Thursday, September 9, 2010

Make Your Own Sushi - California Rolls

Sushi is one of those dishes that is extremely delicious, versatile, and when it is done right, it can get expensive. So after doing research and searching all over to find all the tools and ingredients we needed, Matt and I decided to try our hand at California Rolls.

You will need a bamboo mat, seaweed wrappers, short grain rice, sugar, rice wine vinegar, avocado, cucumber, imitation crab, mayo, and soy sauce for dipping.

Start out by rinsing a cup of rice in water until the water runs clear. Then drain the rice and let it sit for about 20 minutes.

Combine the rinsed rice and 1 1/4 cup water to a saucepot. Cover the pot and bring the rice and water to a boil. As soon as the water begins to boil, turn down the heat to low and let it sit, covered, for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes is up, take the pot off of the heat and let it cool for 10 minutes. The rice should still be warm when you add in a mixture of 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp sugar. Fluff the mixture into the rice, which means to just gently fold it in with a fork. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. You now have your own batch of extra sticky rice!

While you are waiting for the rice to cool, slice up the avocado, cucumber, and crab into thin strips. The thinner the strips the easier it will be to wrap up the sushi.

Place the seaweed wrapper on the bamboo mat. Place a spoon full of your sticky rice on the seaweed and spread the rice out into a thin layer in all directions. Try to get the rice to the edge of the wrapper as best you can. This is the hardest part of the process, but don't be discouraged! Just take your time and keep spreading.

Place the thin strips of avocado, cucumber, and crab close to one end of the seaweed. Then place little bit of mayo over the top of the items in order to help it stick all together. Stickiness is definitely the key to sushi. Then start to slowly roll the seaweed wrapper with the bamboo mat, making sure to continue making sure it is wrapped as tightly as possible as you go. Once its formed into a cylinder, take the bamboo mat and shape it to be sure it is a perfect cylinder. (or you can get creative and make a rectangular prism!)

Take out your sharpest knife and begin to slice the roll into pieces. I found it was easiest to use a serrated knife and to start cutting in the middle of the roll. We got about eight pieces out of each roll, and the amount of rice yielded us about four rolls.

Pour yourself some soy sauce or whatever other sauce strikes your fancy, and its time to eat! You can use this basic lesson to make all sorts of sushi combinations. I'll be sharing my recipe for shrimp tempura with yum yum sauce soon!

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