Sushi is one of those things one either loves or hates, but those who love it can all agree that when the craving comes around, there’s just nothing else that will do. But, getting your hands on some good sushi at the spur of the moment isn’t always practical or affordable. Rest assured, there is a quick and simple way to satisfy the craving with this easy sushi in an ice cube tray method. Stick around to find out how you could be tucking into fresh and delightful sushi cubes!
Things to consider when making sushi at home
Of course, we have to acknowledge the sheer skill and finesse that goes into making high quality sushi pieces – from California Rolls and Salmon Roses to decadent Fashion Sandwiches and much more! With the addition of fine ingredients and preparation, venturing out to your favorite sushi bar will probably still be on your wish list. But, these sushi cubes are definitely worth it, and will surely do the job in kicking that craving.
There are a few things one can ensure beforehand in order to get the best results possible. The most important thing to consider is the quality of the ingredients used. Everything from your choice of protein to the type of rice should be spot on and as fresh as possible, and the way in which they are stored or prepped before use will also influence the final product.
What Will You Need?
Thankfully, making sushi cubes at home is really simple and can be quite affordable as well. The best part is that you choose what goes in it and what can be omitted, making it very customizable to your favorite flavors and according to the budget you are working with. Depending on where you live, various food products can be quite expensive, and this customizable aspect makes this method incredibly versatile.
The first thing you will have to prepare is the equipment you will be using. Planning your workspace and tools ahead will make the entire process far simpler, more organized, and far more enjoyable as an overall experience, all of which will be evident in the final product. You will need a peeler, kitchen scissors or a very sharp knife, bowls or plates for each ingredient, a mixing bowl or as many mixing bowls per type of sushi cube you’d like to make, and some plastic wrap for finishing it off.
Ice Cube Tray
Of course, you will need an ice cube tray to start off with. There are plenty of ice cube trays made of varying materials, formed in varying shapes and sizes – any of these will work just fine. But, ice cube trays that are medium sized and are geometric in shape will work better to start off with – so, ones which have interesting shapes like fruit slices or hearts will be a tad more complex to work with.
If you don’t have ice trays, you can even use other similar molds like mini cupcake tins or tartlet pans. The molds should be just big enough for all of the ingredients to all fit in quite well, but it should not be so big that it loses the feel of sushi. Of course, interesting shapes and patterns may still be a decent idea once you get the hang of it, but it’s recommended to start off with the simplest base and go from there.
Sushi Rice, Rice Vinegar, and Sesame Seeds
While many still believe rice is rice, this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are loads of rice types and they do in fact matter in the grand scheme of your recipe. This is since different rice types have varying qualities depending on the grain, the length of the grain, the amount of starch in them, the type of carbohydrate content, and much more.
Although some may find ways of creating sushi with other rice types, it does not quite turn out the way sushi should, and lacks the distinct taste and texture that we sushi lovers are seeking. Working with sushi rice specifically is an absolutely critical element, as it has just the right amount of flavor, a bouncy but firm texture, and is fairly sticky which makes working with it much easier. When topped off with rice vinegar and sesame seeds, it will create the perfect base for at home sushi pieces.
This is where you are able to select your favorites for the essence of your sushi cubes. The options for fillings are quite extensive, but it is recommended to go with the classic and most iconic sushi flavors, to begin with, unless you have other preferences.
This includes chives, cucumber, green onion, and even tomatoes, all of which should be finely chopped and drained of excess fluids before use. Avocado is infamous in sushi, and can be chopped into small cubes or sliced. For added flavor, one can use ground black pepper, sesame oil, juice from citrus fruit such as orange or lime, as well as mayonnaise and/or cream cheese.
Choice of protein is entirely up to you and what your preferences or budget dictates. We all know how expensive protein can get, especially when using seafood, but thankfully sushi does not demand a large quantity of it. Some of the most iconic protein choices for sushi are tuna, salmon, or seafood such as shrimp, prawn cuts, and crab chunks. If you are going for vegetarian sushi, you can even swap out the protein here for something more suitable.
How To Make Sushi In An Ice Cube Tray?
This is where the fun part begins – making the sushi cubes! All of these steps are quite simple, but should be done with plenty of love and attention to detail for the best results. One can mix and match ingredients to make different types of sushi cubes as well. Always make sure the working area is clean and organized as you go through the steps, so that each sushi cube will turn out as perfect as possible with no unwanted crossing of flavors.
1. Prepare your sushi rice
The sushi rice will need to be cooked as per the instructions on the packaging, after which it should be set aside to cool off. Mix in a dash of rice vinegar and a generous sprinkle of black and/or white sesame seeds to finish it off, and leave to cool even further.
2. Prepare the ice tray
The first thing you should do is prep your mold. This is quite quick and easy, and only requires the use of the ice tray and plastic wrap. Simply lay the plastic wrap over the ice tray and press the wrap into each cube making sure it doesn’t tear anywhere. There are many other options for prepping the ice tray, but using plastic wrap is the simplest way to ensure that your sushi cubes do not stick to the mold once they are set.
3. Preparing the fillings
What is important here is that you bear in mind how you’d like to finish the sushi cubes off. If you’d like to lay slices of ingredients on the top like many classic sushi rolls, then these should be cut into slices, and ingredients should be cut into small chunks and set aside in bowls, not mixed together. This is great for using salmon, tuna, shrimp, and avocado, and other ingredients may be added to the molds individually for a more pristine outcome.
You can also mix together all of the fillings you have chosen in a bowl, or in separate bowls depending on how many variants of sushi you have chosen to make. You can choose what you’d like to add to each of these sushi cube options, just make sure the ingredient chunks and flavors are still evident in each mixture.
4. Assemble your sushi
Every sushi lover knows just how important aesthetic is for the enjoyment of every single sushi piece. For the final product, you will need to get creative with the assembly method as there are quite a few ways you could do it. These are the most simple and easy ideas:
You could lay sliced ingredients like tuna, avocado, or salmon at the bottom of the molds, after which you could follow up with chunks of ingredients and dollops of mayo, cream cheese, or other preferred additions. After this, you should press in the rice the fill the rest of the mold. Once turned over, you will have an array of beautiful sushi cubes.
If you have chosen to mix it all together for a simpler take on the method, you can start off by pressing the rice into the mold followed by pressing a ¾ deep indent on your thumb. Fill the indent with your choice of fillings and cover up with a little more rice to seal in the fillings. This method can be served with other toppings to garnish after it’s been turned over.
Turn these out gently, and peel off the plastic to reveal your culinary creation. There are plenty of ways to mix and match these ingredients, and one can ultimately create an entire spread of sushi cube delights using the overall method and initial preparation methods. Serve with your choice of soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, mayo, wasabi, and/or fresh ginger for a mouthwatering sushi spread.
Here are some of my favorite sushi making tools
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you find it useful as you make sushi at home. Here are some tools I’ve used that I hope you’ll find helpful, too. These are affiliate links, so if you decide to use any of them, I will earn a commission. But honestly, these are the exact tools that I use and recommend to everyone, even my family.
Rice cooker: For getting started, I really like Zojirushi Rice Cooker. The Zojirushi Rice cooker does not only make rice-cooking dirt simple, but it is a quality gadget that cooks better than most chefs can. Unlike most kitchen gadgets, it does not sacrifice quality for convenience.
Knife:The Kai Knife is one of the best sushi knives in the market. Made in Japan’s famous knife-making capital, Seki city.