160 grams uncooked Japanese short or medium grain rice
Sushi vinegar (seasoned rice vinegar)
2 nori sheets
Cooking oil or a frying mix, enough to reach halfway up a sushi roll
1 egg yolk
⅜ of a cup or 6 tsp of all purpose flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
¼ teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ a cup of ice cold water
Making the Sushi Rice
To start, take your 160 grams of Japanese short-grain and dump it into a bowl (if it’s not already in one). You want to choose a large bowl, and avoid using a rice washer. Make a mental note of how high the bowl was filled with rice, or measure it in cups before washing.
Once you’re ready, place your bowl in the sink and fill it up almost the whole way with cold water, all the while (gently) scrubbing your rice. You don’t want to break or smush the grains, so be careful while moving it about the water.
When the water is cloudy, carefully pour it out while blocking the rice with your other hand. Repeat 3-4 times, or until the water runs as clear as possible.
Once you’ve finished washing the rice, take a sieve large enough to hold it all. Dump in the rice and strain all the water out – your best bet is to leave it straining over a bowl for 8-10 minutes to get all the excess out.
Cooking And Post-Cooking
When you’re rice is done straining, add it to a saucepan! Make sure it’s not too crammed as rice expands with moisture. The best pan will have a thick, heavy bottom and a transparent lid with no steam spouts.
Add the same amount of water to the pan as you had rice – so for 160 grams, that’s roughly ⅜ of a cup of water. Then, level the rice and leave it to soak for 20-30 minutes.
After the half hour is up, close the lid of your pan and place it on medium heat. Stuff any spouts or holes with tinfoil and wait for it to begin boiling.
Once you get to this point, keep an eye on your rice. If you see the lid steaming up and dripping with condensation, its likely started to boil. When you notice its boiling, turn the heat to low and wait for twelve minutes.
After the twelve minutes has passed, the water should have evaporated. If you can’t quite tell, double-check VERY quickly by peeking under the lid to see if the water has evaporated.
Once you’re sure the water has been absorbed, take it off the flame but do not remove the lid. Then, simply let your pan sit (lid ON) for 10 minutes.
Seasoning Your Sushi Rice
If you have a sushi oke/hangiri, prepare it for use. If not, take a large baking pan or tray and spread your rice across it with a rice paddle or spatula. Don’t scrape any burnt bits of rice into the tray/hangiri while transferring, as this will impact the taste of your sushi.
Once your rice is spread, evenly pour the sushi vinegar over it before folding it in with the paddle. Repeat this motion until you’re sure the rice is evenly distributed/coated. Be careful not to smash or press the rice too much while moving.
Once you’re finished, spread the rice out evenly to cool and drape a damp kitchen towel over the pan. This will keep your rice from dehydrating. The rice will be ready to roll in 20-30 minutes! Phew!
Begin by beating your egg yolk in a bowl large enough for mixing. It doesn’t have to be fluffy, but it should be well-whisked.
After this, add in the ⅜ cup of flour to the bowl, as well as the 2 tbsp corn starch, ¼ tsp curry powder, and ½ tsp balking powder. Mix it well with the yolk.
After combining them thoroughly, add ½ a cup of water to the mix. Make sure that the water is ice cold, otherwise your tempura batter won’t turn out. Add it in gradually while mixing to avoid the same fate. Once you’ve got all that down, your tempura is ready!
All you need to do now is cut your salmon lengthwise along with the avocado. Do the same with a good quality, thick cream cheese like Philadelphia – cut it (in the tub) into sticks, then scoop them out. Slice your jalapeño into quarters or eighths, and that’s it!
Next, heat your cooking oil, making sure it’s deep enough for the finished rolls. Submerge the jalapeño quarters into the batter – don’t be afraid to even fill it a little. Once your oil is at the right point (you can test this by sticking a wooden spoon in it), carefully lower your battered peppers into it.
Fry the jalapeños until the batter is solid and crispy, taking care not to burn them. Once they’re done, set them aside on a plate with a napkin or two beneath them and let them cool a bit.
Rolling Your Vegas Rolls
You can begin this before your peppers are cold, as long as the rice has cooled enough. Take a nori sheet and remove ¼ of it – you can do this with a pair of scissors, or simply by creasing and tearing.
Place your nori on a bamboo rolling mat, making sure that the textured side is facing up towards you. Then, gently spread your rice onto the nori with a rice paddle or spatula. Make sure it evenly coats the surface while avoiding the lengthways edges. Your rice should be cool, if it is still steaming slightly or feels overly warm/hot to the touch, you should wait longer.
Next, arrange your fillings. Place the cream cheese first (your other fillings won’t get in the way), being careful when scooping the sticks out of the tub. Try to place them where you’d like on the first try, but if that doesn’t work you can gently smoosh them in the right direction. Then place the salmon slices, making sure they last the complete length of your roll. Repeat with the fried jalapeños and sliced avocados.
Lift the edge of your bamboo mat that’s closest to the fillings to roll the sushi. Make sure to tuck and press the roll well whilst rolling, delicately applying pressure to the points where the nori meets. If necessary, roll your bamboo mat around the finished roll and gently press to force out excess air and create a tighter roll. Repeat this entire process to make a second roll. black cooking pan on stove for frying
Frying Your Vegas Rolls
Once your rolls are, well, rolled, pour around half of the remaining tempura batter onto them. Make sure to coat every side, but don’t worry if it’s thin/uneven.
Heat your oil again (it should be quicker this time around) and carefully slide or place the first roll in when it’s hot enough. The oil should come up to about halfway up the roll – this way, you can pour some more batter on.
If needed, add more batter to your rolls. Start by spooning batter over the part of the sushi that’s sticking out, and spread it well. Give it a second or two to settle before carefully flipping your roll on its side to let the new batter cook. Repeat this for each side and take your roll out when the batter is crispy and solid all over, or until the salmon is cooked to your liking. Then, repeat this step again with the second roll.
Cut n’ plate your rolls AFTER they cool down a little. You can serve them with sriracha, mayo, unagi, or soy sauce.
Serve with a wine that pairs well with sushi to upgrade your homemade sushi experience just that liiittle bit more!
For the salmon, look for ‘sushi-grade’ or ‘sashimi-grade’ label. ‘For raw consumption’ is also suitable.