Making sushi at home requires a large amount of preparation work. There are multiple ingredients that require additional steps beyond purchasing them. Fortunately, you will have idle time while the sushi rice cooks in a device and cools to room temperature. I will cover some of the most common preparation steps for creating sushi rolls.
Cutting Individual Pieces of Fish
When purchasing sashimi grade salmon or tuna, you will likely buy one large fillet at the market. This piece of fish needs to be cut into bite-sized pieces for nigiri, sashimi, and sushi rolls. There are right and wrong approaches to cutting sashimi grade fish. I recommend watching videos on YouTube to learn how to correctly cut fillets with a knife. There are many helpful videos such as this one. In addition, you may want to sharpen your knife prior to starting this process.
Cutting and Peeling Vegetables
While this may seem obvious, vegetables require preparation. Cucumbers require peeling, deseeding, and slicing into strips. Carrots require peeling and shaving into thin pieces. Avacados should be cut into long, thin strips to fit into rolls. You should try to make individual pieces small for layering in sushi rolls. Other options include jalapenos (deseed), daikon radishes, asparagus, shiitake mushrooms, yams, and picked vegetables.
Preparing Cooked Ingredients
Some ingredients for sushi rolls require cooking. Examples include seared scallops and tempura fried shrimp. I recommend cooking ingredients while the rice cools to room temperature. You should have around an hour to work on other kitchen preparation prior to making sushi rolls.
Setting the Table
One other step that requires preparation is setting the table for a sushi dinner. It can take quite a bit of time to lay out all of the dishes, glasses, and serve ware. This preparation can be done at any time, including prior to making sushi rice.