cucumber sushi rolls

How To Make Cucumber Sushi Rolls At Home?

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I am not a great fan of cucumbers but there is something about the cucumber sushi rolls that have made me change my heart! Maybe it is the soft and sweet sushi rice in a side with the zesty flavor of bell papers, or perhaps the combination of both. Whatever it is, I was so much in love with sushi rolls that I asked my Japanese friend for the recipe.

I would like to share with you a simple and easy recipe on how to make cucumber sushi rolls at home. For this recipe, you will need three things – dried Nori or seaweed sheets like this on Amazon, cucumbers julienne cut, and seasoned sushi rice. Follow the steps below:

  • Before you start making the roll, make sure you moisten your hands to prevent rice from sticking to the fingers.
  • Layout a bamboo mat that helps in making an even roll and put the Nori or seaweed sheet over the mat.
  • Take sushi rice seasoned with vinegar, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Spread it out sushi rice over the dull side of Nora sheet
  • Make sure you leave out half an inch on both sides of the seaweed sheet and this bare strip will help to hold the rice in place.
  • Take a paddle to even out the sushi rice layer over the Nori to make rolling easier.
  • Cut out horizontal strips of cucumber and lay it across the center of the sushi rice layer. You may also add other toppings like bell peppers, avocado, etc.
  • Now start rolling with the help of the bamboo mat and apply gentle pressure to give a proper shape to the rolls
  • Fold the bamboo mat forward once again and this time apply more pressure. Remove the mat after the roll is made.
  • Take a sharp knife and dip it in water to get a smooth cut. Now cut out even slices of the cucumber sushi roll.
  • Display it on a plate with each slice facing up to make them look appetizing as you serve with sauce of your choice.

If you wish to be hailed as the sushi expert at home and get compliments from guests, try this amazing traditional recipe that takes less than 30 minutes to make.

An important tip – Make sure you prepare the cucumber sushi rolls fresh and eat them immediately to enjoy the crispy texture of Nori sheets. If you let them sit for more than 30 minutes, the moisture from sushi rice can soften the wrap.


How To Cut Cucumber For Cucumber Sushi Rolls?

Cucumber rolls are one of the most popular vegetarian sushi rolls that can be prepared at home with ease. To make cucumber sushi rolls, you need to cut a cucumber into different shapes and sizes. Below, I have mentioned some of the popular techniques to cut cucumber for sushi rolls.

To use cucumber as filling, peel the cucumber, remove the ends and cut it into two halves. Now take one half and use a knife to cut out four panels making a square around the seed section. Repeat the same for second half and then cut these panels into smaller cucumber sticks.  

The Batonnete method of cutting cucumbers includes peeling cucumbers, removing ends, and cutting the cucumber in two halves end-to-end (lengthwise). Scrape out seeds and then use a knife to make small slices to fit the sushi rolls.

Julienne cutting method refers to cutting cucumbers into 1/4-1/3 inches cucumber sticks (top to bottom). Please remember that you can adjust the size depending upon yourpreference and size of the cucumber. 

To use cucumber as a wrap for your sushi roll, you need to take a medium length cucumber, peel the outer skin, and use a sharp knife to remove the seeds from the middle section. Another method is to take a sharp knife, moisten it with water and cut a thin layer of peeled cucumber to use as a wrap for sushi.

Now that we know how to correctly cut cucumber for sushi, let’s check out another interesting recipe for making cucumber sushi rolls. Although this is not a typical cucumber sushi roll, it still tastes great and let’s use cucumber in different creative ways.

How To Make Diet-Friendly Cucumber Sushi Rolls?

If you are watching your weight and trying to cut out carbs from your diet then the above recipe may not fit into your health routine. One of my friends asked me if there was a diet-friendly cucumber sushi roll and I set out on a searching expedition.

This is what I discovered and would like to share the recipe with all those who might want to eliminate sushi rice from the cucumber sushi rolls.

Step 1

Start by cutting a medium sized cucumber to make rolling sheets out of its outer skin. First, de-skin the cucumber using a sharp knife. To get a perfect layer, hold the cucumber in one hand and the knife on the other.

Line up the sharp knife vertically and slice around the cucumber circumference without applying a lot of pressure. It’s similar to de-skinning an apple. The thickness should be 1/10 of an inch. Dip the knife into water every now and then to help the blade glide through the flesh easily.

Step 2

Next, you need to prepare the fillings that will go inside the cucumber sheets and forth is the recipe, we will use sushi-grade tuna fillet. Take a sharp knife, dip it inside water and cut out thin slices of tuna. Make sure the slices are even. Also, take a fresh avocado and cut it into thin slices to be used in the filling.

Step 3

Lay out the cucumber sheet and place the slices of tuna fish on top of it, leaving out 1cmfrom both ends of the roll. The tuna filling should cover about one-third of the cucumber sheet. Put the avocado slices over the tuna filings, closer to the middle section. 

Now, add a dab of wasabi across the avocado slices to further enhance the flavor of your cucumber sushi rolls.

Use your fingers to roll the cucumber sheet by applying gentle pressure to compress the contents together. Roll the entire sheet until a small area is left towards the end. Apply a little mayonnaise or yogurt in the left out section to act as an adhesive for the roll.

Step 4

Now you need to cut out even slices of the roll. Before you start cutting, make sure the sealed end is at the bottom and it should not get disturbed as you slice the roll.

Again, dab the knife into water and start cutting rolls into 1 cm thickness. Remember to keep the knife moist so that it glides through the roll easily. Cut out the ends and discard them. Now start slicing and make sure you get even edges.

Step 5

Put the slices on a serving plate (click to see my favorite plates) and decorate with the shredded daemon on the top. You may also add a tablespoon of salmon roe and drizzle some soy sauce over the cucumber roll segments. You may garnish with some shredded carrot and salads to make the cucumber sushi rolls look more appealing.

How to Make Spicy Mayo At Home

Cucumber sushi rolls taste great with spicy mayo as it enhances the flavor and makes the dish finger-licking good! To make spicy mayo at home, you will need ½ cup of store-bought or homemade mayonnaise (preferably Japanese), 2 tablespoons of Sriracha or hot sauce and one tablespoon of freshly squeezed lime (optional).

Take a bow land mix all the above ingredients. Taste the mayo to see if you need to add more Sriracha to make it spicier. You may now serve the mayo immediately or transfer it to an airtight jar and store in a fridge to keep it good up to a month. You may substitute store-bought mayo with vegetarian mayo or Greek yogurt as peryour personal preference.

Alternative sauces:

Eel sauce is another popular sauce that goes well with sushi. To make it, you will need ¼cup of Japanese white wine or mirin. ¼ cup of soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Mix these ingredients and heat in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring it constantly until the sauce thickens.

Soya sauce is another essential sushi sauce and you will need it to drizzle over the slices to enhance the taste. I recommend the low sodium soya sauce if possible. You can also buy gluten-free versions.

Ponzu sauce is the citrus-based soy sauce with a dash of lemon or lime. You may buy it at the grocery store or imitate the taste by adding lemon juice to soya sauce.

Sriracha chili sauce also tops the chart for those who like their sushi to be super spicy. Sriracha can be just the thing to make your taste buds do the salsa. You may add some soya sauce to tone down the spiciness.

FAQs About Homemade Cucumber Sushi Rolls

Q1. What are cucumber sushi rolls called in Japanese

A. Sushi is primarily a Japanese dish and it is called Gunkan Maki or Gunkan in Japanese. This name is due to the oval shape of the sushi.

Q2. How much time does it take to make cucumber sushi rolls at home

A. If you want to fill sushi rice, it will take you around 30 minutes to prepare seasoned rice with rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Assuming that you have sushi rice ready, it should not take more than 20 minutes to make delicious cucumber sushi rolls at home.

Q3. What toppings other than cucumber can you use?

A: Cucumber is the most important and essential topping used in cucumber sushi rolls. However, you can further enhance the taste by adding sesame seeds, sliced almonds, sprouts, volcano topping, sliced avocado, seaweed salad, and so on.

For non-veg toppings, you may add slices of sushi grade tuna fish, crab salad, and shrimp.

Q4. Are cucumber sushi rolls vegan?

A: Yes, cucumber sushi rolls are the safest options for vegetarians and vegan eaters. With thin slices of cucumber wrapped in delicious sushi rice and nori sheet, this is a popular starter for those who like their sushi without fish or seafood.

Q5. Can I eat cucumber sushi rolls when I am on a diet?

A. Yes, you may. Try the diet-friendly recipe mentioned above that substitutes sushi rice with tuna fish to cut out carbs from your diet. Some nutritionists also suggest using brown rice instead of white to make your sushi healthier.

5 Tips On How To Make Perfect Cucumber Sushi Rolls At Home

  1. Sushi rice should be prepared as per instructions and it should be sticky in texture. Water is your best friend during sushi making. From adding the right amount of water to make sushi rice sticky to wetting your hands to prevent the rice from sticking and moistening the knife to make it glide with ease, you will need water in almost every step!
  2. When wrapping your cucumber sushi rolls with nori seaweed, remember to keep the shiny side up. So, you will be placing the fillings on the opposite side of the wrap.
  3. Although you may use your hands to make cucumber sushi rolls, I recommend that you use a migrate rolling mat to make your rolls look more restaurant-like. A mat will also allow you to make the sushi roll round or square in shape.
  4. The amount of sushi rice to be added should be equivalent to how much you can easily roll into a neat ball. If you use any more or less than that, your sushi rolls may not be able to hold them properly.
  5. Sushi rolls may give you a feeling of dehydration due to the combined effect of seaweeds and vinegar in sushi rice. To prevent the dry effect, you may consider adding a generous amount of spicy mayo or other sauces to make your sushi moister.

The Final Thought

Cucumber sushi rolls not only taste great but the process of making them at home is also a lot of fun.  It takes around 30 minutes to prepare so it makes a quick and delicious snacks items for kids. I feel the first method of scooping out the seeds and filling the hollow with sushi rice and diced vegetables is the easiest of all.

The best thing about making cucumber sushi rolls at home is that you have a lot of liberty in terms of what to put inside, the toppings, and sauces. You may try with different variations and also make the sauce as spicy as you like. 

If you like to make different kinds of sushi at home, you really must take a look my previous article on different ways to roll sushi, I have spent many hours research and used my personal experiences to bring you this article.

The sky is the limit, just go ahead and explore different ways to make luscious and delectable cucumber sushi rolls while watching movies on Netflix at home! 


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