Alright - so welcome to one of my fave things I've ever made - sushi! It's not a quick process, and it can be intimidating, so I think a lot of people are wary to try it themselves. Fear not, dear Shrimps - it's a ton of fun, and you can have the biggest sushi dinner you've ever seen for only a few bucks.
Plus, this is a good way to impress the heck out of some dinner guests!
Combine your rice and water in a medium pan with a lid. Bring it to a soft boil, and then reduce the heat to low. Cover it, and let it cook for 20 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed. Fight that urge to constantly remove the lid - truuuust me! Let it sit for another 10 minutes, and then fluff it with a fork.
Mix your vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan (this was a larger batch of rice - you'll have less vinegar). Simmer over very low heat until the sugar is dissolved, and the vinegar has a thin but syrupy consistency. You can also get 'sushi vinegar' that alread has the sugar mixed in, if you can find it.
Julienne your cucumber, carrot, and bell pepper. This means to cut them into thin little 'sticks.' Next, do the same with your avocado. Avocados can be intimidating to cut, but it's not too bad, really. Just cut it in half with a large knife by rotating around the large pit. Next, score the avocado straight across lengthwise in thin increments until you've cut the whole thing into strips. Finally, use a large spoon to scoop along the underneath of your strips to extract them!
After your rice has cooled down to room temperature, pour the vinegar mixture over it, and mix together thoroughly. It should have a thick, sticky consistency. Also - apparently I highly endorse a nice glass of white zin with your sushi-making - I told you it was fun...
Cover your bamboo mat with a bit of plastic wrap. Everything will be sticky and messy in a few minutes, and this speeds up the cleanup process a bit. Lay down one sheet of seaweed, and cover it with a thin layer of rice. Also - just use your hands; I gave up on the spatula about five seconds after this picture. Seriously - hands - easier!
Sprinkle a thin layer of sesame seeds over the rice.
Add a couple strips of your vegetables (or your sea creatures as well, I suppose) towards the top end of your seaweed sheet.
Using your bamboo mat, gradually roll the seaweed upon itself, pulling it tight and turning periodically. Continue until you've closed it up on itself completely and have a nice, tight little veggie roll.
Here's where my camera crapped out, so I have no actual pictures of the sushi. Maybe it was just too hideous to show you - nahhh - the mister ate his weight in veggie rolls, so I assure you that it was most delicious.
Using a very sharp knife dipped in just a bit of water, lightly slice through the roll to cut it into bite-sized pieces.
Okay - I lied. I have one little picture of one of the inside-out rolls I made.
Serve your sushi with little bowls of soy sauce, a dab of wasabi (it comes in a tube), and a little pile of pickled ginger.