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Sushi Rice and California Rolls Recipe

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
A tutorial on how to make the perfect sushi rice and a recipe for legitimate California rolls :)
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Skill Level: Medium
Cost to Make: $12-$15
Servings: 9 rolls

Ingredients

Ingredients for Perfect Sushi Rice:

  • 2 cups Japanese short or medium grain rice
  • 2 1/2 cups cold water
  • 5 Tbsp Sushi Vinegar
  • Make your own sushi vinegar by combining the following 3 ingredients and dissolving them together over low heat on the stove, then let the mixture cool:
  • 4 Tbsp Rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt I used sea salt

Ingredients for California Rolls:

  • 1/2 lb Imitation crab meat p.s. the "log" shaped crab meat is the easiest to work with
  • 1 Avocado ripe but still firm
  • 1/2 medium cucumber peeled and sliced into long julienne strips
  • Toasted Nori Seaweed
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • A sushi rolling mat $2 at Cost Plus World Market If you don't have a sushi mat, try using parchment paper instead.

For Dips/Sauces:

  • Soy sauce regular or low sodium
  • Wasabi paste or wasabi powder
  • For spicy mayo: Mayonnaise ~1 Tbsp and Sriracha hot chili sauce (~1 tsp) or to taste

Instructions

How to Cook Perfect Sushi Rice (Rice Maker and Stove-top versions): P.S. do not add salt while cooking rice.

  1. Wash the rice with cold water until the water runs clear. Drain well. If you have a rice maker (way easier!), follow rice maker instructions and cook on the white rice setting then skip to step #4
  2. Put drained rice in a heavy sauce-pan and add 2 cups cold water. Cover tightly and set the pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Once it boils, reduce heat to medium and let cook covered until all the water is absorbed (7-8 min). Do not remove the cover to check, but listen for the bubbling to stop.
  3. Once you hear a faint hissing sound, reduce the heat to very low and cook another 6 min. Remove from the heat and let stand 15 min covered. This is the basic white rice eaten with japanese meals.
  4. Transfer the hot rice to a large bowl and break it up to get rid of all the hot clumps.
  5. Let the rice cool down until it is just warm, then stir in your cooled sushi vinegar

Assembling your California Rolls:

  1. Wrap your sushi matt in plastic wrap before using it (this makes it re-useable and you don't even have to wash it!).
  2. Fold the pieces of nori in half to split them.
  3. Toast your sesame seeds over medium heat, stirring constantly until golden. Slice up your veggies.
  4. Spread a generous handful of sushi rice onto the 1/2 sheet of nori. Use your WET FINGER TIPS (keep your hands wet to prevent sticking) to spread the rice evenly over the entire surface of the nori.
  5. Flip the rice covered piece of nori over so the rice is facing down (this way, your rice will be on the outside). Place your fillings across the center of your rice in the middle of the sheet (don't overfill or the roll won't seal).
  6. Start rolling away from you using your matt to firmly keep the roll in place. Apply some pressure to make a tight roll. If its not tight enough, it will be difficult to cut. Once the roll is complete, sprinkle the roll with toasted sesame seeds while it is still on the mat so you can turn it easily.
  7. Run your sharp knife through a damp paper towel before slicing so the rice won't stick as much. Cut the roll in half, then line the two halves up and slice even 1-inch rings. I have found that it slices easier when you slice quickly.