare, because you'll need this to hold the roll together. Try to make the rice even, as this will make it roll evenly. Add a dash of sesame oil to add flavor, if you'd like. Then place the cucumber slices lengthwise on the nori, and sprinkle on some sesame seeds.
- Roll the maki. First moisten the half inch strip of nori that does not have any rice on it. This strip will hold the nori together once it is rolled. Use the makisu to fold the maki over itself once. Apply pressure evenly to pack the rice then. Next, roll the sushi mat, with the maki inside, from bottom to top. Apply pressure as you roll to ensure that the rice is tightly packed. Otherwise, your sushi will not stay together.
- Slice the cucumber maki. Once the maki has been rolled, remove the makisu mat. Then use a very sharp knife to cut the maki into slices. Dip the knife blade in water first to ensure that the rice does not stick to it. Each roll should make approximately 6 evenly-sized pieces.
- Enjoy. Serve the maki with each piece facing rice-side-up.
Once you master the art of cucumber maki, substitute plain avocado for the cucumber, or make a California roll by including a mixture of avocado and cooked crab meat. Cucumber maki is delicious, and you don't have to go to a sushi restaurant to enjoy this treat!