You guys. I made us homemade sushi!
For the longest time, I was always afraid of homemade sushi. I mean, burritos are hard enough to roll, but swap the tortilla for nori? Ah yeah, way too outta my wheel house…or at least so I thought. Turns out that rolling sushi is really not all that hard, and I didn’t even need to buy any special equipment.
Over Christmas break when all of my family was in town, plus multiple friends, I somehow decided it would be a good idea to make everyone homemade sushi. Do not ask me why I thought it would be fun to make sushi, for the first time ever, for twenty plus people. It really was not the smartest idea. But I wanted to conquer homemade sushi and everyone in the house was down for it, so I decided to just go for it.
Thankfully it all turned out pretty good. No one got sick (which I was really worried about for reason) and the sushi was SO good. I knew I eventually wanted to share a recipe like it here on the site, so you guys, here it is! My Korean inspired tuna roll!
When I made sushi for the family back in December, I just made the basic rolls everyone knows about. They were great, but as I was rolling up all the rolls, my mind could not help but think up all the fun combos. While I had lots of ideas, ultimately this Korean roll was the one I knew I had to share.
I love Korean flavors and when paired with the makings of a sushi roll? It’s basically just perfection.
Let me break the roll down for you guys.
…first up – nori
…thinly sliced pineapple
…thinly sliced avocado
…ahi tuna marinated in Korean chili sauce
The secret to these rolls is the Korean marinated tuna. It’s beyond good. I toned down some of the heat with sweet pineapple and served the rolls with a little special “mayo”, which is just tahini and gochujang (Korean chili paste, I buy the Mother In Law’s brand from Whole Foods).
Simple as that! I don’t own a sushi mat, so I used a kitchen towel and plastic wrap (see photos). It worked surprisingly well. Don’t fear the rolling process guys, it’s actually easier than trying to wrap an over-stuffed burrito. Your first roll might not be the prettiest, but by the time you get to your second or third, you’ll have the hang of it. My one tip is to make sure to dampen the nori sheets before you start rolling. The sheets are dried, so if you try to roll them they will crack. Wetting your hands and pressing them onto the nori, moistens the sheet just enough to be able to nicely roll them up.
These would be really fun to make on a Friday night date night or just to make as a healthy weeknight meal. Just be sure to plan a little time for preparing them. While these are not hard to prepare, rolling the sushi just takes a little time. It’s not a once a week kind of recipe, BUT it’s definitely one to try to have in your back pocket for when a mad sushi craving hits! <–especially if you’re like me and live in a town where the sushi joints are questionable…
Lastly, if you guys do not like to eat raw fish, try replacing the tuna with beef. Apparently there is such a thing as a beef sushi roll! I’ve never had it, but it sounds like something my brothers would greatly enjoy…well minus the seaweed.
I think I much prefer the seafood kind of sushi, I mean, for one, look at all those gorgeous colors!! Totally my kind of thing.
Korean Avocado Tuna Sushi Roll
- 2 cups cooked white or brown rice
- 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- pinch of kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons gochujang
- 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
- 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 pound sushi grade tuna, sliced into strips
- 6-8 sheets nori
- 1 cup kimchi
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 pineapple, thinly sliced into half moons
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1 tablespoon gochujang
1. In a bowl, combine the rice, rice vinegar, and a pinch of salt.
2. In medium bowl, combine the sesame oil, gochujang, ginger and soy sauce. Add the tuna and toss to coat. Drain off excess marinade before adding the tuna to your sushi roll.
3. Fold a clean kitchen towel into a rectangle and place a piece of plastic wrap over the towel. Place 1 sheet of nori on the plastic wrap. Wet your hands and then lightly press them on the nori sheet to dampen. Spread a thin layer of rice over the nori and then arrange the drained tuna, kimchi, carrots, pineapple, and avocado toward the top of the end closest to you.
4. Begin to roll the nori sheet over the tuna until it has made one turn, now begin to roll the towel up to help shape the roll. Don't worry if it's not perfect. Do your best to use the towel and plastic to help shape the roll.
5. Slice the roll and serve with spicy "mayo" (recipe below).
Combine the tahini and gochujang in a bowl, adding water until the sauce is drizzleable.
So can we make it a sushi night kind of Wednesday?!