How to make your own sushi

Many of you have asked me how I prepare my sushi from the fish that Alex catches and while I am in no way an expert in the field, I thought I could give you a simple tutorial of how I normally do this. Although it can seem a bit messy and time consuming, it is actually very easy to make your own sushi once you get used to it. I usually use tuna and prepare a roll of Makis (10 pcs), a set of Nigiris (8-12 pcs) and I also cut up some fresh Sashimi and that should be enough for a light lunch for two.

- A sharp knife, a regular fish fillet knife will do.
- A rice paddle.
- A sushi rolling mat for the maki roll.
- Heavy bottom saucepan for boiling the rice.
- Bowls and serving plates for soya sauce, ginger and what else you wish to serve.
- Chopsticks. 

- Sushi rice. If you can't get a hold on it, regular jasmine or basmati rice works alright too.
- Rice vinegar. Mix in approx. 3 tbs to every cup of rice once the rice is done and before it's getting cold.
- Raw fish, preferably tuna or salmon but hard to find fresh salmon here unfortunately.
- Crab-sticks. I couldn't get ahold on it this time and have instead used sweet red pepper.
- Avocado
- Cucumber
- Sesame seeds
- Soy sauce
- Sliced, pickled ginger, look for containers called "pickled sushi ginger" in your store.
- Wasabi. There are tons of variations in the markets. Buy it's either ready in a tube or powder in a can that you mix up with water.

If you don't have a freshly caught tuna or salmon, then buy fresh one at your favorite market. Make sure that the tuna steak you get is a nice dark red and has a translucent appearance and that the steak is not falling apart. Make sure there's not too much of sinew in the flesh. When we get a tuna here on the seas, I always cut it in nice pieces and put most of it in the freezer for a few hours. Tuna eaten raw directly from the sea tends to be very chewy and it needs some hours of cool down before it is at its best. 
Prepare your rice with the vinegar according to the instructions on the package. While it's being boiled, prepare your fish. I use a very sharp fillet knife to slice my tuna. You'll need to make sure your knife is as sharp as it gets and use single long slicing motions on the flesh. You should not saw in it, the key to slicing is not to flake the fish. Prepare both the strips for the maki and also nice thin slices for your nigiri. Cut your vegetables nicely in long strips.
When you got all these things prepared, time to begin the creation.
Lay your sushi rolling mat in front of you and the nori sheet on top. When your rice has cooled down, put it on top of the sheet. Make sure to spread it flat and nicely and only on half of the sheet. Use a rice paddle to spread the rice evenly. Try to cover up at the edges as much as possible, I can see I have been lazy on this picture, I'm sure you can make it better. Add the other ingredients on the rice. Sliced fish, crabsticks (or red pepper in my case), avocado and cucumber. When all is laid out, roll this thing together. Use the rolling mat to tight it nice and firm. 
When almost at the end, add some soy sauce at the last part of the sheet and close the roll with firm tightening. Do not pressure too hard yet still it needs to be done firmly. You know what I'm talking about. Find the balance.
Leave your maki roll for a while and cut it later with a very sharp filet knife or a very sharp bread-knife. Make sure the blade is always wet when you slice so the rice doesn't stick to the blade and mess up the surface of the pieces. Sushi is not only a delight for the taste, it should also look good on the plate. I realize I had a too thick layer of rice in my roll, try to get it thinner than what I did here.
Now prepare your Nigiri. The easiest of them all. Try to get your rice "balls" smaller than what I had here otherwise the Nigiris will only taste rice. First make sure to have a bowl of water with a small amount of rice vinegar in it to regularly wet your hands. Dip your hand into the water and begin to shape each piece into a long, oval form. Put it down on a flat clean surface. Repeat with the rest until rice is finished. Add a small piece of wasabi to each Nigiri before laying the fish on top of the rice, this is both for taste and to make sure the fish sticks to the rice. Then lay the fish over the rice and shape it gently. Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top if you'd like. Don't forget to slice up some sashimi as well. I have partly used the part of the fish that is darker, closer to the ribs of the tuna. Some people cut this off when filleting a tuna, but we love the taste of it and prefer to use parts of it for sashimi. I doubt you will encounter this part of the fish when buying your tuna in the market though. 
Now serve your sushi at room temperature, dip the pieces in soy sauce with a bit of wasabi mixed with it, have some ginger in between and enjoy with an ice cold beer.