sushi filling- I used thinly sliced avocado, masago* and surimi**
>bowl of water to dip your finger tips in
First, place the nori shiny side down on a bamboo rolling mat. If there are lines or bumps in the nori, they should be horizonal on the mat. Break it in half horizonally if you want to make the small, single filling rolls (maki) or use the whole sheet to make large (futomaki) rolls. For example, I used the whole sheet because I used the crab stick and avocado but if you are just making a tuna roll, avocado roll, etc, only half a sheet is needed. Spread the nori evenly with sushi rice. Try not to make too thick of a layer and keep away from the top edge***. The rice is very sticky so it might help to wet your finger tips before and during this step.
Then arrange your filling towards the center of the rice. If I am using masago, I tend to spread it over all of the rice, or you can keep it in the middle.
After that, begin rolling. Use firm pressure and start to curl the mat up. Hold the filling in towards the center of the roll as you bring the edge of the mat up and over to start forming the roll. When the mat hits the edge as you are rolling, then just pull it back towards you. Once the maki is rolled all the way, gently squeeze it to pack it together and round out the roll. It should now be a thick, dense log.
Cut into several slices. I find a bread knife works best, even better than super sharp knives, for cutting the roll. Serve with wasabi and soy sauce.
* Roe available in large frozen blocks at Asian grocery stores, chop off some and defrost it over night.
** Imitation crab. While conventional grocery stores frequently carry this (Louis Kemp is a popular brand) it does not taste like the surimi used in sushi bars. Any Asian grocery would have it, often frozen.
*** I am always a little overzealous with my rice. Try and leave a slightly bigger margin on top than I do.
Like making sushi rice, everyone has a slightly different way of making sushi rolls. I find I get good results using this method, but you can of course tweak it to make it work for you. Some people like to line the mat with plastic wrap, but I personally don’t find that too helpful. After you do a few rolls it gets easier and quicker. This is a fun thing to do for a dinner party and cheaper than going to the sushi bar. Many stores now have sushi grade fish available but I would advise you to use it the same day you buy it. Otherwise, use vegetables or cooked ingredients.