I had been really wanting some California Rolls recently or really just Japanese food in general. Unfortunately we are also trying to cut back on unnecessary expenses which includes $50.00 sushi lunches. We decided to try making some homemade rolls. I had done this once or twice many years ago and haven't really thought to try it since. I will admit, making rice is not my forte. I manage to ruin it nearly every time...even in the rice cooker. Needless to say, I put my husband in charge of the rice and he rocked it.
The sushi rice recipe we used I pulled out of our Martin Yan's Asia cook book. This is a cook book we've had for a few years that I never seem to use. It's actually signed by Mr Yan Can himself when we met him at a book signing and demonstration at The Stampede. He was pretty entertaining to watch for the 15 minutes.
2 cups medium grain rice
2 cups cold water
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon mirin (cooking rice wine)
3/4 tbsp salt
1) Place rice in a bowl and add enough cold water to cover and wash rice well by rubbing between your hands, drain. Repeat twice. Pour into mesh strainer and let stand for 15 minutes.
2) Place rice and 2 cups of water in to a 2-3 quart pot. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for twenty minutes then turn off the heat and let stand covered for 10 minutes
3)In a small pan heat vinegar, sugar, mirin and salt until dissolved*
4)Turn cooked rice in to a large wooden or plastic bowl. Pour vinegar mixture over rice. Fold liquid in with a rice paddle. At the same time fan the rice to bring out he luster of the grains. Continue folding and fanning until rice absorbs all liquid. Cover with a damp cloth and let stand until ready to use. (Fanning and folding at the same time is easier said than done so recruit a helper here to fan while you fold.)
Makes 4 cups.
*Because I didn't feel like buying a large bottle of the vinegar and the rice wine I notice a bottle at the store of "Sushi Rice Seasoning". It is basically every thing in one. For 2 cups of uncooked rice use 5 tablespoons of this liquid instead, or as the package directs.
As for the fillings, you can use really what ever you want. We happen to live in a land locked province so fresh sushi grade fish isn't really available/in our budget. Besides as the title states, I am currently up the duff so chowing down on raw fish is frowned upon. Remember fresher the better and only buy from a reputable fish monger, sushi is not the time for side-of-the-road- 100-Big-Shrimp-9.99-next-right guy
I bought one can of crab meat. You can use pollack too but why? We had a bag of frozen shrimp that I poached a bunch off some for our sorry excuse at nigiri sushi and some for a roll. All the recipes for crab I saw online basically just said to add some mayo to the crab and mush it up so that is what I did, just enough to make a nice and spreadable crab salad of sorts. The shrimp, after poaching in salted water until cooked (1-2 minutes) I just rough chopped, squirted in some mayo and added some sesame seeds and a bit of wasabi. I was going for a spicy sesame shrimp roll. Next time I think I would add a bit of sesame oil too to this but I really like the taste of sesame. I had some avocado but it was woefully under ripe so I julienned some red bell pepper to add some colour and crunch.
The fun part...the assembling and rolling! A few tips, use saran wrap on the sushi mat and keep a dish of water handy for your hands-the rice is STICKY!
Place the nori down on the saran wrapped roll and spread about 1 cup of rice covering the nori evenly. I did it a little different with each roll trying to get the "right" amount. I am not sure I ever found it but I do think you should go all the way to the side closest to you and almost all the way to the side further...not really as pictured but that worked too. I also think I could have used a little less rice than pictured. Put your filling down. Try to picture what it will look like sliced.
I agonized over explaining how to roll but then remembered this is the interwebs, I can link you up!
Slice use as much pickled ginger, soy sauce and wasabi as you like and enjoy!