Friday, October 17

Homemade California Rolls How-To (It's easy!)

Hey guys! Did you know that making sushi is actually really easy? Well it is. And I'm here to prove it to you. I think it's one of those things where once you learn to do it one time, you find you will remember how to do it in the future because it's really not that hard (other than rolling them which requires a little practice, but just watch Youtube and you'll be fine;).

The recipe I have is for California rolls (one of my favorite types of sushi) namely because they are delicious, and because you can eat them when you're pregnant! Woohoo! Plus, my friend happened to have a recipe for California rolls so that's what we're making!
Alright here we go.

What you'll need includes the following:

1 package seaweed
0.25 lb crab salad/ imitation crab (or 0.50 lb if you're feeding a large group or stocking up for the week)
1 cucumber (sliced thin)
1 ripe avocado (sliced thin)
Sticky white rice (I Youtubed a video on how to make it just right)
Special sauce:
3 parts mayonaise, 1 part Sriracha sauce
Rice flavoring (optional): 
2 tsp rice vinegar, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar (mixed and dissolved prior to adding to the rice)

Also Optional (for dipping your rolls in): 
Soy sauce

You will also need either a bamboo mat or a makeshift mat from a thick dish towel with Saran Wrap laid over it for rolling the sushi, and a very sharp knife (preferably a sushi knife).

Start with one sheet of seaweed (they come in thin, dry sheets and become moist naturally as the ingredients are added) on your mat, or in my case, makeshift one. You will want it laid out on a clean counter or table with your other ingredients pre-sliced and ready to use.

You will also want to have your sticky rice pre-made and slightly cooled since you'll be handling it. You can add the rice flavoring mixture mentioned above at any point and mix it in well. Like I said, I would just go on Youtube or Google if you don't know how to prepare sticky rice.

Once that is set, start with your seaweed sheet. Prep it by slathering about 2/3 of it with the special sauce.

Next, add a layer of sticky rice, spreading it out onto the special sauce. It doesn't have to be perfect since you're going to be rolling it anyway. Just make sure it pretty well covers the sauce. Then you can add the crab salad, cucumber, and avocado slices across the seaweed, like so:

At this point, there are a few options for rolling your sushi. I looked up a Youtube video on how to roll sushi and it really helped, but I'll try to be detailed in my explanation. I rotated my mat so the sushi stuff was closer to me. I slid the seaweed with everything on it to the edge of my "mat" and also toward the edge of the counter. Then, keeping my thumbs on the outside of the seaweed and using my other fingers to carefully press the fillings into the seaweed, I slowly rolled the sushi away from me. 

The key to successfully rolling sushi, in my opinion (and I'm far from an expert), is to roll slowly and tightly. In other words, continuously pressing the filling into the seaweed as you roll, and taking pauses while rolling to press or squeeze your roll from the outside to keep it compressed, for lack of a better description. 

When your sushi is completely rolled, it should stay sealed as long as the sauce and fillings have moistened the seaweed enough. If it doesn't stick, you can use kitchen sheers to trim the extra seaweed off. Add a little bit more filling next time to avoid that. It should look something like this:

Next comes the very sharp knife part. If you do not have a very, very sharp knife or sushi knife, I would use your sharpest serrated knife to gently cut into the seaweed (otherwise it can rip or tear). I don't know if it's the case with most seaweed sheets, but the ones I used had perforated lines to mark where to cut the sushi rolls which was helpful. 

Honestly, cutting was probably the hardest part because I did not have a sharp enough knife. The "rolls" I cut on either end of the roll ended up falling apart as a result (but it was fine, because I just ate the pile of ingredients right then and it was DELICIOUS and made me really excited to eat the rolls:).

This was the first batch I made. They were very delicious, but definitely not perfect in form. For next time, I planned to roll them much tighter, and to cut much slower so they'd be less rough around the edges. I had a lot more success the more I rolled, but sadly I did not think to take anymore pictures. That was mostly because the rolls were so good, Dalin and I just started eating them and couldn't stop and when I realized I should have taken another picture it was too late. 

But anyway, these were really not as difficult as I'd imagined and it was definitely something we will make again (plus, who cares if they look bad? They'll still taste amazing!). Plus the only "weird" ingredients were the seaweed and the crab salad (since once you buy the rice vinegar and Sriracha sauce they'll last for a long time) so it's something that can be made fairly easily (as long as you have rice, avocado, cucumber, and mayo on hand;).

I hope that you try and love this recipe! It's seriously wonderful and I think you'll be impressed by the sushi-making skills that you probably didn't even know you have! Now get to those California rolls!

Sorry I took so long to post it and know that I am having a wonderful time in Boise this weekend and hopefully I'll be writing about our activities here soon!

Lots of love,

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