There is an art to rolling sushi that can take many years to master. With the need to be able to make a tight roll without damaging the grains of rice, rolling sushi is a skill that requires a great deal of practice in order to master without the use of a sushi maker. While a sushi maker can significantly lower the learning curve of making sushi rolls, knowing how to roll your own sushi can help you make even better sushi.
While rolling sushi with a sushi maker is quick and easy, it is often more difficult to get the exact artistic look you desire using a sushi maker rather than a bamboo mat. Using a bamboo mat for rolling sushi is the traditional method of rolling sushi, which is preferred by sushi master chefs across the world. As sushi is a dish heavy with traditions, many connoisseurs do not view the use of sushi makers as a proper way of making sushi.
The first step to rolling sushi is making your sushi rice properly. Sushi rice needs to have a sticky quality in order to maintain its shape in the roll. If you add too much vinegar to the sushi rice, it will not stick together properly or may be too sour and overwhelm the other ingredients in the sushi. On the other hand, if you do not add enough vinegar, or you do not properly allow it to soak, the Japanese rice will be too sticky, and the grains will be unsuitable for rolling sushi. Because of this, it is suggested that you focus on the sushi rice as your primary focus, as rolling sushi is considered easier than properly making the sushi rice.
While rolling sushi takes skill, you also need to know how to balance your flavors when you make sushi. Sushi has two primary factors: visual appeal and flavor. A true sushi chef views both equally, making their food an art. The ingredients you add to your sushi roll should blend flavor and color, providing a visual balance to excellent taste. Many sushi chefs will use roe and sesame to add additional flavor, color and texture to their sushi.
While many forms of sushi require rolling skills, sashimi and nigiri are two types of sushi that do not require rolling. These styles of sushi focus on the fish and sushi rice, and are often tried by beginners who are intimidated by rolling sushi for the first time.