Saturday, June 10, 2023

What’s the deal with sushi?

Bailey Woodean
Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!
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I am sure that I am not the only one asking this question. I also know those sushi lovers can be found worldwide, so that keeps me asking the question, “what’s the deal with sushi?”. How can a cold wrap of seaweed, rice, and raw fish taste good? Maybe I just don’t understand what sushi is? So, I looked for a guide to help me understand and maybe, just maybe, change my mind.


Homemade Sushi: Tips, Tricks, and Toppings!




  • sushi rice
  • bamboo sushi mat
  • plastic wrap (cling/saran wrap)
  • nori seaweed sheets
  • low-sodium soy sauce
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • Sriracha
  • wasabi + pickled ginger


  • cucumber
  • avocado
  • asparagus
  • jalapenos
  • green onion
  • carrots
  • sprouts
  • bell peppers
  • pineapple
  • mango
  • apple
  • pear
  • tempura [cooked] shrimp
  • imitation crab meat [cooked]
  • raw sashimi-grade salmon
  • smoked salmon
  • raw sashimi-grade tuna and the list goes on and on!

So, we can have cooked fish in sushi? I am so confused!


  • sesame seeds
  • thin slices of fish
  • shrimp or crab salad
  • seaweed salad
  • sliced almonds
  • sprouts
  • thinly sliced avocado
  • volcano topping

Who knew that a dish that is essentially completely raw could have so many options for ingredients!

  1. Make your sushi rice on the stovetop or using a rice cooker. Quinoa works excellently too!
  2. Season the rice with seasoned rice vinegar or a combination of plain rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Pour over your rice, fluff with a fork, taste, and adjust as desired. Remove rice from heat, fluff into a bowl and set aside.

So we cook rice but not the fish? I still don’t get it.

  1. While the rice cooks/cools, prep your veggies! Slice into matchsticks and set aside. Once the rice is done you’ll be ready to roll!
  2. To avoid messy clean-up and scrubbing, wrap your bamboo mat in plastic wrap. Lay a sheet of nori on top and grab your rice!
  3. Use a spoon to spread a thin layer of rice on the seaweed sheet.

Why are we wrapping it in seaweed? It seems to me that just about anything else would taste better than seaweed!

  1. Place your toppings in the center, very close to one another and practically in a little veggie dogpile.
  2. For rice on the inside, line your veggies/seafood on top of the rice.
  3. For rice on the outside, flip the sheet of nori so the rice touches the plastic wrap and then add your vegetables to the seaweed-only side.
  4. This one’s hard to explain… but it’s easy to do! The first roll will bind the ingredients into the center. Roll approximately 1/4 of the mat and gently squeeze (so it sticks) and unfold the bamboo mat. Repeat the process until you’ve rolled the sheet of rice, seaweed, and veggies into a spiral. Give it one last squeeze to seal the deal.
  5. Slice into bite-sized discs with a freshly sharpened chef’s knife. If you’re topping your sushi with sashimi or avocado, first tightly wrap the roll in plastic wrap prior to slicing. This will keep everything neat and pretty and avoid the horrific act of flinging avocado slices all over the kitchen. Though if that sounds like fun to you, fling away! I’ll stick with the saran wrap!
  6. Next pile on all your favorite toppings and set up a few sauces for dunking.
  7. Enjoy!

Now that I have read these tips and tricks and learned more about what sushi consists of, I feel that I have a better grasp. However, I still don’t think that sushi is for me. Perhaps one day I will find myself with a spark of inspiration and give it a go.

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