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California Roll Sushi

November 23, 2010
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Have you seen the “roll your own sushi kits” in the Asian aisle at your grocery store? If so grab one and try rolling your own sushi tonight at home!  If you can’t find the kit, I’m betting you can find all the things you need to make your own sushi–Look for a bamboo sushi rolling mat, sushi rice, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, wasabi paste, pickled ginger, and sushi nori (sheets of thin, pressed and dried seaweed). Not only is making your own sushi fun, but you can create whatever sushi combination you want. I made these California rolls, using fresh avocado, cucumber slices, and imitation crab sticks. Quite a feeling of accomplishment when you serve these!

Ingredients:
3 cups uncooked Japanese sushi rice
4 cups water
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
5 sheets sushi nori
1 large cucumber
2 fresh avocados
1 package imitation crab sticks
Wasabi paste (Japanese horseradish)
Soy sauce
Pickled ginger

Directions:

  • Prepare rice according to package directions. Once cooked, gently stir in rice wine vinegar. Set aside to cool. Note: Start preparing sushi rice approximately 2 hours before you plan to make sushi rolls. Rice needs to be completely cooled at room temp (don’t put in the fridge).
  • Wash, peel, and seed cucumber. Slice in half lengthwise, then cut into long, slender strips.
  • Cut avocados in half lengthwise and remove the pit. Cut each section in half again (lengthwise), and carefully remove the peel. Cut the section in long slender strips.
  • Cut imitation crab sticks in half lengthwise.
  • Lay sushi rolling mat on a cutting board with bamboo strips going horizontally from you.
  • Place a sheet of nori on top of the mat.
  • Wet your hands and spread a thin layer (about 1 cup) of cooked rice over 3/4 of the nori leaving approximately one inch of uncovered nori at each end.
  • Arrange a few strips of both avocado and cucumber down the center of rice.
  • Top with a few strips of crab meat.
  • Placing your fingers on the ingredients, carefully bring the bottom end of the rolling mat up and over the ingredients, tucking the end of the nori to start the roll.
  • Pull back the rolling mat, as necessary, so it does not get rolled into the sushi. Roll tightly with firm pressure. (This takes some practice!)
  • Rub a small amount of cold water on the edge of the nori and bring the nori around so that it completes the sushi roll.
  • Gently squeeze the rolling mat around the sushi roll until firm and forms an even roll (but be careful not to squeeze too hard or the ingredients will squeeze out).
  • Repeat with remaining nori sheets to make additional rolls.
  • Using a very sharp knife, slice the sushi roll first down the middle. From there you can cut it into 6 or 8 pieces, whichever you prefer (wet the knife between each cut to make it easier to cut and keep the rice from sticking to the knife).
  • Serve with pickled ginger and soy sauce for dipping (mixed with a pinch of wasabi if ya like it spicy!)
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