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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

[California roll] Making california roll Step by step

One of my favorite foods is avocado.
How can it be so rich of flavour?
Its buttery rich and silky taste is something I always crave for.
Confession: I can eat a couple of whole ripe avocados in a few minutes.

That must be why I fell in love with california roll on the very first day I tastsed it. It felt like it was melting down in my mouth :)
Well, of course, I love avocado so much that I put avocado chunks in salad, and make avocado sandiwches, with eggs, for lunch, and more.

But, I thought it's funny that it is made this sushi roll inside out. What a nude :)
Then~ I got curious enough to search for the background of this food. Digging out the history of food is one of my enthusiastic hobbies. I think I just want to know how and why and when a specific food was made.
And I encountered this NY Times article. :
It was the book review about "The zen of Sushi."

In the 1960s, the Tokyo Kaikan restaurnat featured one of the first sushi bars in Los Angeles.
Ichiro Mashita, a sushi chef at Kaikan began susbtituting avocado for tuna,
and that's how the California roll was born. 

Well, no one would deny that the California roll inspired sushi's global popularity, and influenced sushi chefs to create their original fusion cuisine.

If you can get some tobiko, flyfish eggs, at a Japanaese/Asian market, you may want to roll tobiko together with, or scatter on top. Often outer layer of rice is sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds or tobiko.
I don't usually use tobiko for family meal since my boys don't appreciate the taste of fish eggs, yet.
Pablo is allergic to sesame, so I make a special kind of really plain nude california roll for Pablo.

Avocado and sweet/sour sushi rice are just the perfect fit.
I've been asked a number of times how to make this.
I'm not an expert to make sushi rolls, not even close.
Nonetheless, as I enjoy rolling it, let me show you how I do.

Here goes the recipe~

3 cups of calrose(sticky) rice, to be cooked
5 sheet of Nori(seaweed)
1 Avocado (not too ripe. It should be firm enough to hold the shape)
1/2 pack of crab meat or imitation crab meat (either stick torn into salad shape)
1 Ts mayonaise
1/2 Ts Dijon mustard
English cucumber

Option: toasted sesame tobiko
Rice seasoning (for 3 cups of rice)
The ratio of white vinegar: sugar: salt = 2Ts: 1Ts: 1/2Ts(=1+1/2ts)

How to make

1. Cook rice according to the instruction on the package.

2. combine vinegar, sugar, and salt and microwave mixture just until the sugar dissolves.
 Do not let it boil!!! Remove from heat and let cool until ready to use. 

3. Sprinkle the cooled rice vinegar mixture over the rice, mixing together as you sprinkle (add enough dressing to coat the rice but not make it damp - you may not need to use all the vinegar dressing).

Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds if you wish.

 4. Have avocado pitted, then sliced. 

Avoid the core of the cucumber, use only outer part to cut into thin sticks.

Tear Crab meat into strings and mix well with mayonnaise and mustard.

 5. Wrap the sushi mat with couch roll(plastic wrap). 

Cut 1/4 of Nori(seaweed). 

Place the nori and spread the rice on a Nori.
 Damp your hands with lemon water(or vinegar water) time to time to avoid your hands covered with sticky rice.

 6. Flip the rice-spared-Nori upside-down(rice in the bottom, nori on top). 

7. Lay out the ingredients one above another or! horizontaly and evenly if you want.

 8. Use strength to tighten the roll and force the rice to stick to Nori. Try to make it as tight as possible, just don’t overdo it.

 9. Slowly Roll and watch for the plastic. Roll the roll together with plastic wrap at the final turn.

 If you think that step is too tricky, forget this part and pull out the plastice wrap. 

You don't want to roll the plastic with your sushi.

 10. Tighten the roll again with your sushi mat. 

As I said, you don't need to roll the plastic wrap for each roll.
It's totally up to you.
I use both method.

Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds or tobiko (eggs of flyfish).
Now rolls are ready to be cut.

11. Find a sharp knife and grease it with sesame oil. 
Then, cut the roll all the way through, into individual pieces.

 Place the sliced pieces on a large plate and serve! 

Yield: serves 10

It is easier to make than you think. 

It would become easier and easier eventually but surely.

Ultimate California rolls


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