All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016
To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.
Yesterday, I posted my Vegan Hearts of Palm Crab Salad (seen just above) – fully intending to make these California rolls with it and – today – I did! California rolls are no mystery & this is just a suggested way to use the crab salad.
If your local market makes sushi or carries fresh sushi – they usually sell extra wasabi & ginger there, too. That is where I get mine. Powdered wasabi (that you add water to) is also good but just buying it ready to go is cheap & easy so – why the fuck not?
I buy the nori at my local Thai market because they charge under $2 for a package & Gelson’s charges closer to $5. Same for the sushi rice. Ethnic foods are – typically – WAY less expensive in ethnic markets than they are in the ethnic aisles of your local grocery store – so – look into that option (if saving money appeals to you). Indian markets & Asian markets & Hispanic markets are great resources for rices & spices at drastically discounted prices. Just FYI.
Sushi rice is shorter than most other common rices but I think you can make sushi rice with any rice. I used the stuff you see below.
As to the filling of a California roll – I went pretty traditional – using the vegan crab, avocado and cucumber – and I added carrots. This is absolutely not a science so do what suits you.
2 cups rice – washed until the water runs clear
3 cups water
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/8 – 1/4 cup sugar (I like less sugar but this is a matter of taste)
Put the rice in the water & bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low & cover. Cook for about 20 minutes. Wrapping the lid of the pan in a kitchen towel creates a tighter seal & cooks the rice more quickly but be careful not to set the towel on fire. When it is done – transfer to a large bowl, fluff & allow to cool.
(Photo stolen from Google)
Heat the vinegar & stir in the sugar & salt. Stir until the salt & sugar dissolve. Allow to cool.
When the rice is cool – stir in the vinegar & mix it in well. Store in the fridge until you are ready to use it. I actually like the rice room-temp, so I leave it out before I use it – but this is just my preference.
Cooked sushi rice
Vegan crab (see link above)
Avocado – sliced
Carrot – cut into long matchsticks
Cucumber – cut into long matchsticks
GARNISH – wasabi, ginger, soy sauce, black and/or white sesame seeds
I don’t use a sushi roller mat. I just free-form it. HERE are a bunch of videos & other technique options you might like to try.
I do it near the sink with cool water running. Sticky rice is, indeed, sticky & will stick to everything. The water helps rinse it off.
Put the shiny side of the nori down & pack some rice onto it. Go light. I went heavy & my rolls were huge (in girth) and messy to eat. You can probably go more sparse with the rice than you guess – just leave about 1-inch clean on one end.
Layer the other ingredients in there & roll it. Wet that clean inch with wet fingers & roll over that to close to roll. Leave it resting on the seam as you roll any others you might be making.
Slice with a wet, sharp knife.
Garnish as you will & eat!