Food blog and weekly menu planning

Month: February 2018

Amazing Instant Pot Beef Short Ribs

Amazing Instant Pot Beef Short Ribs

These Instant Pot Beef Short Ribs and tender, juicy, and so delicious. They cook in under an hour and fall off the bone. Cooked in a flavorful red wine sauce, you’re going to love how easy they are!

Creamy Slow Cooker Parmesan Polenta

Creamy Slow Cooker Parmesan Polenta

This easy-to-make slow cooker Parmesan Polenta is creamy, flavorful and versatile. Serve this recipe with any of your favorite main dishes.

How To: Make Sushi like a Boss

How To: Make Sushi like a Boss

sushi platterOkay Friends, it’s February and Valentine’s Day is nearing. You know what that means, right? Lots of google searches for chocolate, dessert recipes, heart-shaped cookie cutters, and how to make sushi. Wait. Sushi?

Yep, because sushi is going to be your Valentine’s Day game-changer this year.

Sometimes, Valentine’s Day activities can feel slightly repetitive. If you’re in a celebratory rut, I’d like to suggest that you skip going out to eat this year. Instead, try this fun, hands-on dinner idea: and learn how to make sushi yourself. Doesn’t that sound super fun?

To all my single ladies (and gents), this is also a perfect activity for some Valentine’s Day fun with your friends. Who says you need to be coupled up to celebrate this holiday? Go buy some Saki and celebrate your loved ones!

If you’re like me, your probably thinking, no way… too intimidating, I’ll just stick to our tapas dinner plans, thanks. I get it. I was super apprehensive at first too, but making sushi rolls or maki (sounds like I know what I’m doing, right?) is really easy. This is the perfect date activity to replace doing the same ‘ole dinner thang. And you get to eat sushi in the end, so what’s not to love?

Have I convinced you yet? If not, just take a look at some of the sushi we made last week, pretty good, right?

3 pictures of sushi

Here’s my fool proof “how to make sushi” guide to help you make sushi like a boss – seriously, you got this.

Things You’ll Need:

  1. Bamboo Sushi Roller Mat – These cost less than $5.00 and help you roll the sushi more easily. I highly recommend using it if you’re a newbie
  2. Sharp Knife – For cutting the fish and for slicing the sushi roll. The sharper, the better.
  3. Sushi Rice – This rice turned out perfectly! Just follow the directions on the bag.
  4. Nori – The seaweed sheets are what you use to make your rolls, you need these.
  5. Fish – I bought a combination of sushi grade Tuna and Salmon. Just ask your fish monger to make sure you get the sushi-grade stuff! You only need about 1/2 lb of fish in total for 6 rolls, so don’t go too crazy with how much you order. You can always save any leftover fish for another weeknight meal.
  6. Soy Sauce – I always use low sodium soy sauce.
  7. Pickled Ginger – I actually bought this at Wegmans, but this is the brand I bought. I love pickled ginger, so it was a must have for our sushi night. If you don’t really like it, then feel free to skip it.
  8. Chop sticks – I mean, if you’re going to eat sushi, you gotta use chop sticks.
  9. Saki – well, not needed, but highly recommended.
  10. Playlist of tunes to enjoy: May I suggest Limp Bizkit’s Rollin’ to really get you in the mood.


Once you have all of your ingredients, it’s important to prep a few things to make the rolling process go smoothly.

First, make the sushi rice. Just follow the directions on the bag. I would recommend making at least 2 cups of sushi rice. You use about 3/4 cup cooked rice per roll. If you want to make 4-6 rolls, you’ll use it all. Once your rice is cooked and has cooled slightly, you’ll add in a mixture of rice vinegar, sugar, and kosher salt. I used this guide from Alton Brown: Sushi Rice Seasoning  Here’s my modified recommendation: 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tbsp sugar, and 1 tsp kosher salt. Warm rice vinegar on the stove or microwave and stir in sugar and salt until dissolved. Add to room temperature rice, gently mixing and fluffing the rice.

Next, chop all of the vegetables and fish. Here’s what I used:

  • regular carrots
  • hothouse cucumbers *they’re longer than regular cucumbers, so you can use a single piece in each roll. It’s easier.
  • avocado
  • salmon
  • tuna

You could also use imitation crab, peppers, or anything else you like (this is the fun part!). Once you have your ingredients, just slice things up. I made my veggies about 1/4 inch thick, and my fish about 1/2 inch thick.

Place your bamboo mat inside of a large, clean zip lock bag and seal it up, getting most of the air out. This step will help alleviate any rice sticking to the mat.

Place a small bowl with room temperature water near your work station.

Rolling the Sushi (Nori on the outside)

How to make Sushi

1. Once you have all of your ingredients prepped, place them near your clean work station so everything is within reach.

2. Place the nori on top of the bamboo mat, lined up with the edge of the mat closest to you.

3. Wet your fingers lightly and grab a handful of rice (about 3/4 cup). Spread the rice out onto the nori from the edge closest to you towards the end further from you. Leave about 1 inch of space at the end farthest from you. Just flatten and spread the rice evenly until you’ve coated the nori. See the picture below for a guide. There’s no need to really flatten down the rice, just gently press it until it loosely sticks to the nori.

4. Line up your ingredients on top of the rice, about 1 inch away from the edge nearest to you.

5. Begin rolling by lifting the bamboo mat and turning it over the ingredients. You’ll be rolling the sushi mat away from you.  As you turn the mat over, use your fingers to pull the filling towards you. Once the  mat is rolled over once, press gently to form the shape of the roll (round or square). Continue rolling the sushi, pressing gently. *Make sure you pull the top of the mat away from the roll as you go, don’t roll the mat up with the sushi roll.

6. Once rolled, remove from the mat and cut the sushi with a clean, sharp, slightly wet knife. I cut my roll in half, then cut each half in half 2 more times, until I had 8 pieces. I cleaned off my knife between each cut.

Voila! You just made your very first sushi roll – congratulations!

To make your sushi roll with the rice on the outside, just follow steps 1-3, then carefully turn your nori and rice over so that the rice is facing the bamboo mat.

*Cover the entire nori with rice before flipping, which is the only difference from the instructions above.

Follow steps 4-6 to finish your sushi roll.

Congratulations, you’re now a sushi-rolling master.

Citrus Salad with Shaved Brussels Sprouts

Citrus Salad with Shaved Brussels Sprouts

This winter citrus salad is bursting with flavor and filled with texture. This is no boring or ordinary salad. It’s packed with healthy, seasonal ingredients and tastes amazing.