Kirk's Famous Sushi {Gluten-free}

If you ask the Groombridge family (kids included) what our favorite cuisine is, we would all, without a doubt say...SUSHI! Kirk and I met in California back in 1997 and we lived there, worked there and started our family there. SoCal was our home for around 12 years until we relocated to Canada to be closer to family. We were introduced to the wonderful world of sushi during our time there and our boys have been eating it since they were babies. We were never lacking for restaurants in the Los Angeles area and we definitely had our favorites. One of the spots we loved to frequent was called A'Float Sushi in Pasadena. We sat around the sushi bar as little boats floated by with plates displaying the beautiful artistic works of the sushi chefs. We were able to visit again this past summer and it was just as we remembered it!

A'float Sushi in Pasadena, CA
Now, if you love sushi like we do, you know that your restaurant bill can creep up rather quickly. We very rarely ever made it out of a sushi restaurant without spending close to $50 and that's just not practical when you're a young family living on a budget. So, we saved it for special occasions and enjoyed it every time we allowed ourselves to splurge. BUT, what if we could make it at home? Well, it looks like a lot of work, right? Yes, there is a learning curve and it takes lots of practice, but once we got the hang of it and knew where to purchase the ingredients we realized that we could have sushi on a fairly regular basis at a fraction of the cost!

am so happy to share this video with you because it features my wonderful husband, Kirk who not only is my talented Producer, Director, Cameraman and all-around biggest encouragement, but he has also become an amazing sushi chef! He has mastered the rice, the technique and mix of ingredients to makes some great dinners for us. I have attempted to make sushi...and I can...however, it just isn't like how Kirk makes it. My rolls tend to fall apart because I'm a little too gentle, but Kirk's not afraid to get in there and show the seaweed paper who's boss! So, if you've ever wanted to make sushi, this video is for has everything you need to know to make your own delicious sushi rolls at home. Plus, you will be saving LOTS of money! What would cost close to $50 in the restaurant can cost you about $12 at home. That's reason enough to give it a try!

Read on after the video for details about the ingredients we use to make it gluten-free.

"Nori" Seaweed Paper
Rice Paper
Sticky Rice (we use the Compliments brand at Sobeys)

For California Roll:
Imitation Crabmeat
(For a gluten-free crabmeat, purchase TransOcean Lobster-favored Crabmeat. >
We purchase ours at Sobeys, but in the US, you can find it in many other stores.)

For Veggie Roll:
(all optional...have fun!)
Red Pepper
Egg (poached)

For Shrimp Tempura Roll:
Imitation Crabmeat
Shrimp Tempura
(For a gluten-free shrimp tempura, purchase extra-large, uncooked shrimp and make your own batter. I made a full bag and froze the shrimp for later use...recipe to follow! >
If you aren't following a gluten-free lifestyle however, you can purchase ready-made shrimp tempura in most grocery stores (Sobeys in Canada). Tempura is a specific type of batter that has a nice, light taste.)

Optional Ingredients for garnish:
Sesame Seeds
Masago (fish eggs)
Fresh, raw fish (usually salmon & tuna...placed over California Roll to make a Rainbow Roll!)

- Prepare your rice (this is very important! The rice can make or break your sushi rolls.) Prepare the rice as normal in a rice cooker or a pot on the stove. Just follow the directions on the bag.
- Lay out your bamboo sushi rolling mat and place some saran wrap on top, then your nori or rice paper.
- Have a bowl of water nearby to keep your fingers wet...this will help as you spread the rice onto the paper.
- Spread some rice as thin or thick as you like (we like it fairly thin so the flavors come from the other ingredients) leave about an inch closest to you where there is no rice. This is to help begin your roll.
- On the edge of the rice, near that inch of paper, line up your ingredients however you creative!
- With the saran wrap, take the edge of the paper and roll it over your ingredients. Continue to roll until you're about halfway done, then go back and grab the bamboo mat as well and roll it all up tightly.
- Then unroll it and place it on a plate to rest while you make more rolls! We find sometimes it helps later to place the rolls in the freezer for a short time to aid in easier cutting.
- Once you are ready to cut, place the roll on a cutting board and make sure your (sharp) knife is wet by running it under a stream of water from your faucet. 
- Slice down the middle of the roll, then in the middle of that roll and so on until you have about 8 slices.
- Plate them up and enjoy!

California Roll appetizers on Nori straight from Korea!
Feel free to be as creative as you want! The rice paper and veggie rolls are a great introduction to this cuisine even if you don't care for fish. But, don't be afraid to try the California roll etc. You might find that you really like it! You can even add fruit and make a sweet sushi roll. We even heard of adding grapes because it's something kids like. Alexa over at shares a sushi video in which she adds grapes so check that out as well!

This is a great meal to make when you are having company over because it's fun for everyone and you can make it to order for your guests! And depending on the size of the crowd, you can have a good amount left over as well which is great for a quick snack later on. Our boys have even taken some rolls in their school lunches the day after we've made it. We've found that they will keep for one, maybe two days and then it gets too soggy.

Kirk and Patrick showing off their artistic skills!

hope you've enjoyed my handsome guest star! I know I did. Stay tuned because we'll have more special guests share their recipes in the near future. And a big thank you to our guest cameraman, Matt Reaume for filling in while Kirk was being the Chef. He also eats well at home because his wife, Wendy, also strives to feed her family in a healthy, clean way. Have a visit over at her blog, Imag+in Ink for some more great recipes for your family!

Make sure to rate, comment and subscribe when you're over on YouTube and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. If there's a recipe of which you would like me to make a video, please post a comment and I'll do my best! 

Treat yourself well,


  1. Nice job! I love to make sushi at home. I'm gluten free and buying sushi at a restaurant is just not in my budget.

    Have you ever tried sealing your bamboo mat in a large ziplock bag? I started using a bag because I didn't like cleaning the rice out of the bamboo, and it would probably be less fiddly than plastic wrap.

    I love a sweet chili sauce topping too, I occasionally put a strip of Sriracha sauce inside the roll for a bit of heat.

    1. Isn't it great to be able to do it yourself?! We save so much money and it's a fun thing to do with friends. What a great idea for the bag...we will have to try that next time! Thanks for the tip.


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