Recipe Type: Sushi, Appetizer, Rice
Yield: 40 California Rolls
Rice Soaking Time: 30 minutes
Approximate Total California Rolls Time: 2 hours
To purchase equipment needed for making and serving sushi, check out What's Cooking America's Sushi Kitchen Store.
Bamboo sushi-roll mat
Clean cutting board
Sushi knife or very sharp knife
Wood spoon or plastic rice paddle for spreading rice
6 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3 cups uncooked Japanese medium-grain sushi rice*
4 cups water
5 sheets of sushi nori (seaweed in big squares)**
1 large cucumber
2 to 3 avocados
Fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Cooked crab meat or imitation crab sticks***
Wasabi (Japanese horseradish)
* Only use Japanese medium-grain sushi rice in sushi making. It is a medium-grained rice and gets sticky when it is cooked. Long-grained American rice will not work because it is drier and doesn't stick together.
** Roasted-Seaweed (Nori) - Sheets of thin seaweed which is pressed and dried. As a general rule of thumb – good Nori is very dark green, almost black in color.
*** Imitation crab sticks are the easiest to use. They can be found in Japanese food stores.
Making Sushi Rice:
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Heat mixture just until the sugar dissolves (do not let it boil). Remove from heat and let cool until ready to use.
Start preparing the rice approximately 2 hours before you want to make the sushi rolls.
Wash rice, stirring with your hand, until water runs clear.
Place rice in a saucepan with water; let soak 30 minutes.
Drain rice in colander and transfer to a heavy pot or Rice Cooker; add 4 cups water. NOTE: To improve the texture of the rice, after rinsing, let the rice drain 30 minutes in the refrigerator before cooking (put the strainer with the rice in a large bowl to catch the water).
If you don't have a rice cooker, place rice and water into a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; bring just to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let rice rest, covered, for 15 additional minutes.
When rice is done cooking and resting, transfer to a large bowl; loosen rice grains gently with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon by cutting and folding (do not stir, as this will crush the rice). NOTE: Either use the rice soon after preparing it, or cover it with a damp cloth to keep it moist. Do not refrigerate the cooked rice.
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). Spread the hot rice on top of a large sheet of aluminum foil and let cool.
Preparing Sushi Ingredients:
Wash, peel, and seed cucumber. Slice in half lengthwise, then cut into long, slender strips.
Cut the avocados in half lengthwise, then remove the pit; cut each section in half again (lengthwise), and carefully remove the peel. Cut the section in long slender strips. Sprinkle the sliced avocado with lemon juice to keep from discoloring.
If you are using snow, crab, remove the crab meat from the thicker portion of the legs and cut in half lengthwise. If you are using imitation crab sticks, remove the plastic wrapping and cut each in half lengthwise.
Place the cucumber slices, avocado slice, and crab slices on a plate; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to use. Making California Rolls: (1) Lay the Bamboo sushi-roll mat on a cutting board with bamboo strips going horizontally from you. | (2) Place a sheet of plastic wrap on top of the