Earlier this week I hosted nine people in my home to teach them how to make their own California sushi rolls. I’ve been hosting a series of gluten-free cooking classes in Denver in an effort to connect people to cooking more at home and to learning how to eat a healthy and gluten-free diet.
Last month I hosted a super fun gluten-free pizza making cooking class. We learned how to make our own pizza dough with clean and gluten-free ingredients. This month, I dedicated my gluten-free cooking class to the art of making sushi rolls.
Sushi chefs spend 10 or more years learning the art of making sushi. They spend days, weeks and years learning how to make the perfect sushi rice, how to roll the sushi just right, and what kinds of ingredients go into a good sushi roll.
I’m obviously a novice sushi maker – far from an experienced sushi chef – but the truth is that I love making my own California sushi rolls. I love knowing that they’re 100% gluten-free because I made them. I also love putting ingredients I love in my California sushi rolls, not conforming to how a sushi roll is supposed to be; rather making the sushi roll my own.
Plus, California sushi rolls make the perfect breadless snack or lunch alternative. I broke up with bread – even gluten-free bread – long ago. I eat bread so rarely anymore, which makes lunches on the go tough. Instead, I make myself sushi rolls (I call them “sushi burritos”) and I eat them instead. They really are the perfect sandwich replacement!
So you can see why I was excited to teach other gluten-free people how to make fun California sushi rolls at home.
To get ready for the class, I needed to first shop for all the ingredients. The sushi rice and all of the fresh ingredients (like the avocados, English cucumbers and carrots) I got at Sprouts Farmers Market, my go-to grocery store here in Denver. Sprouts generously supplied me with a gift card to stock up on everything I needed for the class. Thank you Sprouts!!
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I used the Sprouts gift card to not only purchase fresh vegetables and other supplies, but also to purchase refreshments for everyone (including certified GF Sprouts potato chips and delicious fresh strawberries).
I also purchased these fun reusable Sprouts bags for everyone to use to take home their sushi creations. Inside the bag I provided them with a bottle of water from Sprouts and a Sprouts roasted seaweed snack pack.
On Amazon I purchased bamboo sushi rolling mats for everyone to use during the class (and they could take the mats home so they could replicate sushi making at home). I also purchased ONE Organic seaweed sheets on Amazon – I love ONE Organic and the price is right on Amazon!
During the class, I discussed with my students the art of making sushi rice. Most people rush through making sushi rice, but there really is a process to making it right.
Uncooked sushi rice must be washed until the milky white residue disappears. This can be achieved after about 4-5 washes. After the rice cooks, it must be properly mixed (and fanned!) when adding the rice vinegar and sugar mixture. Once the rice cools, it’s ready to use in your sushi rolls.
To make the perfect California rolls, you must use half-sized seaweed sheets and have the rice on the outside of the roll. The filling of a California roll includes cucumber, avocado and imitation crab. I use Kosher imitation crab from Dyna Sea. It’s gluten-free and the best imitation crab I’ve tried to date.
We also made large sushi burrito rolls filled with cucumber, avocado and carrot slices. I love veggie-filled sushi rolls – they’re perfect for those who can’t quite palate the taste of cooked or raw fish.
We completed our sushi creations with a side of wasabi and tamari sauces that I also purchased at Sprouts. I like to mix my tamari sauce with a little chili garlic sauce to give it a little extra kick. Give it a try – trust me – it’s good!
All my students left having made several of their own sushi rolls. Just look at these happy faces!
Thank you again to Sprouts for providing my class with supplies and goodie bags. My students told me they shop at Sprouts all the time. It was truly a great match through and through!
For complete instructions on how to make your own sushi rolls, read, How to Make Gluten-Free Sushi Rolls. My blog post includes step-by-step instructions and a list of supplies.