The vinegar keeps the rice from sticking to your fingers while also helping the nori, the seaweed wrap, stick to itself.
Japanese tradition says sushi rolls should contain odd numbers of ingredients, usually three or five, but nobody’s paying the sushi police to hide outside in the bushes preventing a fourth or sixth ingredient from falling into your rolls.
”Whatever you add to the roll is your preference,” Dalke said. “It’s great to experiment.”
Dalke’s menu features rolls that include centerpieces like cured salmon, black bean avocado cake and pan-seared tuna. And don’t be afraid to use some raw fish at home.
Dalke points out that some local purveyors of seafood, like Burritt’s Fresh Market on Front Street, often have a supply of good quality fresh salmon and tuna.
”Salmon and fresh tuna are available, absolutely,” he said, adding that it’s important to know the person selling the fish. Freshness is very important when it comes to making sushi with raw fish.
It’s important to look for sushi-grade fish fillets that are bright in color, don’t have a strong fishy smell and aren’t slimy.
Driscoll tells her students to steer clear of raw fish at home if they’re not confident using it. Instead, she encourages experimentation with flavors.
“Smoked salmon I would really recommend,” she said. “It’s really easy to do a smoked salmon with cream cheese and scallions. And if you like pulled pork, put pulled pork on a sushi roll.”
1 recipe prepared sushi rice
1 avocado, sliced into thin strips
1 small cucumber peeled, seeded and cut into matchstick-sized pieces
4 sheets nori
4 sticks imitation crab meat
Lay out a bamboo rolling mat and cover it with plastic wrap. Cut nori sheets in half. Lay one of the cut sheets shiny-side down on the rolling mat, wet your fingers in vinegar and spread 1/2 cup rice on the nori. Leave a 1/2 inch section of the nori uncovered along one long edge of the roll.