- Put the rice in a rice washing bowl and run cold water over it. Rinse the rice using your hand, in a swirling motion. Keep doing this until the water runs clear, and drain well. If you don’t have a rice washing bowl, put the rice in a medium size bowl and pour a little water in it. Wash the rice in a swirling motion to remove the excess starch and pour as much of the water out (don’t use the strainer yet). Repeat this step until the water runs clear and strain the rice through a sieve to drain all the water.
- Place the rice in the rice cooker inner pot and add the water. Select the plain setting and press start. If you don’t have a rice cooker, please follow the instructions at the bottom of the directions.
- Mix the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt, in a bowl and keep stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside
When the rice is cooked, transfer it to a bowl and spread the rice and pour the vinegar mixture over it. Gently fold and slice the rice (do not mix as this will make the rice mushy) a few times until the vinegar mixture is evenly distributed and the rice is warm but cool enough to handle.
- Wrap your bamboo mat with plastic wrap. This prevents the rice from sticking to the mat.
- Place a piece of nori on the bamboo mat’s edge closer to you, lengthwise. Leave about 1” of bamboo space visible, with the shiny side of the nori facing down.
- Dip your fingers in the dipping bowl and moisten your hands. Grab 1 cup of sushi rice (using a measurement cup is the easiest to measure the rice) and place it on the nori sheet. Don’t overfill the cup or press the rice down, just scoop the rice as you normally would scoop any other grain.
- Spread the rice evenly across the sheet, leaving 1” of space free at the top of the nori sheet.
- Place the smoked salmon, cream cheese, and cucumber, over the rice, on the side closer to you, across lengthwise.
- Make sure you save enough ingredients to make 4 rolls! Grab the bottom edges of the mat with your thumbs while holding on to the toppings with your other fingers. Roll it into a tight cylinder, tucking the fillings in firmly.
- Roll it forward while using a little pressure but not so much that the filling spills out. Keep rolling until there is only a bit of nori left visible.
- Wet your fingers and run them across the inside edge of the nori sheet. This will seal the end of the roll. Keep rolling and delicately remove the bamboo mat.
- Wipe a kitchen knife with vinegar water and evenly cut the roll into bite size pieces.
- Serve with pickled ginger, soy sauce, and wasabi.
Stove Top Method For The Rice
- Add the rice and water to a medium size pot.
- Bring the water to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and cover. Cook for 18 to 20 minutes, until the water is absorbed. To check on the water level, slightly open the lid but don’t open it all the way as this will let too much steam out and cause the rice to cook unevenly.
- Turn the heat off and let the cooked rice sit for 10 minutes, to finish the cooking process.
- Using a wooden or plastic spoon, or a rice paddle, gently fold the rice a few times (do not stir or knead as this will break the rice grains and make the rice glutinous).