I’ve wanted to do this recipe for a while, but I’ve been scared. Very scared. Making sushi is an art that takes years of practice to master. Let’s face it: Italians inherently don’t know how to make sushi. I finally manned up and did it. And boy did it turn out great. I actually surprised myself with how well things came out. Now, the sushi that I present below is not that of a master sushi-artisan – it’s not even close. But I’m damn proud of it for my first try. Mark my words, this will not be my last endeavour into the wonderful world of sushi making.

I took my favourite elements of sushi that I most enjoy that I also felt would complement bacon very well. I’m going to show you how to make a simple tempura shrimp roll with bacon, avocado, cucumber and spicy mayo. You don’t have to make this combination. You can do anything you wish. You could even make BLT sushi! Why didn’t I think of this hours ago?!

Ingredients:

4 (or more) Strips of Maple Leaf Bacon

6 Jumbo Shrimp

1 Egg

1 cup All Purpose Flour

2 sheets Nori (Sea Weed)

2 cups Sushi Rice

¼ cup Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar

2 tbsp Hellman’s Mayo

2 tsp Sriracha Hot Sauce

½ Cucumber

1 Avocado

Directions

1. Dump your two cups of sushi rice into a bowl. We’re gonna give it a good washing.

2. Fill the bowl with cold water until the rice is submerged then, with your hands, start moving everything around to rub all the grains together. You’ll notice the water will go cloudy.

3. Dump out the water and fill it up again. Continue this washing process until the water doesn’t go cloudy anymore. It’ll take about four or five times.

4. Cook your rice according to your package instructions (on the stove, or in a rice cooker).

5. Meanwhile, let’s prep everything else. Most maki sushi have these wonderful cucumber strings. These are easily made with a mandolin. If you don’t have a mandolin, I hope you have excellent knife skills. If you have neither, Just cut long strips of cucumber. Don’t make them too big or else the sushi will be hard to roll later.

6. Grab your shrimp and give them a peel. Leave the tail on, though. It’s their built-in handle. Handles are good.

7. With a knife, make three little incisions in the stomach of the shrimp then press on the back of the shrimp to straighten them out. This will make them easier to put into the sushi.

8. Dump some vegetable oil into a pan and heat it to 340-360°F. If you have a quick read thermometer, now’s the time to pull it out! If you have a deep fryer, can I be your best friend?

9. While you’re waiting for the oil to heat up, we can do three things. Make our spicy mayo, make our tempura batter and fry our bacon. The third should be second nature (Did I confuse you?).

10. Spicy mayo: super easy. Mix your mayo with your sriciacha hot sauce. I love that stuff, I put that #$%^ on everything (yeah, it’s better than Frank’s).

11. For your tempura batter, take your egg and whisk it up. You’ll notice I’m using chop sticks to get me in the mood. Add a cup of ICE COLD water to your egg and mix it up. Then add a cup of all-purpose flour that’s been passed through a sifter. It’s imperative that your batter is ice cold if you want a light and fluffy texture later. Also, don’t mix your batter too much. It doesn’t matter if it’s a little lumpy.

12. While holding the tail of your shrimp (see, the handle is coming in handy), dip your shrimp in the tempura batter, then into the oil. Fry them for a few minutes until the batter turns slightly golden. The shrimp takes no time to cook.

13. By this point, your sushi rice should be ready. Pour it out into a bowl and add your rice wine vinegar and mix in with a paddle. If you don’t have seasoned rice vinegar, all you have to do is add a bit of sugar and a pinch of salt.

Note: There is a very specific technique that you need to adhere to when preparing your rice. Because of this, I was too busy to photograph it. If you Google “How to make sushi rice”, there are a whackload of instructional videos that will explain the process WAY better than I can. The rice is pretty much the most important part, and I am not the best source for telling you how to do it, unfortunately.

14. So now you have perfect sushi rice.

15. Slice your avocado at the last minute (or else it’ll oxidize and turn brown) and get ready to assemble!

16. Place a slice of nori (shiny side down) on your bamboo mat. Wet your hands with a bit of water mixed with the rice wine vinegar and whack some rice down on your nori sheet. Make sure this is nice and even, and not too thick

17. Be sure to leave about a quarter-inch to half-inch space at the top.

18. Place all your toppings in the middle of the rice: two strips of bacon, two shrimp, some cucumber, some avocado and your spicy mayo.

19. Bring up the front edge of the bamboo, and with some firm, but gentle pressure roll everything over. Firm but gentle is the way to go.

Again, there is a very specific technique that is hard to show via words and pictures. Again, I recommend Goggling “How to make Sushi” to watch some videos of experts. Practice is really the only way to get good at this.

20. Slice up your rolls with a nice sharp knife and plate with some wasabi and pickeld ginger (if you can find some). You’ll notice I also made some with the rice on the outside and some bacon on top. These are far harder to make properly. I recommend starting with the ones with the seaweed on the outside.

21. Have fun, be creative and Practice! Domo Arigato!!!