Perhaps, if you live in London or the middle of the city and wear black pumps and do yoga and read Vogue magazine, sushi isn't a big deal for you. Probably you go to sushi bars for lunch; maybe you order sushi without rice and watch your carbohydrate intake.
I do none of these things (well I do wear black pumps sometimes, but they're in about five pieces and should probably be replaced), and for me, sushi is a big deal. I live in a village consisting solely of about twenty pubs and thirteen old people's homes (no restaurants, or, you know, houses. Just alcohol and senior citizens. A deadly combination) and neither the pubs nor the old people are big sushi fans. So the first time I tried it was when I went to Japan last summer.
The idea of sushi existing in my village is quite radical, so in a rebellious, 'YES I'M EATING SEAWEED, MOO HAR HAR' kind of way I'm pretty proud of these. They're not fantastic in a London-sushi-bar way, and I didn't want to get ambitious with fillings or anything - firstly because their intended audience was largely vegetarian, and secondly because; old people, okay? They'd have had heart attacks and died, and that would be three quarters of the town's population down in one blow. Also thirdly because I would have FAILED. DISMALLY. and I couldn't bear the potential humiliation.
Hosomaki (Slender sushi roll)
Using guidance from Japanese Cooking at Home by Hideo Dekura
For the sushi rice:
150g medium or short grain/sushi rice
120ml rice vinegar
2 tbsp caster sugar
pinch of salt
1. Cook rice in a pan or rice cooker, then transfer it to a wooden salad/sushi bowl.
2. To make sushi vinegar, combine the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a bowl; you might need to nuke it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to help the sugar dissolve.
3. Gradually pour the sushi vinegar across the rice, and mix it evenly around the bowl using a wooden spatula or rice paddle in a slicing action. While mixing, cool the rice with a hand fan (I happened to have one!) or you could use a piece of stiff card or something. This helps the rice absorb the vinegar mixture and creates a glossy surface on rice.
4. When rice becomes lukewarm, cover with a damp teatowel.
To make the sushi:
Your rice, obviously
1 nori sheet, halved crossways (mine were half-sized, so I used two, obviously)
Wasabi paste (this is Japanese horseradish and not something we keep in our cupboards; I use regular English horseradish paste/sauce thingy.)
1/2 cucumber, cut lengthways with the soft bit cut off.
Use vinegar water to handle the rice (240ml water and 1 tsp rice vingear).
As a first time sushi roller, I'll point you to these two posts for rolling-guidance:
Soy & Pepper
My first roll was not exactly sucessfull as I rolled it too loosely, and my knife wasn't sharp enough, meaning I couldn't cut through the nori very easily and everything got squashed X__X:
Oh dear. Please don't look at that too long.
I was on a bit of a roll (*groannn*) and had been pleasantly surprised how low-stress the hosomaki was, so I also make smoked salmon nigiri-zushi ; basically rice with a topping. This recipe was in Good Food magazine, so I'm not vouching for it being, you know, genuine.
However, it's very simple: you basically prepare 300g of sushi rice as above (using 4tbsp rice wine vinegar and 1 tbsp caster sugar in this case, according to the article) and spread it into a 20x20cm baking tin lined with a double layer of clingfilm. You then cover the rice entirely with smoked salmon slices (200g, but I had a 100g pack cause it was reduced at Tescos, and I made it enough). Fold the clingfilm over the salmon to cover, pressing down well with your hands to mould everything together. To serve, just use a sharp knife to cut it into 16 (I went for 24) rectangles. ^__^