Friday, February 29, 2008

California Rolls - Yes Really!

For my first attempt at making sushi, I wanted to try something simple... and here are the results!!
Really - it's not hard. Make the vinegar mix for the rice per directions - mix together - let cool - create sushi. Enjoy sushi. :)

Update: here is the recipe! Thanks Tiff for asking!

A) Prepare sushi rice by doing the following:
4 cups short grain white rice/sushi rice
1.1 liter water
1. Start by washing the rice.
2. Cover with cold water and gently massage with your hand. This will release bran and cleaning compound into the water as evidenced by the milky color.
3. Tip most of this off, leaving about one cup.
4. Now, gently stir the rice for about 10 seconds.
5. Repeat steps two, three, and four 3 more times.
6. The water should look almost clear. Drain well.
7. Place the rice in the rice cooker with the water. Switch on. Leave the lid on the whole cooking process!

Create the vinegar dressing.
100 mL Japanese rice wine vinegar
60 gm sugar
20 gm salt
Prepare by dissolving sugar and salt in the vinegar over low heat. Immediately remove from heat and allow to cool.

Combine the rice with the vinegar dressing.
1. Empty the hot rice into a wide shallow container. Do not allow to cool.
2. Add the dressing by pouring it evenly over the rice.
3. Briefly run the spatula through the rice from top to bottom and left to right in slicing motions in order to spread the rice.
4. Continue to gently toss the rice until it starts to feel just tight. Spread the rice out in an even thin layer. Using a fan, cool the rice to body temperature. Make sure you turn the rice over so the other side is cool as well.
5. To keep the rice from drying out, cover with damp cloth.
This will yield 12 cups of prepared rice. Feel free to cut in half if you do not need that much.

B) Prepare the ingredients for California rolls by gathering the following:
-2 sheets nori seaweed
-5 cups prepared sushi rice
-1/2 avocado, sliced into strips
-1/2 cucumber, sliced into thin strips (optional)
-cooked crab meat (about 1 cup)
*make sure you comb through the crabmeat well to remove any remaining shells
-1 TBSP Japanese mayonnaise
*if you cannot find this in the store, use regular mayonnaise mixed with rice vinegar

2 TBSP flying fish roe or sesame seeds (optional)
-plastic wrap
-bamboo mat

C) Begin making the rolls.
-Cover the bamboo rolling mat with a sheet of plastic wrap.
-Place a sheet of nori on the mat and spread half the rice on the entire sheet, from edge to edge.
-Turn the rice-covered nori sheet upside down onto the sushi mat. The rice will now be facing down while the nori sheet is facing up.
-Spread some mayonnaise across the middle of the nori sheet. ALTERNATIVELY, you can mix the crab with mayonnaise.
-Place half the avocado, cucumber, and crab meat on top (in the middle of the sheet).
-Start rolling the mat up over the ingredients and roll almost one complete turn, stopping to press and firm, until the sheet is completely rolled.
-Be careful to not let the plastic wrap get rolled in!
-Take off the plastic sheet and add the roe or sesame seeds, if desired.

D) Serving
-Using a good knife, wet it and cut the roll in the middle. Wet the knife again and cut in the middle of each half and continue until you have 8 pieces.

E) and...
-Use the remaining ingredients to assemble one more roll.

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