I’ve been saving this post for a while because I made two batches of sushi last weekend: the California Rolls and the Crunchy Shrimp Rolls. This weekend, I’m preparing a vegetarian sushi extravaganza, so stay tuned for that! Here and now, however, are the California Rolls I made last weekend. Hope you enjoy!
Imitation Crab Sticks
History of California Rolls
This is one of the easiest and quickest fusion rolls known to the world of sushi. Its origins stem from the late 1970′s as one of the very first, if not the very first example of uramaki, or inside-out roll. The outside of the roll is generally sprinkled with sesame seeds and then topped with flying fish roe, but I didn’t have any. Don’t worry, I’ll eventually re-do this recipe and get some prettier pictures. For now, enjoy the California Rolls I made last weekend, with both the inside and inside-out variations.
Preparing the Ingredients
The California roll uses avocado, imitation crab sticks and cucumber. The avocado is often used as a fish substitute in sushi because of its oily texture. Cook the crab sticks according to the packaging. They usually only need a few minutes in a pot of boiling water. Take care when removing them. I like to use salad tongs to pull them out. While you are waiting for the crab sticks to cook, you can apply a layer of rice to the nori, as shown in the picture below. The rice should be quite sticky. You may find it useful to dampen your hands in between each chunk of rice.
Rolling the Maki Roll
Peel and then cut up the cucumber into 8″ strips, as shown in the picture. Peel and slice the avocado into thin strips of the same length as the avocado, also show in the picture above on the left side. Lay the avocado slices, cucumber strips and cooker crab stick onto the prepared sheet of nori and rice. Roll up carefully, using the bamboo mat to tighten and solidify the roll.