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California rolls for the not so adventuresome sushi eaters. Easy, and yummy.
Rinse the rice before cooking it. It seems to help it develop the sticky factor you need. Cook the rice according to package directions (you’ll need 4 cups of cooked rice for the recipe).
While the rice is cooking, you can toast the sesame seeds and make the carrot ‘pickle’. Grate the carrots, as fine as you can, place them in a bowl and add 1 tablespoon rice vinegar and then grate 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger over the carrots. Toss and set aside to ‘pickle’. You can add more rice vinegar if you like as well as more ginger. I keep a ginger root in my freezer and then I can just use my microplane to grate as much as I need for a recipe, since ginger isn’t something I use that often.
Take out how many of the sheets of Nori you are going to use. For this recipe I use 4 or 5 sheets, depending on how generous I am with the rice.
Dissolve the sugar in the rice vinegar. Set aside.
Cut the cucumber if you decide to use it as well as the spring onion (green onion).
Drain the can of crab, and set aside.
Set out your bamboo mat if you have one, cover it with some plastic wrap.
After the rice has cooked, place it into a large shallow bowl, and sprinkle the rice vinegar/sugar over the top of the rice. Very important, do not stir the rice after adding the rice vinegar/sugar mixture. Cut and fold it as if you were adding flour to egg whites. You don’t want to mash the rice, just make sure the rice vinegar is incorporated into the rice. Use the bamboo paddle or a large flat wooden spoon and make sure that the shallow bowl you put the cooked rice in is big enough that you can do the cut and fold without doing a ‘rice mash’. It’s best to do this while the rice is still warm as it absorbs the vinegar best this way.
Cut the avocado into slices at this point and place aside. I cut the avocado in half, twist it a little and pop it apart. Then I use a thin paring knife, and slice lengthwise into the avocado, stopping at the skin. Run the thin knife around the edge of the avocado, and just pop out the slices. Or slice it however you want. After peeling it, that is.
First, place a sheet of plastic wrap on top of the bamboo rolling mat. Sprinkle a thin layer of the toasted sesame seeds on top of the plastic. Then put a thin layer of rice on top. About a half a cup or so. I like a thin layer of rice. Wet your hand and keep a bowl of water beside you. Pat down the rice with your wet hand. Don’t mash the rice down, just pat it into place. It’s sticky enough that it will do just fine. (This is very important. You need to keep your hands wet, otherwise the rice sticks to everything.)
Next place a sheet of Nori on top of the rice and then add your fillings, some avocado and some crab or the spring onions and grated carrot mixture. I usually make 3 California Rolls, and then two of the other kind. I like putting the Nori on the outside of the roll when I fill it with vegetables like the grated carrot, spring onion and cucumber.
Roll the sushi roll using the mat and that plastic wrap. Pick up the edge of the wrap that’s closest to you, roll away from yourself keeping the wrap firm. Continue until the whole thing is in a nice roll. This does take a little practice and if you screw up the first one, you can always save it and eat it a little later on. Pat the roll and shape it a little so it’s nice and round. Place in the refrigerator. Continue with the next sheet of Nori, the second roll is a lot easier to do. I can usually get three California Rolls out of one can of crab.
Continue using the rest of the rice and Nori. I alternated by putting a sheet of Nori down first, placing a thin layer of rice on that with some of the grated carrot and green spring onions. You can also use matchstick sliced cucumbers if you know your guests can handle the cucumbers.
When all the rolls are done, refrigerate them until you are ready to serve. Then take each roll out and slice into thin slices. I find each roll will make about 8 slices.
And here’s the final hint. Cut each roll in half and then slice each of the halves in half again, and then slice each of those halves in half again. You should have 8 even slices at this point.
Serve with some wasabi, soy sauce, sesame seeds and pickled carrots.
Here’s an easy recipe for Mexican Rice (aka Spanish Rice). It’s cooked right in a rice cooker, which happens to be my new favorite kitchen toy. But hey, don’t worry if you don’t have a slow cooker. I’ll share my easy stove top directions too.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!