The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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California Rolls

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Level: Intermediate

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Description

You can’t’ get any more basic (or more Americanized) than a California sushi roll. Utterly delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 piece Makisu (bamboo Rolling Mat)
  • Dark Green Nori (dried Seaweed)
  • Sushi Rice
  • Imitation Crab
  • Avocado, Thinly Sliced
  • Cucumber (Japanese, If Available), Thinly Sliced
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds

Preparation

First, in order to keep your rice from sticking to the Makisu and making a terrible mess, carefully wrap the Makisu in plastic cling wrap.

To begin, fold the pieces of nori in half to split them. Nori is very delicate, so as soon as you press along the seam, it easily breaks in two.

Next, lay the half-sheets of nori on the work surface and grab a handful (about a ½ cup) of sushi rice and cover one side of a half-sheet of nori with it. To do so, first set the rice on the end of the nori sheet closest to you. Then, working with your fingertips and/or knuckles, gently spread the rice over the surface of the nori.

On California Rolls, the rice is typically on the outside – not the inside – so to begin, quickly flip the rice-coated sheet of nori so that the rice side is down. Carefully position it horizontally so it will roll lengthwise.

Next, place a single row of the crab across the middle of the nori. Next, place slices of avocado end to end right against the crab. It’s best to use an avocado that’s ripe but still quite firm. Lastly, lay the very thin (slightly thicker than a matchstick) cucumber slices end-to-end right alongside the crab and avocado.

To roll the sushi, carefully lift the edge of the mat closest to you, begin rolling the mat away from you, pressing it lightly to keep it firm.

At this point, the end of the roll has been rolled upward, and your very light pressure is ensuring that they roll will remain nice and tight.

Next, lift up the end of the rolling mat and pull it away from you, allowing the roll to roll the rest of the mat. Then carefully remove the roll from the mat and place it on a cutting board. Lay the mat over the top of the roll and exert gentle pressure once more to make sure it’s all secure.

Next, hold the roll on the mat and sprinkle the top with toasted sesame seeds. Slice using a very sharp knife, first running the knife through a damp dishtowel with the blade facing away from you. Begin by slicing the roll exactly in half. Then set the two halves side-by-side to slice into individual pieces. This ensures that each piece will be a uniform size.

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