to Make California Rolls
By Dr. Ben
enjoy California rolls but haven't ventured to make them at home,
may this pictorial serve as a helpful guide. We enjoy our California
rolls with avocado and cucumber - combine these fresh fruits with
lightly seasoned rice, and you have the perfect mix of creamy, cool,
and tangy. Absolutely mouthwatering, especially when dipped in my
mom's secret dipping sauce.
clear, this is what you'll be creating:
California rolls, it helps to have a sushi rolling mat. Here's the
bamboo version that we use in our kitchen:
find this type of bamboo sushi rolling mat at most Asian foods stores,
or at Amazon here:
Sushi Mat with Paddle
also need sheets of roasted seaweed, which are available at Korean
and other Asian grocery stores.
for unsalted, roasted nori seaweed. If you go searching for this at
your local Korean market, you can ask for "kim that's used to make
kim bap." Kim means seaweed, and bap means rice. The "k" in kim sounds
and California rolls are typically served with a dipping sauce made
by mixing soy sauce with a green paste called wasabi (Japanese horseradish).
my mom came up with the idea of substituting wasabi with Dijon mustard,
which gives you a nice hint of spiciness, but not so much heat that
kids and those with highly sensitive palates can't enjoy it.
combine one tablespoon of Dijon mustard with about three or four tablespoons
of soy sauce and give it a quick whisk.
me on this one, it's definitely worth a try.
best to use sushi rice, which is typically called "calrose" rice.
Put about three cups of cooked sushi rice in a large casserole dish
or mixing bowl. Add a full tablespoon of sesame oil, a couple of pinches
of sea salt, and mix well.
record, sushi that's served up in restaurants is typically made with
more vinegar and sugar than you might guess. You can add a few drops
of your rice wine vinegar of choice, but with the Dijon soy sauce
dipping sauce waiting for you, I would recommend forgetting about
adding anything more to your rice.
mess, we like to place our sushi rolling mat on a cutting board before
we do any rolling.
a sheet of seaweed on your rolling mat.
don't have a rolling mat, you can always use a sheet of saran wrap
instead, though a bamboo mat definitely makes for an easier job of
to give your lightly seasoned rice at least ten to fifteen minutes
to cool down - you don't want to add it to your sheets of seaweed
while it's steaming hot, as this will wilt your seaweed.
fingertips into a bowl of water, then use your hands to spread a layer
of rice on your sheet of seaweed - it should look something like this
when you're done:
note that this is no easy task. The rice is naturally sticky, and
though the water on your fingers will help you spread the rice out,
go into this step knowing that even those who roll sushi for a living
acknowledge that this can be a frustrating task.
really matter if things don't look great at this point. Once everything
is rolled up and cut into bite-size rounds, it'll all look beautiful.
also note that the rice needs to be spread right out close to the
borders of your sheet of seaweed, unlike going just about half or
three-quarters of the way when you make
regular sushi rolls.
to prepare avocado and cucumber slices. Again, don't worry too much
about how things look at this point, as everything looks much better
when sliced up and served on a plate.
avocado in half, use a large spoon to scoop out the flesh in one piece
if possible, then slice into quarter inch strips.
cucumbers into quarters lengthwise, then slice off the inner portion
from each quarter to remove the seeds and juicy flesh surrounding
don't remove the seeds and juicy inner pulp, your rolls will get a
knife to slice your de-seeded cucumber quarters into slices. If you
cut diagonally, you'll end up with strips that look something like
enjoy sesame seeds, sprinkle a small handful on your rice before you
a layer of plastic wrap over everything. Your plastic wrap should
be about the size of your bamboo mat, or even just a little larger.
slide the palm of one hand under the center of your bamboo mat, place
your other palm over the center of your plastic wrap, then swiftly
and gently turn the entire package upside down and let it come to
a rest on your working surface.
your bamboo mat to reveal your sheet of seaweed, which should now
be resting on the layer of plastic wrap with your rice stuck to the
underside of your seaweed.
your bamboo mat under your layer of plastic wrap.
a few avocado slices down the center of your sheet of seaweed, perpendicular
to the direction in which you'll be rolling.
a layer of your cucumber slices.
is what it should look like from your perspective just before rolling:
the part that requires a little bit of skill and experience. Lift
the side of the bamboo mat that's closest to you and roll your seaweed
and rice over in a full circle, making sure to cover your avocado
pads of your fingers to tuck the end of your bamboo mat up against
the circle of sushi that you've just created. The goal is to firm
up this circle, to help it hold its form.
your circle of avocado and cucumber is established, finish rolling
up what remains of your sheet of sushi and rice. Apply gentle but
firm pressure on your bamboo mat as you roll to encourage everything
to stay in place.
your bamboo mat.
your layer of saran wrap.
pads of the fingers of your non-cutting hand in a bowl of water and
apply a thin line of water along your knife. Then, holding your California
roll in place with your non-cutting hand, slice the roll into bite-size
rounds. For this task, a sharp knife is your friend.
free to sprinkle a few more sesame seeds on top for added texture
and calcium content (sesame seeds are, ounce for ounce, arguably nature's
most calcium-rich plant food).
it. California rolls ready to enjoy with a Dijon soy sauce dip.
want to make some vegetable sushi rolls to serve alongside your California
rolls, have a look at the following post:
to Make Sushi
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