Japan stands out with its vibrant cuisine, and sushi is perhaps the first dish that comes to mind. Many ingredients go into making sushi, but one of the most prevalent ones is avocado. Despite being foreign to Japan, avocados became very popular in sushi rolls and are now a staple.
Japanese have a point as avocado is a healthy fruit with plenty of vitamins, minerals, good fats, and other nutrients. It's a favorite ingredient to those looking to add a nutty and earthy taste to their sushi. Avocado also has its own sushi roll you can quickly prepare that is vegetarian.
In this article, we'll guide you on cutting avocado for sushi, the type of avocado to use while answering commonly asked questions.
Picking an avocado for sushi
Picking an avocado for all purposes can be challenging, not just for sushi, as you don't really know what it's like on the inside until you see it. To spot the good ones from bad ones, take the avocado in your hand and gently squeeze to know if it's firm or soft. A good avocado for sushi - a ripe one should be firm but also give a little. If it's too hard, it's not ready. If too soft, it's overripe.
What kind of avocado is used for sushi?
The most commonly used avocado for sushi is the Hass avocado. This is a popular kind of avocado with a thick, bumpy peel and buttery flesh. This is not to say that you can't use other types of avocados. It's just that Hass avocados are the favorite among chefs.
Basically, all you need is a ripe avocado for sushi if you don't want to get into the specifics. Here is everything you need to know about preparing and cutting avocado for sushi.
What tools do you need to prepare avocado for your sushi?
When preparing avocado for sushi, all you need is a chef's knife and a cutting board. Although chef's knives are the most advantageous to cooks when making sushi, you can use a paring knife to cut avocados. If you're not comfortable with holding a chef's knife, we recommend reading this article that can guide you along the way.
Step-by-step cutting avocado for sushi
Halving, pitting, and peeling
- Place the avocado on the cutting board and slice through the seed. Circle the whole avocado lengthwise with your knife and halve it by gently twisting.
- Set aside the one without the seed and place the other half with the pit on the cutting board.
- Using your sharp chef's knife, tap on the pit, and once the blade is in there, twist and remove. This is one way of doing it though some might find it dangerous. Do this only if you've already grasped handling a chef's knife properly. If you're not comfortable removing the pit using this method, gently squeeze the bottom and top ends to loosen the seed, then remove it using a finger or the tip of your knife. You can also slice the avocado and scoop it out without removing the peel.
- Lastly, take each half and peel with your hands or scoop the avocado out as a whole. Be gentle when removing the peel, as avocado can turn into mush quickly.
How to slice avocado for sushi?
Slicing an avocado for sushi is slightly different than how you would typically cut it for a fruit salad or a quick sandwich. The key to making proper slices for sushi is to cut the avocado into thin pieces so that you can use it for both inside and top. Here is how to slice an avocado for sushi.
- Put the avocado on the cutting board with the flat side down.
- Start slicing the avocado with a slightly altered angle to avoid flimsy pieces at the start and end.
- After slicing the avocado, squeeze a little lemon over it to prevent browning.
You can also take the avocado in your non-dominant hand and score it into slices while the peel is intact and scoop the portions out. This method works the best with paring knives, as it requires a lot of precision - perfect when you don't want to use a chef's knife.
How to make avocado sushi roll?
Avocado sushi rolls are healthy and packed with nutrients that boost energy. Here are two different ways to make avocado sushi rolls.
What you'll need in these recipes:
- Avocado slices
- 2 cups of rice
- Sushi seasoning
This recipe uses less avocado compared to the second. Try out the second one if you prefer having mouthful avocados in each piece instead. However, this recipe is also somewhat easier and less time-consuming, especially if you're rolling sushi for the first time.
If you haven't sliced avocados yet, prepare some according to the above guide.
Step 1: Cook the rice like you would usually cook it. There is no difference between the rice in sushi and regular rice.
Step 2: Transfer the cooked rice to a large bowl and add the sushi seasoning while it's still hot. Mix the rice and sushi seasoning thoroughly with slicing motions to blend everything and let the rice cool.
Step 3: Take a nori sheet, fold it in half, and cut. Place the shiny side down on the sushi roller. Add rice and leave half an inch from the top and bottom empty. Wet your fingers and spread rice evenly so that everything stays firm and nicely. If you're unsure about how much rice to use, about 80 grams is generally the recommendation.
Step 4: Place a few slices of avocado about 1/3 of the way from the bottom. Start rolling using the mat. You can also add other ingredients you want in the roll. The best technique for starters is to hold avocado or any other ingredient that you've added with the tip of your fingers while rolling and covering it entirely. You can then move the mat all the way and squeeze gently to ensure everything stays together in place.
Step 5: Lastly, take your chef's knife and wipe it with a clean, damp cloth so that rice doesn't stick. Slice the roll into six to eight pieces and serve with soy sauce and wasabi.
Wrapped it with avocado
Avocado on top/Double avocado
This recipe uses more avocado, which is perfect if you're fond of them. You'll have avocado slices on the inside of the roll and the outside. Here is how to prepare avocado sushi rolls this way.
Step 1: Put food wrap (cling film) under the nori cut in half twice the size. Again, the shiny side of the nori needs to be face down.
Step 2: Add rice, but this time, cover it completely.
Step 3: Flip the nori with rice staying under and follow steps 4 through 5 from the above recipe, but roll it into a square rather than a complete roll.
Step 4: Cut the avocado into thin slices and spread them straight on the cutting board. Use your hands the same way you would open up steak slices. Open the food wrap and pick up the avocado slices from the board using the blade of your chef's knife. Put them on top of the roll carefully and if anything is out of order, adjust their position.
Step 5: Cover the roll with plastic wrap again and use the sushi mat to perfect the shape. You can then remove the cling film when you're ready to serve. As avocado is out in the open, it will go brown quickly. The cling film acts as a barrier that prevents that from happening.
Where does avocado grow?
Avocado is a tropical plant that grows in rather hot climates. Though avocado trees can tolerate exposure to cold briefly, they can die if exposed to temperatures under 50 F/10 C for long periods. Commercially, avocado is grown in Mexico, California, Chile, parts of Spain, New Zealand, and parts of Spain, to name a few.
Are avocado rolls vegetarian?
Avocado rolls are generally vegetarian as long as they contain the ingredients mentioned above. They can also be vegan depending on the nori used.
Why is avocado in sushi brown?
You might see browning on the avocados when eating sushi, which is nothing ordinary. The reason for this is that quickly after it's cut, avocado reacts with air, turning brown - the same as apples.
How to prevent avocado from browning?
Drizzling a little lemon or lime juice over avocado slices prevents them from turning brown too quickly. If you're going to store avocados, put the avocado pieces in an airtight container with a bit of lemon juice or cut-up onion and store it in the refrigerator. You can also utilize the same storage method for guacamole.
Avocado sushi is an easy snack that you can quickly prepare to take yourself on the go. On the HDMD Knives blog, we've got plenty of other knife guides that demonstrate cutting various ingredients for different purposes. Read more on our blog and visit knife collection to see handmade kitchen knives.