I made cucumber rolls (kappamaki) for the first time for Maylin's marine biology class party (food from the sea only, and I wasn't about to bring processed stuff from the store that contained agar or carageenan). They were fun and easy to make, beautiful, and the kids loved them! I just looked up a recipe for the rice on the internet, whipped out the rice cooker/steamer and my bamboo mat for rolling, and I was ready to go!
I got the recipe for the sushi rice from about.com (http://japanesefood.about.com/od/sushiforbeginner/r/sushirice.htm) but I didn't follow the directions exactly. I cooked 2 1/2 cups of Japanese rice, instead of 3, and used almost the entire recipe of sushi vinegar (sushi-zu), which is as follows:
* 1/3 cup rice vinegar
* 3 Tbsp sugar
* 1 tsp salt
You combine it in a saucepan and heat until the sugar is dissolved. Gently fold it into cooked rice with paddle. Let the rice cool a little, otherwise you'll have soggy nori (roasted seaweed). Then take a sheet of nori and cut it in half so you'll have maki-sized sushi rolls. Cut and peel a cucumber (I prefer English), de-seed if you prefer, and then cut long strips, about the length of your nori (which you've placed edge to edge on your bamboo mat). With your rice paddle, make a thin layer of rice from one edge of the nori to almost the other end. Place a piece of cucumber down the middle of your blanket of rice and then carefully roll your sushi with the mat, gently squeezing and shaping, rolling several times until the form has set. Then slice your roll with a serrated knife (about 3/4 inch pieces?). Arrange beautifully on a platter.
With my success, I decided to continue my sushi adventure by attempting to make spicy tuna rolls. Most online recipes required raw tuna, which I didn't have on hand that evening. Instead, I used a can of tuna and threw in a little of this and that. "This and that" included rice vinegar, sugar, salt, and some of Trader Joe's jalapeno pepper sauce. Used the same technique as for the cucumber rolls, but substituted a thin layer of tuna down the middle of the rice. I have to say it tasted pretty good, but unfortunately, I can't tell you the exact amounts because I don't remember what I threw in!