Save money by making sushi at home

Make your rolls meat-free by stuffing them with lots vegetables such as carrots, squash, asparagus, zucchini and tomatoes.


Make your rolls meat-free by stuffing them with lots vegetables such as carrots, squash, asparagus, zucchini and tomatoes.

Ronnie Dela Cruz

Let’s face it – eating out can make your money disappear fast. We love going out for sushi; however, we do not love the bill we receive after devouring the tasty dish. When we discovered how to make sushi at home, our wallets became a lot thicker.

With these four recipes you can make four sushi rolls for less than $20.

Not a fish eater? No problem. We have made a roll just for you. It has the appearance of a sushi roll without the face of a fish.

There are two tools we used to shape the sushi into a perfect circular shape – both can be found at a Japanese or Korean market. The first tool we used was a wooden sushi maker. The second tool we used was a bamboo sushi mat.

The wooden sushi block and bamboo mat can be purchased at the same store you get the ingredients. We found ours at Koreana Plaza on Olson Drive in Rancho Cordova.

The rice can be homemade as well as store-bought, but we decided to get sticky rice from the Japanese store already cooked. The bags of rice are enormous and can get a bit pricey. Plus, if you purchase the rice to prepare yourself, you must also get rice vinegar, which is what gives it that sticky texture. We purchased all the rice we needed to make four rolls for only $3.50.

Buying the fish can be difficult because it is hard to know which types of fish are safe to eat raw. There are whole pieces of fish that can be purchased in large quantities and cut up. The alternative is to purchase pre-packaged raw fish that comes chopped and marinated. It is less expensive because there is less fish in the packaging, but there was more than enough to make all of the rolls.

Each package of fish was only $3 and the imitation crab was only $1.50. For students on a college budget, pre-packaged fish and rice is the way to go.

Making sushi is simple and extremely fun. The hands-on interaction with the food makes this dish fun to make with friends and family. The best part about making sushi is the creativity you can use when making different rolls.

Vegan Roll

1 cup sticky rice

1 sheet of seaweed

1/2 sliced cucumber

1/2 sliced avocado

2 carrots, sliced

Sushi maker or bamboo sushi mat

To start the vegan roll, slice up the carrots, cucumber and avocado. Any other vegetables can be substituted or added to your liking – we decided to keep it simple. Lay out one sheet of seaweed. Place the wooden block in the center of the seaweed. Inside the wooden block, place a layer of sticky rice.

Top it with the vegetables, spreading them evenly over the rice. Then top the vegetables with another layer of rice. Take the top piece of the wooden block and press it down over the rice and veggies and slide wooden square over top of it all. The top piece of the wooden block may stick to the top layer of sushi.

If the wooden block sticks to the top layer of the sushi, take a butter knife and run hot water over the top of it and slide it in between the wooden top and the sticky rice- it should come right off. Take the seaweed wrap and fold it over the rice, one side at a time. Then, get your fingers damp with water and run your finger over the seam of the seaweed wrap to seal it.

With a serrated knife, cut the roll into pieces, depending on how thick you like your sushi.

Place the pieces on a plate and your vegan roll is ready to eat.

Salmon Roll

1 cup sticky rice

1 sheet seaweed

Pre-packaged salmon

1/2 sliced avocado

2 tablespoons cream cheese

Tuna Roll

Same ingredients for a salmon roll, except replace the salmon with tuna.

Crab Roll

1 cup sticky rice

1 sheet seaweed

Pre-packaged imitation crab

1⁄2 sliced cucumber

The salmon, tuna and imitation crab rolls are done the exact same way. Instead of only placing vegetables in the center, insert the fish of your choice along with any vegetables desired.

To make sushi with the bamboo mats, lay the sheet of seaweed in the center of the mat. Cover the entire sheet with sticky rice and then place the vegetables and fish in the center.

Roll the seaweed up as tight as possible, using the bamboo mat to help shape the roll. Roll it over several times, each time making the roll tighter. It may help to roll it from different angles ensuring the entire roll is snug. Cut with a serrated knife into pieces and enjoy.

Wasabi and soy sauce can also be purchased for a low price to complete the meal and make a great dipping sauce.

All this made for not only a delicious meal, but the process was fun. It felt like being a kid again because it is OK to get your hands sticky.

Jacquelin Everhart can be reached at [email protected] and Alex Mecredy can be reached at [email protected]