6 cups water
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Several sheets of nori (seaweed paper)
Optional fillings (choose from among these):
3 tablespoons pickled ginger
1/4 cup cooked shiitake mushroom slices
1/2 daikon radish, cut into slivers
1/2 block tofu, cut into strips
3 tablespoons pickled plum, cut into tiny pieces
Before cooking the rice, rinse it several times to remove excess starch. If you forget this step, though, don't sweat it.
Combine rice and water, bring to a boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the rice sit for 15 minutes.
Mix the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl. You can heat the mixture for a minute or two in a saucepan, or microwave it for 30 seconds to blend.
Spread the hot rice in one big layer on a cookie sheet, being careful not to squash it. Drizzle the vinegar mixture all over it, then use a spatula to fold the rice layer over onto itself to spread the flavoring. It's helpful to have a fan on the rice to assist in cooling. The rice should sit until it reaches room temperature before you begin making rolls.
Spread the cooled rice on a sheet of nori, leaving an empty space at the top. Add a line of filling a little more than halfway down. Roll the nori over onto itself and toward the rice-free edge. Just before getting to that edge, wet it with water and continue rolling to seal the roll.
Chill the rolls for an hour if possible, then cut with a sharp, nonserrated knife into fat disks. Serve with wasabi, soy sauce, ginger or your favorite sauce. This will make enough sushi for a hungry family of four.
Go to philly.com/vegansushi for a step-by-step slideshow on making nori rolls.