Thursday, May 2, 2013

Homemade Sushi: The California Roll {No Raw Fish!}

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You guys, this may shock you, but I have never gotten sushi at a restaurant before. Noperee. I've never had a single lick of raw fish and I hope I never will.

My sister, Nemo, on the other hand is quite the sushi aficionado and has agreed to do this totally awesome tutorial on how to make your very own sushi. The cool part is that there is no raw fish involved. Even I will sing from rooftops with joy when offered one of these babies.

A typical California roll uses crab meat, but to make it easier, cheaper, and dare I say... deliciouser (back off spell check) we used this yummalicious seafood and shrimp salad from Sam's Club. It does have imitation crab in it so we can still call it a California roll.

And don't worry about the term "imitation crab". You can set your thoughts of ground chicken toes and pureed cow tongues aside. It's just real fish, somehow made to look and taste like crab. It's seriously delicious I tell you.

You will also need some sushi rice for this adventure. Don't try to use any other kind of rice because it won't be sticky enough. You're also going to add some vinegar and sugar to your rice to make it even stickier (and yummier).

Really, if it was up to me, we would only ever get sushi rice. I'm not typically a huge fan of rice, but this stuff is awesome. 

The next thing you're going to need is some sushi nori. Don't freak out, but this is actually dried sheets of seaweed. I know, sounds weird, but, well... it's awesome. It's really mild and doesn't taste fishy like you'd expect.

You are also going to need some avocado slices. I trust you all know how to get the pit out of an avocado. Just slice it in half, then slam a big daddy knife into the pit...

And twist it right out. 

You should also get some wasabi for the side. It comes as a powder and you just add a little water to make a kind of paste. It's really strong and horseradishy and deeeelish. A spoonful of that will clear out your sinuses in a jiffy.

Okay, so now that you've got all your stuff, it's time to get rollin'.

Place your nori on your bamboo sushi mat (oh yeah, you need one of those too) and cover a little more than half with some rice. 

Nemo requests that I excuse her "skeleton fingers". They look alive enough to me though.

Pile on your avocado and seafood salad. You can also add some long slices of cucumber to your California roll, but we sadly did not think of this.

Another thing about California rolls is that a lot of people roll them inside out so the rice is on the outside, but we prefer the nori on the outside. If you do want the rice on the outside, you'll probably want to cover your bamboo mat with some plastic wrap to keep the rice from sticking to it.

Ours was obviously a little overfilled, but who cares! The more the merrier.

Pinch your log nice and tight and then roll it the rest of the way.

You can roll it back and forth a few times to make sure it's nice and even.

Now you're going to slice it with a nice sharp knife. 

And there you have it. Beautiful, plump, little sushis.

Put a little smear of wasabi on the side (that was my little artistic contribution of the day) and a dish of soy sauce.

We also made some with shrimp ones since the seafood salad has gluten and dairy in it (curses). You can check it out on the other blog.

Homemade Sushi {California Roll}

1 1/2 cups sushi rice
2 cups water
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons white sugar
About 4 sheets of nori
1 avocado, cut into long thin slices and tossed with a little lemon juice to prevent browning
Cucumber, cut into long thin slices 
Seafood and shrimp salad or crab meat (maybe about a cup)
Wasabi and soy sauce for serving 

Bring the rice and water to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and stir in the vinegar, sugar, and salt.

Lay a sheet of nori on your mat. Place some rice onto about 2/3 of the nori and press with damp fingers until about 1/2 inch thick. Line a thin strip of seafood along with some avocado and cucumber in the middle of the rice.

Using your mat, roll into a log and seal tightly. Cut with a serrated knife. Repeat with more nori until you're out of rice. Serve with wasabi and soy sauce

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