Japanese sushi is prescribed to be assembled a certain way, using particular equipment, not unlike other Japanese arts like calligraphy or flower arranging ~ you don't just take artistic license and do whatever you want, because there are rituals and traditions to be followed. I don't have this equipment, and if I did, I wouldn't drag it all out of the cupboards to throw together a midnight snack.
So here is how I make rolls, without the use of a wooden rice barrel and rice paddle, or a bamboo rolling mat. I've seen people roll up their rolls using cling film, but for small rolls like these, I don't even use that.
*Vinegar (I use cider vinegar, because that's what I have; use rice vinegar if you can get it)
*Avocado (or cucumber, or mango, or pickled radish or just whatever you want)
*Wasabi, sushi ginger, and soy sauce (I like Kikkoman)
I wanted to show you the world's most perfect avocado. Tasted so good ~ where were you?
To prepare the rice:
I toasted about two tablespoons of sesame seeds in a dry skillet. And in a small pot, I simmered a quarter cup of vinegar with around two tablespoons of sugar, just until the sugar dissolved, and left it to cool. And I cooked the rice: I used one cup of sushi rice to two and a half cups of water, with a pinch of salt. I brought it to a boil, covered it and simmered for about 15 minutes, then turned off the flame and let it rest for about five minutes. Before it got too cool, I paddled in maybe half of my vinegar mixture (I'll warn you here that I slightly overdo the sweet vinegar, because I like it that way), turning and folding the rice as I did so, and added the sesame seeds in the same way, until the sesame seeds were evenly mixed in with the rice. This is my method, because I like the taste of sesame seeds but I don't like sesame seeds scattered around the kitchen ~ they're easier to control this way.
To assemble the rolls:
While the rice cooled further, I cut my squares of nori in half, and brought my pot of rice and my little pot of remaining vinegar near the cutting boards where I was working. I use my spatula to spread a thin layer of rice onto the nori, leaving a bare edge. Then I slice strips of avocado and lay them across the rice. I then use a small spoon to drizzle a little of my sweet vinegar onto the edge of the nori, to help it adhere. I grab it from the rice edge, and roll it right over onto the vinegar edge and set it aside, seam down, while I work on my other rolls.
Then I use my sharpest knife to cut them and arrange on a plate for my lonely self to eat in the middle of the night. One cup of (uncooked) rice and one avocado made eight rolls. I cut five of them into sixths and inhaled them all within twenty seconds, and put the other three, whole, into a baggie to have for breakfast tomorrow or possibly take to work.
So there you have it. Sushi rolls that take very little time and require no special equipment.