Find a Yo! Sushi…walk through door…sit down…grab nearest thing on conveyor belt…shove in mouth – what could be quicker? Certainly not making your own. However…


Preparation time: 45 minutes – 5 hours (depending how skilled/lucky you are)
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Skill level: Difficult
Makes: 4 rolls/24 individual sushi



  • sushi rice – 175g (uncooked weight)
  • cold water – 225ml
  • dried kelp – wiped clean – small strip
  • rice vinegar – 1 1/2 tbsp
  • caster sugar – 1 tbsp
  • salt – 1/2 tsp


  • wasabe paste – small amount
  • seaweed paper – 2 sheets
  • red pepper, avocado, cucumber, spring onion, etc – cut into thin batons.
  • smoked mackerel

The first thing you have to do is wash the rice by placing it in a large bowl with plenty of water and sifting it through your fingers until the water gets cloudy. Change the water and repeat several times until the water remains clear.

Drain and set aside for 30 minutes by which time the rice will have started to swell.

Next put the rice, kelp and water into a pan with a tight-fitting lid and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Remove the kelp just before boiling point, cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes. At no point remove the lid as this is an illegal act.

After 10 minutes turn off the heat, remove the lid and cover with a tea towel and leave to cool for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile put the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a pan and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Pour into a jug and leave to cool.

Place the rice into a bowl and gently break apart the rice with a wooden spatula. Slowly add the vinegar mixture as you stir. Set aside until everything is at room temperature.

Now let the fun begin.

Cut a seaweed sheet in half and place it on your sushi rolling mat. What do you mean you don’t have one? We got ours in Chinatown, but you can get yours in Waitrose. Squash the rice down to thinly cover the seaweed sheet – leaving a 1cm strip clear along one of the long edges as this will form the the seal.

Spread a SMALL quantity of wasabe paste along the centre of the rice and then lay on your filling(s) of choice – again, not too much.

Then using the mat, calmly roll as tightly as you can without making everything ooze from the ends. Hopefully after much swearing and cussing you should have a perfect roll.

Trim the ends and cut into 8 pieces.

Continue three more times.

Eat with pickled ginger, wasabe, soy and a smug sense of satisfaction.

Verdict: Well it’s sushi, innit. If you like sushi, you’ll like these. The next step is to include fish so if you could tell me where in London I might get fish fresh enough to eat raw…

Drink: Best to stay sober whilst making these although you’ll need a swift celebratory something afterwards.

Entertainment: ‘L’Appartement’ on DVD. A complex convoluted French thriller with multiple flashbacks within flashbacks and subtitles. Needless to say I got lost halfway in. The lovely Romane Bohringer and Monica Bellucci kept me interested though.

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