makes 4 to 5 rolls (32 to 40 pieces)
What makes the
"California" is the avocado. Jay prefers to create reverse rolls where
the rice is on the outside of the roll. Not only does this roll taste more
fresh, it also allows the chef to put more items in the roll.
In The Beginning
Rice: see recipe for cooking perfect sushi rice, it needs to be kept warm so it is pliable
Ginger: use the natural ginger without pink or red dye.
Wasabe: Japanese form of horseradish. It can be fresh or made from a powder or paste. The powder version is mixed with water. Fresh wasabe is is more expensive and is grated like horseradish. Based on your taste and tolerance for spicy heat, mix wasabe with soy sauce for dipping sushi.
1 Haas Cucumber (English or Hot house cucumbers are best; you'll find these in the grocery store usually wrapped separately with plastic wrap)
Crab Meat: imitation crab is fine; it is usually white fish with 10% crab essence. Real crab meat will cost 8 to 10 times more. Put a little mayonnaise in the crab meat so it binds together.
1 Avocado: the preferred avocado is Haas because it has more oil. It is a richer avocado that has the texture of mayonnaise. Avoid avocados such as "Fuente" which have less oil and more water.
2 sheets of Nori: Japanese seaweed wrappers; flat roasted sheets that need to be thin and pliable; it cannot be brittle or chewy; 1 whole sheet of Nori is folded in half, pressed with the fingers and pulled apart to be used for two rolls.
Extras: have a small bowl of water next to your preparation area. This is for moistening the fingers so the rice does not stick to them while preparing your rolls. You can mix a little lemon juice or ginger juice in your water. Jay prefers just water.
|Prepare The Cucumbers
Prepare the cucumbers: peel the cucumber and cut in half. Cut the cucumber around as a thin peel (see top picture). It should be noted that this peel can be used as the wrapper instead of nori (seaweed wrapper). For filler, however, flatten, fold, and stack the peel and cut in half. Re-stack and chop into fine strips (see middle picture). Set aside.
Prepare The Avocado
Press and Push, Press and Push
Now for the filling. Helpful hint is that whatever filling you are using, leave a bit of room on the sides so the filling doesn't get squeezed out. Put the cucumber strips in to piles along the center line and short side of the nori. There should be about 6 strips in each pile. Lay 3 avocado slices along the top of the cucumber pieces. Spread crab meat over the the top of the avocados (see top picture).
|Tuck and Roll, Tuck and Roll
Roll the side nearest over the central ingredients and finish the roll such that the "seam" is on the bottom. Helpful hint is to "hold and tuck" the ingredients with the fingers while using the thumbs to roll. Tuck and roll, tuck and roll.
|Get Out Your Makisu
Tear a sheet of plastic wrap about the same size as your makisu. Place plastic wrap over the roll so that approximately 1 inch extends onto the counter and the longer end closest to you. Another traditional way to form the sushi is to use a clean cloth dinner napkin. The napkin should be wet and then wrung out. Place the mat over the roll and plastic wrap. With both hands, press lightly on the sides to firm up the roll (see middle picture). There is no need to apply pressure to the top of the roll or to slide your hands along the mat. Just spread your fingers slightly and with one light squeeze, the roll is ready. Slide the mat to one side and then the other to tap the two ends of the roll to make it neat.
|Cut To The Chase
You are ready to cut the roll into 8 pieces. The knife must be very sharp. Place the tip of the knife into your water bowl and with the handle down, tap the end of the handle on the table such that the water flows over the entire blade. This will insure that the rice does not stick to the knife. Remove the makisu and with the plastic wrap still on, cut the roll in half (see bottom picture). Cut each of the halves in half and again and one more time so that you have 8 pieces. Place the makisu over the roll again and press lightly to re-form the roll. Remove the mat and the plastic wrap and... Moisten hands once more to move the rolls to a serving plate. Mix wasabi and soy sauce as a dipping condiment and serve with a side of ginger.
|The perfect California Roll is done!|
Recipe from http://www.stickyrice.com/